Friday 30 July 2021

New menu launch at 30 James Street

I was fortunate enough to attend the recent launch of the new menu at Carpathia Restaurant*, located within the luxurious 30 James Street Hotel in Liverpool. Head Chef Gareth Mellor has really put his own stamp on the new menu and he is renowned for putting a modern twist on traditional dishes, which is unsurprising when you consider that he trained in several award – winning restaurants earlier in his career. 

I was eager to dine here, not only because I have heard so many good things about Gareth’s food, but also because the views from Carpathia are some of the best in Liverpool and there is an expansive vista across much of the city skyline from the restaurant’s outdoor terrace, which is situated on the top floor of the building. 
It was a sunny evening and we settled in at a table for two outside, where we soaked up the atmosphere while sipping French 75 cocktails which made the ideal start to our dining experience. 

We went on to peruse the menu and I was happy to see a mix of dishes with a fine dining influence, alongside some more classic favourites. Gareth has been at 30 James Street & Carpathia for over 3 years now and he has really made this new menu his own, drawing on his many years of experience as a chef. This is far more than you would expect from a hotel restaurant, with impressive creations on the menu such as barbecue lobster with Café de Paris Hollandaise available and Gareth and his team source the best seasonal produce from as local a proximity as possible. 

I opted for the malt butter & dressed crab pikelet  for my starter – I really like the current trend for restaurants making their own crumpets and pikelets because it shows a chef's eye for attention to detail. 
This made an accomplished starter with plenty of meaty crab on the pikelet – while dill oil and dressed young leaves rounded the dish off. 

My dining companion went for the chicken & chorizo terrine, which was elegantly presented with toasted brioche and a tangy tomato chutney. A terrine is such a classic 'old - school' starter and it showcases a chef's eye for balanced flavours when it is done right like this. 

There are plenty of meat and seafood options to choose from, but vegetarians can look forward to inventive plates such as roasted celery root, with Marmite and celeriac purée - which sounded appetising as I love anything involving Marmite! 

The indoor dining section of Carpathia is also an elegant setting, useful to know for days when the Liverpool weather is a little too capricious for outdoor dining.

On to mains and my pan fried chicken with sautéed spinach, king mushroom, chicken jus and tarragon oil was another winner – again the plating was impressive and the chicken was cooked to retain its tenderness. 

I was impressed by the portion sizes as I have often found that many hotels charge inflated prices for lacklustre portions - that is definitely not the case here. 

The slow roast pork belly chosen by my dining companion was another refined creation and the subtlety of the other elements of garlic purée and port wine jus, allowed the pork to take centre stage without it being obscured by too many flavours. 

When it comes to sides, you cannot go wrong with classic fries and we also ordered a portion of the ‘game crisps’ which were particularly tasty – crispy little lattices of potato, which paired perfectly with a glass of Malbec. 

Rum baba is a dessert which is seen on menus far too rarely, so I was pleased to see it here and vanilla cream, Kraken rum and caramel sauce made this a polished example of an indulgent pudding! 

I had already seen the barbecue strawberry pavlova with Chantilly cream and champagne on Gareth’s social media, so I simply had to order that and it did not disappoint - a tower of decadence with plenty of fresh strawberry bursting through the layers.   

After relaxing with a coffee and taking in more of those exceptional views, it was time to head home. I was thoroughly impressed by the meal and the service was attentive and friendly. 30 James Street is overall an attractive dining destination in Liverpool city centre and Gareth is very much making the menu synonymous with his own refined culinary style. 

30 James Street Hotel
Albion House
30 James St

What do you all think, do you like dining in hotel restaurants and which of these dishes would you try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post! 

Until next time, 



*I was invited to sample the new menu at Carpathia, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Wednesday 2 June 2021

An indulgent stay at Rothay Manor...

The Lake District is always the ideal place for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life, and I was fortunate enough to be invited for a relaxing break at Rothay Manor late last year*.
Rothay Manor is a stunning Grade II listed country house boutique hotel, a stone’s throw from Lake Windermere. The hotel is ideally situated for exploring all of the wonders of The Lake District, which is an area I have visited many times over the years and I never tire of the awe inspiring rugged beauty of the landscapes and lakes it is renowned for.

