The Hope Street Hotel has 48 individually designed hotel rooms, real wood floors warmed by under floor heating, with King sized beds draped in Egyptian cotton. In the ensuite bathrooms guests are delighted to find rain dance showerheads as big as their dinner plates, and Arne Jacobsen Vola fittings complement these timeless havens of comfort with huge soft towels, mist free mirrors and REN products.
The Hotel is located in one of the most scenic parts of the surging city of Liverpool, with a world heritage skyline including the cathedrals. Picture windows and skylights make the most of this architectural cornucopia. All rooms have wall mounted LCD wide screen TVs, DVD and CD players, together with un-metered broadband access. Special offers frequently include upgrades to a suite for a delightfully reasonable consideration, which for a hotel offering such a high grade of accommodation is very good news indeed.
The London Carriage Works restaurant and brasserie, part of the hotel, is pleasantly near the top of the pile, witness the Remy Restaurant Award for the Region in 2004. Amongst its other accolades have been inclusion in the top ten restaurants outside London in the 2005 Hardens Guide, top scorer for Liverpool’s cooking in The Good Food Guide 2006, and Best Restaurant in the Northern Hospitality Awards 2008.
The doors open at 7am on weekdays, and breakfast makes a welcome appearance, with Port of Lancaster kippers or eggs Benedict. A different Liverpool breakfast is a sort of healthy take on their more lethal type, with two eggs cooked as you like, fried haloumi, vegetarian black pudding, lots of other commendable things.
At noon the day menu kicks in, the seasonal restaurant menu demonstrates its leaning but discretionary approach towards local sourcing and starters on show could be Iberico ham with tomato and red pepper gazpacho, a salad of Barkham Blue cheese, that wonderful strong blue cheese made by Sandy Rose with milk from the Channel Islands, or a sea food platter with Southport potted shrimps, smoked salmon, yellow-fin tuna and goujons of cod. A pair of vegetarian friends could share a platter that includes artichoke hearts, Elmhurst brie and seasonal crudities.
On then to a sirloin or carved rump of dry aged Fell bred beef, or Mr Reeve's fresh cod in beer batter, or pan seared calf's liver with pancetta and caramelised onions served with parmesan mashed peas and Kos lettuce.
For many, however, the highlight could be New Season blackfaced lamb three ways - confit of shoulder, pan roast loin and kidney. Recommended accompaniment is a glass of Tempranillo Rioja.
Somebody also has a distinguished taste for bottled beers with a difference. Peroni Gran Reserva, Anchor Steam beer, Cains Culture and Black Sheep - do these ring exciting bells amongst the connoisseurs?
Fifteen wines by the glass do not exactly dim the prospects of a good evening either, with a Chilean sauvignon from Central Valley well on the way towards the same quality as some of the better New Zealand whites.
Make sure some space is reserved for a helping of the Cheshire duck egg custard tart with clotted cream ice cream, or bread and butter pudding served with vanilla mascarpone cream and pear coulis. Amongst the pudding wines on offer I would link this with a Tokaji 5 Puttonyos from the Hungarian Crown Estates, one of several interesting little numbers on offer here.
One mystified reviewing customer wonders why the Michelin man has not yet left his mark at the London Carriageworks - he is not alone. If you want to know more about the Hope Street Hotel, then have a look at their Website