River Room at the Lowry Hotel
As the only five-star hotel in Manchester’s trendy northern quarter, expectations are high at The Lowry's Riverside Restaurant. Thankfully, it doesn't dissapoint. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer up a cityscape of the quirky, colourful buildings that have contributed much to Manchester's cool factor in the last 20 years, with the terrace overlooking the River Irwell making a great summer suntrap. The menu is contemporary British, with good-quality local produce well represented. Lancashire ham hock with piccalilli proves a delicious start, while crustacea from Morecambe and Whitby Bay is well presented and perfectly dressed. Plenty of steak is offered up for main – five cuts in all – served with a simple béarnaise sauce, while grilled halibut and Dover sole with hollandaise make pleasing alternatives. Service is attentive but not overly formal and the wine list – as you’d expect from a hotel of such stature – pays homage to the world’s top regions and producers with prices to match.