A SPANKING Roger? There’s always a first time. And before you get the wrong idea about the Doubletree by Hilton, it’s a signature cocktail at the hotel’s new ground floor restaurant and bar, Store Street Exchange and Store Street Craft Bar, which open to the public on Friday, September 29.
This self-styled ‘social den’ is inspired by Manchester’s industrial background, as well as its forward thinking, inventive identity, and is serving up uncomplicated, hearty food and drink from breakfast through to dinner.
A cousin of the Bloody Mary, the Spanking Roger, could easily feature as a breakfast wake-up call (let’s think hungover?), brunch companion or late night shot in the arm. It’s a mix of Absolout Peppar vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco, chimichurri sauce, thyme, bayleaves, rosemary, bay leaves, fresh chiilies and bitters. For £9.75 it’s a chewy treat.
The back story of its name is, as you might gather, rooted in the local area’s history. Store Street was a previous name of Piccadilly Station, the land for which back in the 18th century belonged to one of the wealthiest folk in the North West, Barbara Minshull, who married a man almost 40 years younger. You guessed it, dashing bounder Roger Aytoun squandered her fortune on the usual stuff.
So obsessed was he with raising an army regiment he recruited via pub brawls, his losing opponents being conscripted. Hence the ‘Spanking Roger’ ephiphet. We’ll leave the story of fellow cocktail, ‘Teddy Wells The Fighting Pooch’, for another time!
Beer is also a major focus. Store is placing great store (sic) on the Craft Bar, a slight misnomer alewise since JW Lees is their contracted draught supplier – playing safe with a traditional family brewer rather than the city’s innovative young tyros.
Following neighbour hotels Malmaison and Abode, Doubletree by Hilton have had a major rethink about their restaurant offering with a new emphasis on more casual, rotisserie-led fare.
Regionality is trumpeted at Store Street Exchange. Corn-fed Goosnargh chickens, courtesy of the iconic, Lancashire-based Johnson and Swarbrick are cooked on the rotisserie all day, every day and available as full and half birds.
Meat comes from premium butchers, Aubrey Allen and the range on offer includes rump fillet, rib-eye, sirloin, Barnsley Chop and a Store Street Beef Burger. A beef rump and a Moroccan shoulder of lamb will also be roasted on the rotisserie.
Sides are chosen to complement the grill range – portobello mushroom fries (served with Harrogate Blue Dip); rotisserie potatoes cooked with bone marrow; tiger fries; creamy mash and roast garlic gravy and charred corn on the cob with lime and paprika butter.
Vegetarians and pescetarians can pick from potato gnocchi and wild mushrooms, Moroccan roasted cauliflower, mussels in local cider and responsibly sourced, seasonal fish sourced from Neve Seafood.
Store Street Craft Bar and Store Street Exchange, Doubletree by Hilton, 1 AuburnStreet, Manchester M1 3DG.