Since consolidating and dove-tailing its fine-dining restaurant and brasserie, the smart-casual London Carriage Works feels like a more focused operation. Situated within the Hope Street Hotel in central Liverpool, the 19th-Century building was once the warehouse of a coach and carriage builders – a fact that’s clearly influenced the décor. The restaurant’s pared-back interior has an easy-going, contemporary feel with its sweeping glass frontage, exposed brickwork, chunky oak flooring and well-spaced tables.
This resolutely understated approach carries through to the pleasant but laid-back service and the modern British menus. Well-judged dishes on the evening might range from pork terrine with toffee apple, celeriac remoulade and pork scratchings to duck breast with confit leg pastille, pak choi, daikon, plum and soy or a rich black onion seed gnocchi. Otherwise, sharing platters from the garden, sea and land, along with cheeseboards, suit lighter appetites.
The team at The London Carriage Works is dedicated to sourcing fresh, seasonal and local ingredients wherever possible. The variety of the farm produce in the North West and the freshness of the seafood help to inspire the menus, so whichever dish you choose, it’s sure to be interesting and seasonal.
The London Carriage Works also serves breakfast, which is open to everyone, not just hotel guests. Diners can help themselves to a continental buffet before choosing from a list of classic breakfast dishes, including a ‘Liverpool Breakfast’ (which can also be made vegetarian), eggs any style, and organic granola. Both the prix fixe lunch and early evening menu, and the Sunday roast menus offer good value, with three courses for under £30, as does the afternoon tea menu, which is just £17.50 per person and can be made gluten-free or vegan.
In all, this is a confident operation and prices are very reasonable for this level of cooking. The spacious room works well for larger groups.