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31st October 2019

An Ode To Hospitality: Hawksmoor is Heaven

Food Editor Elena Bradley presents an Ode To Hospitality by taking you on a walk-through of one of Manchester’s most loved restaurants, Hawksmoor
An Ode To Hospitality: Hawksmoor is Heaven
Hawksmoor Manchester (Photo: Elena Bradley)

The Hawksmoor brand is one built on word-of-mouth success. Following the opening of their initial London Spitalfields site in 2006, the traction allowed Hawksmoor to expand with 5 London locations, one Edinburgh and one Manchester site. If you love food, the hospitality industry or luxury living in general, Hawksmoor is a company you need to be aware of.

The genius pair behind the vision, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, have not had the easiest road to success. Speaking out on their tumultuous journey to Hawksmoor’s glory, the pair encountered numerous failed business ventures and unsuccessful London restaurants. Having gotten to their final business straw, the men relied on the remortgaging money from their parents when the banks refused to give them yet another loan. Luckily for the pair, and foodies alike, they struck success with Hawksmoor.

The company has won numerous awards, with the most recent being The Best Front of House Team in the Manchester Food and Drink Awards 2019. Other accolades include being ranked three star in the Sunday Times Best Companies for eight consecutive years, in 2014 winning the award for Best Restaurant Company to Work For. Hawksmoor, on top of these service and food quality awards, have also been praised for their dedication to eco-friendly measures, gaining a three star Sustainable Restaurant Association award as well as being involved in a variety of charity projects (predominantly for Action Against Hunger, for which Hawksmoor has raised/donated over £1m).

The brand itself is built on the philosophy of luxury. This luxury is provided through exceptionally high standards of food, drink and backdrop but paired, refreshingly, with casual service. The owners wanted to dispel the ‘stuffiness’ that usually comes with fine dining, which is something that the hospitality industry is in great need of.  This business model has, in part, contributed to their major success, as they bridge the gap between incredible food and the desire to enjoy it comfortably.

The Manchester site does not depart from this vision of decadence. When renovating and restoring the Deansgate Victorian Courthouse, the company spent thousands on ivy-green leather chairs, dark wood flooring and holophane-lamp light fittings –creating the perfect vintage backdrop for the 150-cover restaurant.

In terms of food, Hawksmoor is predominantly a steak-house, offering eight different kinds of steak from the humble, yet umami, rump to the sexy Chateaubriand sharing cut. The steaks are priced by weight and can be enjoyed with 14 different sides and 5 sauces, some of the most delicious being the Anchovy Hollandaise and the short-rib macaroni. The menu doesn’t shy away from gluttony nor flavour, with Hawksmoor supporting the marmites of this world: anchovies, bone marrow, blue cheese and oysters.

While Hawksmoor has been open in Manchester for four years, this praising piece of press is necessary in spreading the word to all keen foodies. Hawksmoor will set you back a small mortgage, but for special occasions or those of you who have code-app (a hospitality exclusive app that gives you 50% off food on Sundays and Mondays) – you need to visit.

The table service is polished, knowledgeable, memorable, yet casual. The staff are allowed to look and dress in their own style which is something I cannot praise enough, having worked in so many ‘stuffy’ fine-dining business models where individuality is stifled.

Overall, this ode to hospitality cannot recommend Hawksmoor enough. It’s heaven on Deansgate and you NEED to go.

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