Two AA Rosette River Restaurant unveils its first new look since 2000

The River Restaurant and Lowry Lounge and Bar at the five star Lowry Hotel has just unveiled a brand new look - the first one since the venue opened 19 years ago. 

The interior design team at Goddard Littlefair were inspired by the city’s industrial past, with metal elements subtly dotted throughout the space. Geometric patterns on the floor reflect the very recognisable Trinity Bridge over the River Irwell, which links Salford to Manchester and can be seen from the restaurant dining room. The colour palette of burnt oranges and reds, calming greens and blues comes from the vibrant musical heritage of the city, and is accentuated by the artwork and bespoke glass light fittings.

This is, hands down, one of the best places to eat in Manchester

The architectural approach was to create completely bespoke furniture and  fitted joinery, creating a series of distinct but linked spaces, which has completely reconfigured the space.

The slatted screen design of the grand centralised marble top bar allows, when needed, segments of the space to be closed down to make a private area for events. 

2019 10 14 Lowry Hotel Light Fitting
Orange light fitting give the restaurant and bar areas a warm glow
2019 10 14 Lowry Dinng Room
The room has been subtly divided with planted wooden frames

Adrian Ellis, general manager of The Lowry Hotel, said: “The Lowry Hotel’s bar and two-AA-rosette River Restaurant have been completely remodelled but have retained their unique riverside views and terrace.

“The River Restaurant promises a dynamic menu with new Executive Head Chef Dave Ashton at the helm giving diners a modern take on classic British cuisine. 

“We’re very proud of the reimagining of both these iconic spaces and look forward to welcoming are regular guests and lots of new faces into both the River Restaurant and Lowry Lounge and Bar.”

2019 10 14 Lowry Hotel Dining Room
View of the newly refurbished dining room from the entrance

The River restaurant menu of modern British classic dishes and seasonal favourites has also had a makeover, with Chef Ashton sourcing the best local ingredients. “It’s very British,” he says. “We’re not trying to be out there and wacky. The flavour combinations are classic, yet we’ve tried to be more forward thinking with our approach and how to put these elements together on the plate.”

Some of the Lowry’s signature dishes include a Cornish crab starter featuring brown crab from the best suppliers in the UK, ensuring they are as fresh as they come and tie in sustainability. “We spent a lot of time going out making sure our smaller independent suppliers share the same beliefs as us,” says Dave. The Lowry now even have their own bee hives to produce honey, which they use on their menu and have even gone on to develop their soon-to-be launched own-recipe gin.

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Some of the new bar snacks
2019 10 14 Lowry Hotel Bar Mats
The bar has moved to the centre of the space

Even some of the wood from the ripped-out original bar has been reclaimed and made into holders for the new bar snacks, such as smoked salmon mousse savoury cones with caviar, or lamb bao buns with harissa and miso. The oak frame from the old private dining room has been saved and stripped down to be used as wooden blocks for steak knives.

Desserts also represent the skill of the Lowry’s pastry section. The Lowry Gin dessert features cucumber ice made using liquid nitrogen with numerous precise layers of lemon and Lowry gin mousse, tonic gel and candied lemon peel within a white chocolate case sprayed with edible gold powder.

The River restaurant has been awarded a two AA rosette rating because everything is made on site from scratch, including their own natural organic sourdough, the flavoured butter and all the ice creams.

2019 10 14 Lowry Hotel Booth Seating
Booth seating in the River Restaurant

Alongside the a la carte menu, The River Restaurant will also continue to offer a three-course Sunday lunch and daily afternoon tea with its choice of 70-plus tea blends. “The guys are in early every day and make every single thing fresh for every service, so there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into it,” says Dave. “This is, hands down, one of the best places to eat in Manchester.”

Guests can now choose from more sociable seating options, sitting by the bar or snuggling down in some of the comfortable seating areas. Live entertainment will feature throughout the week, showcasing an eclectic mix of young and upcoming local talent performing a range of lounge music from jazz and blues to upbeat R&B and Motown.