Adam Reid at The French

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Adam Reid at The French

Silver Award

Simon Rogan is long gone, but his protégé Adam Reid continues to turn heads at this flagship restaurant within Manchester’s vintage Midland Hotel. Though the grand dining room’s opulent decor hasn’t changed, eating here feels less formal than before – but no less impressive, with Reid stamping his own distinctive mark on proceedings. All cooking is labelled as modern British, which really can mean anything these days.

We’ve had our share of thrilling encounters here – from seared scallop with trout roe and roasted onion broth to a superbly executed dish of salt-aged duck with vivid purple beetroot and pickled elderberries. Other standouts have a noticeable North Country accent – think nibbles of dripping toast with grated tongue or a Lancashire ‘tasty’ cheese and onion pie with lovage and eel, as well as a meat-free combo of ‘tater ash’ with mushroom ‘catsup’, bread and butter. To finish, rhubarb jelly with ginger malt ice cream is one option, but don’t miss Reid’s ‘Golden Empire’ dessert – an award-winner from his Great British Menu 2016, consisting of a golden candy apple adorned with hazelnut crumble and meadowsweet custard.

In line with Adam’s desire to make his food more accessible there are a number of menu options to choose from, including four- and nine-course tasting menus, as well as a Great British Menu themed one. Although with the cheapest at £65 per person for four courses it is perhaps only accessible in terms of menu choice, but with the level of cooking offered up we think it is worth the price tag every time.

Meanwhile, spot-on service with a friendly and efficient edge ensures a stunning gastronomic experience without any fine-dining stuffiness. Because of its city-centre location this is a great one to add to your list when visiting for a day of shopping or shows, and is equally as pleasant at lunch or dinner time.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions


The French is located within the Grade II-listed Midland Hotel in Manchester, run by award winning head chef Adam Reid, who has been the recipient of 4 AA Rosettes and is a one-time winner of BBC’s Great British Menu competition. The French is a popular restaurant, well known and respected in Manchester for quality service and fine, locally sourced produce. 

The restaurant itself is a grand, opulent affair that does justice to the Midland Hotel's history. The dining room has been thoughtfully restored, so it retains the period charm of the Victorian building but still feels contemporary and comfortable, without being overly formal. As such, there is a smart casual dress code.

The French serves seasonal, modern British food, with an emphasis on proper sourcing and provenance. Often that means Reid and team will source locally, but The French places quality above all else. The menu itself has a north-westerly accent, taking inspiration from Reid's background and upbringing in Manchester - there's 'a warm Northern welcome' of bread, butter and broth, an amuse bouche of fish pie, then 'Yesterday's Dinner' of cold cuts, crackers and pickles. Mains include dishes like scallops with turnips, and Cumbrian shorthorn loin cooked in its own fat, with swede, seaweed and fish eggs, whilst desserts are also heavily Brit-inspired and include baked English custard with Yorkshire rhubarb, British cheeses, and the French's famous tipsy cake with whipped cream and cold tea.

There is a menu of paired wines and matching drinks to accompany your meal, you will find a broad selection of wines available, plus sparkling wines and champagne.


Does the restaurant cater for dietary requirements?

The restaurant is able to change each of our menus to suit your dietary needs, but ask that you advise them at the time of the booking.

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What is the dress code?

The dress code is smart casual.

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Adam Reid at The French is featured in


The Midland Hotel, 16 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2DS

0161 235 4780 0161 235 4780


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-13:00
Sat 12:00-13:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-20:30
Thu 18:00-20:30
Fri 17:00-21:30
Sat 17:00-21:30
Sun Closed


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2 Reviews 

Linda W

10 April 2019  
This restaurant is often listed as Manchester's best hope for a Michelin starred restaurant. If the is the case unfortunately I think the city will need to wait a very long time. The food was unexciting, the service hapless and I was starving after a 4/5 course dinner.

Paul A

09 October 2018  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 4
Praiseworthy dining experience
From the start everything about this restaurant made a statement about enjoying the experience, from the relaxed staff to the chance to talk to one of the chefs preparing desserts just near us and to the chef popping over to our table as he returned to the kitchen each time he had performed his duties outside for the Manchester foodie event in the hotel. The tiny list of half bottles was rather disappointing but we were persuaded to take the seven glass wine flight on the basis that they were supposed to be small glasses (some were, others weren’t) and the wines proved to be interesting and excellent matches for the food. The canapés were very convincing - lovely whipped cod’s roe with good squid ink crackers and a notable paprika powder sprinkle, and ‘tea and toast’ with a super, intense beefy broth and a dripping cream with a hint of horseradish running through it. The first starter was delicious fried oyster with very suitable buttermilk sauce, cauliflower and bacon and an accent of chives, and this was followed by tater ‘ash - the tiny diced potato and veg mixed with tasty raw sirloin and served with light brown bread and beef and onion butter, a surprising and comforting dish. A splendid piece of hake for the fish course had been poached to perfection in mushroom butter and this was well supported by a garlic-based green sauce with a parsley tang. We agreed to differ on the organic chicken which I found somewhat on the bland side and my wife thought was absolutely spot on with a generous flavour typical of good organic poultry, and there was a similar difference of opinion about the accompanying turnip, barley and corn mix. The Stichelton crumpet, however, brought murmurs of satisfaction from us both and the armagnac-soaked prunes went so well with the cheese we could have happily had it three times over. We were also bowled over by the aroma coming from the easy peeler dessert with its sea buckthorn cream, sugary skin and white chocolate leaf. And what a way to finish! An exceptional raspberry quenelle with equally good baked cream cheese and a touch of cinnamon. A really impressive introduction for us to fine dining in Manchester, and a venue we would hope to return to.
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0161 235 4780 0161 235 4780

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