Short break - The Ainscow Hotel, Salford
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 May 2015
Janet Reeder finds there’s lots to discover at the new Ainscow Hotel in the city centre
The address is Salford but in fact one of the newest additions to our local hotel scene, the Ainscow Hotel, is just a ten minute walk from Deansgate in the centre of Manchester and the perfect bolthole for anyone who wants the experience of staying in an historic building.
In its previous incarnation the building was the Victorian landmark Brown Brothers brewery but now it has a different future - playing a key role in the regeneration of Salford’s Chapel Street area. I doubt whether the brewers of old would recognise it now it has undergone its £6m transformation but they may be able to identify the location overlooking the criss-crossing tracks of Salford Central Railway station. It’s this urban edge that I love most about the Ainscow Hotel.
As it was raining on our visit the terrace on the third floor was out of bounds but it must rank as one of the most fantastic roof garden spaces in the city and a brilliant place to enjoy panoramic views.
The Ainscow takes its name from entrepreneur Carol Ainscow who was instrumental in transforming run down areas of the city and it is a fitting tribute. Carol died two years ago aged 55 but this hotel is part of her legacy and demonstrates her ability to predict urban trends.
Many original features of the building have been retained, including steel beams and exposed brickwork. My room was split level with ‘downstairs’ dominated by a plasma TV and a kitchenette and the up, a spiral staircase, a cosy bedroom and well-appointed bathroom.
We drank champagne in the light, comfortable bar on the ground floor before heading up to the plush Lynwood restaurant which takes up much of the third floor and offers those excellent views.
The cooking is no-nonsense, focusing on the classics like Waldorf salad, Chicken supreme, fish pie and steaks. We chose a cured meat platter, a roasted beetroot and goats’ cheese salad with the added tang of pink grapefruit - both great for sharing - tomato and onion tart with wild rocket and chive oil dressing and sea bass with celeriac puree, roasted chicory, rosemary and a light jus.
To finish were puddings of lemon meringue, a lemony Eton Mess and another traditional favourite, Sticky Toffee pudding. We loved the extensive and intriguing wine list from which we plucked a bottle of Lebanese Chateau Ka. It was both unusual and delicious.
A huge thumbs-up goes to the Ainscow’s spa, which with quirky branding and emphasis on the organic is aimed at a young funky mindset. This is designed for pampering and fun. You can bring a group of girls here for a pamper party before hitting the town or as I was, arrive alone simply to be soothed and pampered into a sublime state thanks to the Sixth Sense Total Mind and Body experience Live – Laugh – Love – Relax – Release – Revive. It certainly did! w
The Ainscow Hotel, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN
0161 827 1650