Stock Exchange Hotel is Tom Kerridge’s first Manchester site.
“IT feels like coming home,” celebrity chef Tom Kerridge told eatnorth. “The minute I entered the city people were so warm and friendly. Not an ounce of negativity.”
Kerridge is bringing his brand north of Watford and into the grim North. The Michelin Star chef will oversee the food and drink offering at the Grade II listed Edwardian Stock Exchange Hotel in the heart of Manchester.
An avid Manchester United fan; the Marlow-based Kerridge owns The Hand & Flowers restaurant, The Coach pub and Butcher’s Tap in the quaint town of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and Kerridge’s in Corinthia Hotel, London.
He has fond childhood memories travelling to Manchester from his birthplace of Gloucestershire, to watch the reds. His wife, sculptor, Beth Cullen-Kerridge’s parents live in Staffordshire, not a million miles away.
“I want to bring a bit of Marlow up north,” he says.
He has partnered with GG Hospitality, co-owned by former Manchester United football legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.
The five star Stock Exchange Hotel on Norfolk Street is all set to open on 15 November 2019. It will house 40 luxurious rooms, two signature suites and a stunning 3,500 sq. ft. penthouse with views across the city.
The food and drink offering(s) will take place in the Bull & Bear restaurant, housed in the domed former Stock Exchange floor; The Bank, complete with a wine cellar and The Vault, perfect for event parties.
“Private dining, guests can watch us cook or cook with us.”
It is one of Manchester’s most eagerly anticipated openings. It has already been accepted as a member of Relais & Châteaux – the prestigious membership-only association of landmark hotels and restaurants operated by independent innkeepers, chefs and owners.
“It is an honour to be accepted into Relais & Chateaux. It is a privilege,” says Gary Neville.
“They have the confidence to allow us to be part of their membership before we have even completed the refurbishment. You normally have to be open two-three years before you can be accepted.”
For Kerridge, the partnership with the former footballers, almost feels like fate. It all began with a Twitter direct message from Neville.
“I immediately phoned northern chefs Simon Rimmer (Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch) and Gary Usher, (Wreckfish, Hispi, Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle) and, was told to ‘definitely come and join the party.’
“The Manchester food and drink scene is thriving. It is a good time to be in the north,” says Kerridge.
Giggs and Neville bought the dilapidating historic building with hotelier Winston Zahra 6-7 years ago. It has been a labour of love since. Neville looked tired but not defeated at the preview of the hotel on Monday (7 September 2019). There was still a lot of work to do.
They had partnered with chefs before in restaurants and got their fingers burnt. “Never again,” uttered Neville. The hotel venture offers a hint of security.
His passion for the Grade II listed Edwardian building was obvious. The footballers invest heavily in Manchester showing the same dedication as sticking with one club throughout their football careers. This venture was about keeping an important Mancunian history alive.
And the restaurant name, Bull & Bear reflects just that: the old Northern Stock Exchange witnessed the ups and downs of bull and bear markets. The bull represents a rise in the market with the upward motion of the bull’s horns and the bear a dip in the market with the downward swipe of the bear’s paw.
The menus and beer mats will be illustrated with hand-drawn sketches of the people who make The Bull & Bear special – suppliers, chefs, servers and punters.
Kerridge is a TV celebrity Michelin Star chef. He presented Bake Off: Crème de la Crème (2016) and has his own series BBC How to Lose Weight for Good, Food and Drink and Top of the Shop.
As a restaurateur his humility shines through: he has a dedicated team, with many having been there from the beginning. 14 years.
His executive chef Dan Scott will ultimately run the food offering with Kerridge. “Chefs need to have a purpose/meaning to get up in the morning,” he says. “Dan will have the passion for this place.
“Our goal is to be somewhere that people feel welcome and looked after. This hotel is going to be stunning and it’s a brilliant setting for our first Manchester site.”
The food will be his signature British comfort and classics using incredible produce sourced from North to South.
Mancunians are in for a taste of The Coach. The menu will be divided into three stages: first, second and third, with the team recommending four to five plates per person.
The Coach favourites – Mushroom Risotto Claude Bosi, The Coach Burger with Smoked Brisket and Dill Pickle and Chicken Kiev with Cauliflower Cheese – will make it past Watford.
Other delights include Rotisserie Beetroot Salad with Feta and Mint; Venison Chilli with Toasted Rice Cream, Red Wine and Chocolate and Whisky and Rye Pudding.
Crispy Pigs Head
“People may wait a year to get a table at Michelin Star The Hand & Flower whereas The Coach is a non-bookable space. I want the food at the Stock Exchange to be accessible to everybody, for people to just be able to turn up.”
The restaurant on the trading floor has elegant green curved banquettes and comfortable leather armchairs to compliment the dome. The palette is a warm and earthy green and gold, with the latter nodding to the Manchester Bee dating back to the industrial revolution of the 19th Century.
The Hand & Flowers, bar manager Antony Peart has designed a drinks menu of cocktails that celebrate British distilleries, alongside a selection of local beers and non-alcoholic options. Manchester’s local brewing scene is of course included but also beer from Rebellion, a Marlow-based brewery.
The heritage of this building has been 100 per cent retained.