By Laura Turner
In the heart of Manchester, just a 15 minute walk from Piccadilly station, you’ll find the Stock Exchange Hotel.
The former home of the Northern Stock Exchange, this grade II listed building stood empty for decades.
Following a £20 million transformation, it’s reopened as a luxury hotel under the ownership of football legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville and hotel expert Winston Zahra.
The renovations include dropping an entire spiral staircase inside the building in order to add a 4th and 5th floor. However, each detail has been meticulously considered to stay true to the building’s original features.
The Stock Exchange Hotel is also home to Michelin-star chef Tom Kerridge’s only Northern restaurant, The Bull & Bear, serving up refined pub classics.
Here’s what happened when we checked into the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester for the night.
Behind the hustle and bustle of Market street, look out for the brass signage and colourful planters and you’ll arrive at the slightly hidden entrance to the Stock Exchange Hotel on Norfolk Street. The perfectly secluded location is ideal for those wanting to be close to everything Manchester has to offer, but still feels private and exclusive.
We were greeted immediately by the most friendly staff who checked us in and took our suitcases straight to the room. Although our room was ready when we arrived, we were asked if we would like to have a glass of champagne before heading up to our suite. Of course we said yes.
We were escorted into the lounge area which felt very stylish and chic. The chairs were soft suede with very high backs, perfect for relaxing. There was also a room diffuser positioned in the corner omitting warm vanilla scents.
Our pink champagne was brought over within seconds. We were then asked if we would like to try the ‘cake of the day’. This was orange and poppyseed with orange cream frosting when we visited. So delicious, and the most perfect way to start our trip.
If champagne isn’t your thing, tea, coffee, water, juice and beer is also available. At this point you can also book in your breakfast slot for the next day.
STYLE AND INTERIORS
The interiors in this luxury hotel boast just that – pure luxury – and are a stunning example of Edwardian Baroque architecture.
Walk on the black and white Harlequin floor past the first desk to reach reception. Decorated beautifully in green and gold, the space really is quite impressive.
Elsewhere the hotel has a contemporary feel with green, mustard and brass tones against suede and leather furnishings – but care has been taken to ensure it retains its rich history.
It was the Northern Stock Exchange from 1907 until 1979 and there are nods to its iconic past everywhere. From the high ceilings, original wood panelling and stained glass windows to the photos of former employees on the walls, revealing what it was like to work there in its heyday.
There are 40 rooms and three private suites at the Stock Exchange. The most luxurious of all being ‘The House’ on the 5th floor.
This penthouse suite alone includes a private roof terrace, over half a million pounds worth of art (including original Banksy’s) and a direct lift into the kitchen. If previously arranged, Tom Kerridge himself will host a private dining session for you and your guests.
We stayed in one of the spacious suites with a balcony on the 4th floor. The marble bathroom with heated flooring came with a generous sized freestanding bath, huge walk-in rainfall shower and double sinks adorned with Noble Isle toiletries.
The room had everything we could possibly need. Complimentary slippers, yoga mats, and even an umbrella, because the Manchester weather can be unpredictable. We particularly enjoyed the little box of Bull & Bear flapjacks left out for us to enjoy.
FOOD AND DRINK
The domed trading room of the Stock Exchange Hotel, where deals were once made, is now home to Tom Kerridge’s only northern restaurant, The Bull & Bear.
His other establishments include Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at the Corinthia hotel in London, Kerridge’s Fish & Chips at Harrods and The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, the only pub in the UK to have two Michelin stars.
Even the name of this stylish Manchester restaurant pays homage to its trading past. The terms ‘bull’ and ‘bear’ are used to describe the shifting state of the stock markets. A bull market is one which is performing well, while a bear market is declining.
These days the impressive 87-cover dining room is dominated by green leather booths, marble tables and gold accents which are a nod to the worker bee, the symbol of Manchester. While the centrepiece is a brass sculpture of a headless superhero made by Tom’s artist wife, Beth Cullen-Kerridge.
Food is fine dining, but it’s proper grub, like all of Tom’s restaurants. There is also something for all budgets. A set lunch or early dinner menu is priced at £24.50 for two courses and £29.50 for three courses. On Sundays there is an epic roast set menu which starts from £39 for two courses.
We visited on a Friday night so ordered from the regular dinner menu, kicking off our meal with two B&B spritz cocktails (£13.50) and table snacks of Salt Pig Chorizo & Fennel Beer Sticks (£6) and Cheddar Cheese Scones with Marmite Butter (£7). We know Marmite is a love or hate kind of thing but you have to try these, the flavours are incredible combined.
Next up was the Orkney Scallop (£26) and the Nettlebed Creamery Cheese Soufflé (£15.50), followed by the Roast Cornish Cod (£36) and the Duck Breast with Confit Leg Hashbrown (£39.50) for mains. We couldn’t fault any of the food, in fact we totally cleared our plates. But our favourite dish of the evening had to be the soufflé. You can’t go wrong with cheese.
Undefeated, we had to sample the dessert menu too, ordering the Peanut Butter Crème Brûlée and Lemon Meringue Pie (all desserts are £11.50) which rounded off our meal perfectly.
When dining at The Bull & Bear we strongly recommend you ask for the wine pairing. The sommelier picked the most perfect tipples which complemented our food incredibly. Wine starts from £6.50 a glass.
One of our favourite touches at the Stock Exchange Hotel was the QR code on the back of our keycard holder. Simply scan it on your smartphone to access games, books, newspapers and much more. Perfect for those chilled afternoons in your room.
If there is anything else you should need during your stay, there is a 24/7 concierge on hand.
You can also leave your suitcases for up to 24 hours, free of charge, on the day of checkout if you fancy heading over to the Arndale for a spot of shopping.
This luxury hotel in the centre of Manchester is quite spectacular. Although slightly more expensive than other local hotels, it’s definitely worth the extra money. From the moment you arrive you are treated like royalty, and anywhere that welcomes you with champagne and cake is a winner in our eyes.
Rooms start from £185 a night
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