King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Fit for Kings… and Queens

King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Manchester, the northern powerhouse for culture, music and food has come into its own over the last number of years and Eclectic Hotels have taken up the mantle and opened two impressive boutique properties. Elegant townhouses rather than hotels, they are both a home away from home. Well… a home if it had been designed by an Italian renaissance painter in love with Martha Stewart.

Love was certainly in the air at King Street, and the elevator… as celebrating newly weds and colourful robes glided in. The joyful couple no doubt pondered for months over wedding venues, the best place to bind themselves for better or for worse. It’s a challenge to find a great place to start life with one’s nearest and dearest, but King Street Townhouse proved their perfect venue.

King Street Townhouse, Manchester

The baby grand hotel is on Great John Street. Built in 1872 and recently renovated by local architect Edward Salmons, the 40 individually crafted rooms and suites transport you to a Victorian era of opulence and grace.

Arriving at the door is like wondering into a Charles Dickens novel. Less poverty, more pearls.

Stepping back into the smoky seduction of a time when soot infused the air, foggy shrouded street lamps and chiselled cornices.  The door is opened by an eloquent bellman (rather than boy, he used to be security for a Liverpool Football Club player), dressed in fine tweed, all that is missing is the pocket watch.

The building was once the Manchester Salford Trustees Bank. The hotel logo of a top hat and moustache alludes to this, the very important gentlemen, the sombre black suit, top hat and cane, all very Mary Poppins-esque.

King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Stepping inside, the smell triggers a comforting relaxation of the shoulders. Flowers drape over the solid wooden panels, not just in support of the nuptials. It’s a daily touch.

Check-in is swift and efficient, no query is too small, including when the infinity is pool open and if it’s possible to have a bottle of Moet sent there tout de suite?

Arriving at the door is like wondering into a Charles Dickens novel. Less poverty, more pearls.

The pool is a hidden gem. With views over the city, icy white frost coats the hands of Town Hall clock like fairy dust. There is a steam room and relaxation suite, all with the charm of a Swedish spa. Please do relax with a glass or two, plastic ones are provided, even that doesn’t detract from the perfect bubbles in the perfect setting.

The rooms are warm and cosy, bathed in a soft yellow light, classic music plays as you swipe your key card, a relaxing start to your stay. The dark wooden bed is framed by black art and metal uplighters.

A book on the collections of Patek Philippe rests on the coffee table.

King Street Townhouse, Manchester

In the hallway, the free standing Victorian bath beckons. As does the rainbow shower just to the right of it. Heated rails keep the fluffy towels warm just long enough to tear yourself away and slather in the ESPA creams. The mirror straddles the length of the wall, TV nestled in the corner, writing desk tucked in the other.

Tea and coffee are on demand, there is even fresh milk in the fridge, Eclectic’s own brand.

A phrenology statue gazes down from the shelves as do numerous books, unsurprisingly Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist. Robert Goodard is thrown in for good measure.

A welcome plate by the bedside doesn’t last long, brownies and cookies, an opener for the afternoon tea.  

The afternoon tea is taken in the tea lounge, just off the Tavern, a delicate space on the ground floor filled with designer fabrics and commissioned art. It is a little reminiscent of a mad hatter’s tea party. The seats and tables seem to be made for smaller people, children almost, yet it works, sitting lower to the floor nibbling on traditional sandwiches, scones and delicate pastries, perfectly accompanied by as much tea as you can muster. What a marvellous way to while away the afternoon.

A welcome plate by the bedside doesn’t last long, brownies and cookies, an opener for the afternoon tea.

Breakfast is in the Tavern, a homely enclave at the front of the hotel. Feast on a King Street Townhouse cooked breakfast, all the trimmings included, or for the healthier option sample the crushed avocado and chilli on sourdough. The ‘hair of the dog’ is also available, a Bloody Mary or those who overindulge, especially on the fabulous wine, and it is easy to do.

The owners transformed the listed cellar space into ‘The Cellars’ which house an exclusive private dining space and a luxurious screening room. The hotel is honoured to have George Bergier, Chairman of the Guild of Sommeliers and Consul of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne on board. Jerzy as he is known, has been in the wine industry for over fifty years, sample and learn from the best.

The King Street Townhouse is a comforting escape in a maddening world.

Great Expectations. All met.

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