Reliable food and drink names for new hotel in former renaissance hotel on Deansgate
Just over a year ago, we were teasing a Treehouse Hotel coming to Manchester in 2023 with a hunky American billionaire with exceptionally white teeth at the helm. Now it appears we’re a little closer to knowing who’s going to be heading up the food and drink operations with a bit of goss coming out of the most recent launch event.
Treehouse wanted to not just come into Manchester and say, we know how to do this because we have done it in other places
A little bird who sat in a tree (house hotel) this week has told us that Creameries head chef Mary-Ellen McTague will be taking over the kitchen of the restaurant on the ground floor of the Treehouse Hotel whilst Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford (aka The Unabombers) will be running the rooftop bar.
Sprucing up the former Renaissance
As previously reported by Manchester Confidential’s very own Jonathan Schofield, The Treehouse Hotel will transform the site of the former Renaissance Hotel on the northern end of Deansgate. The £200m redevelopment of the site will usher in the second Treehouse Hotel in the UK after London with the original press release promising an Oakie Doke-esque world of whimsy.
“Treehouse Hotels celebrates the joy of youth, of freedom, of fun, of dreams, and friends, real and imaginary. In a Treehouse, you leave the everyday and enter a world of your own imagination. The wondrous, childhood feeling of climbing into a treehouse and making up your own rules. Designed to appeal to the youthful spirit in all of us, Treehouse Hotel Manchester will be fun, fresh, and fabulous, inspired by life’s joys."
The hotel which comprises 216 rooms as well as a treehouse canopy, will also bring quirky features including secret garden paths, stepping stones in lifts and custom space hoppers in the gym. Sustainability is top of the agenda too with reclaimed and recycled materials, living green walls and a kitchen garden harvesting rainwater.
But what about the food and booze?
A rooftop bar is where the Unabombers will come in handy. Previously the heads behind The Refuge (ties were severed in March), the duo also run Electrik in Chorlton and Volta in Didsbury. Both meanwhile have a notable hand in Escape to Freight Island. The two in charge of what will be a rooftop rivaling the incoming Soho House Manchester for multi-storey clout can only be a good thing.
Rooftop dwellers can expect an inevitably eclectic and bulletproof soundtrack curated by the duo, with strategic mood lighting providing creating an intimate setting whilst allowing the surrounding views to take centre stage.
Justin Crawford said: “Treehouse wanted to not just come into Manchester and say, we know how to do this because we have done it in other places, they wanted people who know how this city operates and know its individuality.”
A city centre restaurant for Mary-Ellen McTague
As for the restaurant, Mary-Ellen McTague is set to take over the ground floor kitchen whilst Sam Grainger will take over the rooftop food offering working alongside the previously mentioned Unabombers. McTague, one of the city’s most exciting chefs is currently chef proprieter of The Creameries in Chorlton which recently transformed into pasta concept Campagna at The Creameries.
Expect McTague's signature, sustainable style - in keeping with the hotel's wider ethos. Quality, well-sourced ingredients with not too much faffing about. McTague will create a "zero-waste ecosystem" in the ground kitchen whilst sourcing ingredients that are picked from environmentally-minded local farms.
In reality this means when a responsibly-sourced organic cauliflower is used in the kitchen, you better believe that Mary-Ellen is going to use all of that vegetable, be it through cooking, pickling and utilising the leaves. Meals and ingredients that might go to waste in other kitchens will be diverted to feeding those in need from the local community through her associated food charity, Eat Well.
A rotation of local bakeries will form part of the restaurants "grab and go" breakfast offering which will also feature Derbyshire oatcakes with ham and mustard and Lancashire oven bottom muffins with bacon, sausage and eggs. Only the best eggs.
Express lunch and a full evening menu will channel this ethos. Diners can expect Scottish rope-grown mussels with cider or smoked beets, mustard cream and rye. Dishes that work for snacking with drinks, quick bites as well as proper dinners. City dwellers will be thrilled to have the opportunity to have a restaurant from the much-loved Mancunian chef on their doorsteps.
Grainger meanwhile arrives with the likes of Belzan, Madre and Escape to Freight Island fried chicken concept Lucky Foot under his belt, as well as meaty Richard H Turner collaboration Carnival, also Freight Island-based. Sam will be bringing a pan-Asian menu to the 14th-floor rooftop restaurant with dishes including grilled rib eye, bone marrow teriyaki with fresh peppercorns and the intriguing roast monkfish tail with garlic.
Treehouse Hotel, Blackfriars Street, Manchester, M3 2EQ
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