When you expect nothing but the best, think of The Malmaison group of hotels, a collection of centres of excellence, that has well established itself throughout Britain. As a concept alone this is exciting, but the reality is brilliant, so that at last there is a hotel group where uniformity of standards is of the same high calibre.
Malmaison Liverpool is located in the trendy Princes Dock area and follows a New York Gothic inspired theme with an impressive Manhattan type building - something that relates well to the exciting architecture which results from a mingling of modern with more traditional in this European City of Culture.
The rooms are all that one would expect from a hotel that has genuine regard for its guests and is concerned with every aspect of their wellbeing. In the home town of the Beatles expect to find close attention paid to the musical background in your room, whilst all the customary luxuries that associate with Malmaison are there to hand, the naughty nibbles, the serious wine, drench showers and that oh so completely embracing bed.
Amidst elegant surroundings, with spotless gleaming glassware and shining cutlery, an essentially brasserie menu is offered. At the brasserie lovers of seafood will be delighted to note that their particular needs are well heeded, starting with a delightful moules marinères or smoked haddock, with spinach lasagne.
Other starters that seldom fail to please include a braised venison faggot; Old Spot pressed pork belly; seared scallops; and home smoked chicken with a potato and shallot salad.
Head Chef Adam Townsley and his team bring to the table inspired choices for the main course such as the roasted monkfish or the confit beef cheeks bourguignon for those seeking by this time a slightly more carnivorous approach. Dinnertime pizzas and the traditional Liverpool scouse with braised red cabbage and crusty bread are other lovely creations. Which leads us neatly to the - wait for it - Mal burger, a 250 gram burger made from ground beef tucked into a floured bap to join bacon and gruyere, served with homemade relish and some fries.
Over the years the number of outriders surrounding a good honest steak has grown to unacceptable dimensions. At Malmaison the thought and care is centred on the dry-aged on the bone rump and that's it - except for the chips. If you want all the rest go for the side dishes, but steak and chips on its own takes some beating. Vegetarians are well looked after - pumpkin, sage and goats' cheese ravioli sounds appealing.
Heading the puddings is the House crème brûlée, a triumph of timing and co-ordination, supported by other choices amongst which expect to find bread and butter pudding, blood orange and dark chocolate torte or a splendid rhubarb cheesecake. Their homemade ice creams and sorbets are dreamy.
The wine list is a symphony of its kind, clearly compiled by an enthusiast who knows his wines well enough not to disappear into a world of hyperbole when describing them.
is a wealth of information that will, I predict, only serve to increase your resolve to make Malmaison your next stop in Liverpool. It is worth noting that you can also make reservations Online on their Website.