Rothay Manor has nineteen individually designed rooms, some of which have their own balconies and I checked into The Fairfield Suite for my stay, after a warm welcome from the team.
The Fairfield Suite is simply stunning and the perfect choice of room if you are looking for some indulgent luxury. The design of the suite is so refined, with comfortable furnishings and eye catching feature wallpaper. 
The suite comprises of a comfortable lounge, a spacious bedroom complete with a roll top bathtub, a separate bathroom with walk in shower and even a dressing room where I enjoyed getting ready for dinner in the evening. 

There was a window seat in both the lounge and bedroom of The Fairfield Suite, where I loved curling up with a cup of coffee to watch the world go by during my stay. 

When I choose a hotel to stay at, I am always keen to find somewhere that I can enjoy a lovely night's sleep in a comfortable bed and Rothay Manor certainly delivers on this front, with a huge bed adorned with Egyptian cotton bedlinen and feather pillows. The only trouble was that I did not want to get out of bed in the morning and I enjoyed such a restful night's sleep. 

The design of the suite was so polished, with a blend of contemporary and traditional touches which worked effortlessly together and created such a welcoming ambience overall. 

The addition of a roll top bathtub was a welcome feature in the suite and it felt very decadent indeed to have a long soak in the bath after dinner. There were luxury bath & shower products awaiting me in the bathroom, which was another thoughtful touch - the attention to detail here is second to none and everything I needed was on hand during my stay. 

The views from the suite are truly spectacular and we were lucky when it came to the weather as we enjoyed plenty of sunshine during our stay and only a few showers, which anybody who is familiar with The Lake District will know is fairly rare for the area! 
This was the view from the window seat in the living room - what a beautiful vista and I found looking out on this to be very inspiring. 

After settling in to my suite, I ventured downstairs for a drink or two before I went back up to get ready for our dinner reservation. As you would expect from a hotel of this calibre, there is a well-stocked bar with a good selection of wines and spirits on offer and I chose a local Lake District gin & tonic made with Bedrock Gin, a distillery in Keswick. This is such an enjoyable gin and I ordered another glass once I had sipped away my first. 

No hotel stay is complete without checking out the dining options and at Rothay Manor guests can choose from the fine dining 3 AA Rosette restaurant led by Head Chef  Daniel McGeorge who went on to win Great British Menu recently. For more of a casual dining experience, there is also The Brathay Room which serves a menu of classic dishes and you can get cosy by the wood burning stove. We enjoyed fine dining during our stay and we were blown away by each course, from the initial snacks to the desserts. Naturally, the bread selection was a hit with me and it was a superb start to the meal to enjoy freshly baked crusty bread with local butter. 

The snacks were elegantly presented and they gave us even more of an appetite for what was to follow. 

A stunning heritage tomato dish was filled with zesty and vibrant flavours which conjured up the Mediterranean with every bite. 

A simple and elegant fish course showed off Daniel's skill for uncomplicated dishes which allow the quality of the produce to shine. 

Each dish was exquisitely plated, making it a feast for the eyes too and I was eager to see what each course would look like as it was set on the table. 

After our savoury courses, an equally irresistible dessert was presented to us and it seemed almost a pity to eat it since it looked so pretty, however I soon managed to devour it! It is easy to see why Daniel triumphed on Great British Menu and I wish him every success going forward. It was a pleasure to experience his cooking. 

After dinner, we retired back to our suite for coffee and homemade cookies which made the perfect way to round off the evening. 

The next morning I got up feeling thoroughly refreshed and headed downstairs for breakfast. We were treated to fresh fruit, granola, pastries and coffee and then we ordered another breakfast dish from the main menu to follow. 

I went for the vegetarian breakfast with sausage, crispy potatoes, scrambled eggs, fried bread, baked beans and of course extra toast on the side! This tasty and leisurely breakfast was the best way to start the day and a hotel breakfast is always one of my favourite parts of the stay. Before long, it was time to check out of Rothay Manor and explore some more of the surrounding area. The hotel is close to Loughrigg Fell for amazing walks and I also love to go to Grasmere when I am in the vicinity. 

Rothay Manor is a superb hotel and a great base for enjoying all The Lake District has to offer. The hospitality, accommodation and dining are all of an exemplary standard and I would recommend a stay here for anybody in need of getting away from it all for a while. 

It is worth making a note that Rothay Manor is also dog friendly, which is handy if you feel like bringing along your canine companion for an indulgent stay. A big thanks to the team there for making me so welcome during my stay, I look forward to visiting again in the future. 

Rothay Manor Hotel
LA22 0EH

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Rothay Manor and have you ever visited The Lake District? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time, 



*My stay at Rothay Manor was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.