Review: Jennifer O’Shea
Hotel Indigo has a chic, boutique vibe and is located right in the heart of the city. The bar is decked out with leather sofas and plush velvet chairs dressed with oversized cushions for a comfy, cosy, yet opulent feel. On an evening the low lighting and flickering candles make this a super date night location.
Hotel Indigo also houses destination restaurant The Forge, the latest addition from restaurateur and chef Mike Robinson, a place where dining is described as an experience. Focusing on British produce and iconic dry-aged beef, here you can hand-pick your own premium cuts of steak. The Forge has stellar reviews across the board, and a team that has seen the restaurant ranking race to the top in a mere months from first opening, thanks to management duo Mari and Jack.
The 75 bedrooms cover 3 themes, all of which celebrate Chester’s rich heritage; the iconic Eastgate Clock (built for Queen Victoria), the pretty timbered architecture, and the famous racecourse, the oldest in the UK and dates back to the 1500’s.
BEDROOM FEATURES: HYPNOS BEDS | NSPRESSO MACHINE | FLATSCREEN TV WITH CHROMECAST | AIR CONDITIONING | MINI BAR | MONSOON SHOWER | MOLTON BROWN TOILETRIES
The standard rooms are compact but still luxe and cosy. The deluxe rooms have more space. We stayed in the Eastgate Clock inspired, deluxe balcony room, which had a fantastically large roof top balcony with city views. Extra Molton Brown toiletries and robes and slippers are also provided.
If you are looking to make your stay extra special, you can opt for the Grosvenor Suite which is the top floor corner suite, boasting a wrap round roof top balcony offering views of Grosvenor Park. There is a four poster Hypnos bed, seating area and separate bath and monsoon shower.
All rooms have spa-inspired bathrooms with Molton Brown toiletries, dual rainfall and monsoon showers, Chromecast TV, Hypnos king size beds and Nespresso machines.
The Forge is the latest venture from renowned restaurateur and chef Mike Robinson and is fast becoming one of Chester’s best destination restaurants. Specialising in dry-aged beef, wild venison, and sustainably sourced fish, with simple, British ingredients. The open kitchen allows Head Chef, Mike Peters, to show off his skills and you can see beef and wild venison cooked over oak and beech logs.
After pre-dinner drinks in the bar, we were seated at one of the crescent shaped booths in the restaurant, these are the best tables in the house so a request for these on booking is recommended.
Throughout the day several members of staff recommended the Scotch eggs so by the time it came round to dinner, we had to try. There was a lot of hype, and we were not disappointed – they were delicious.
One of the key experiences offered at The Forge is being able to choose your own cut of beef from the maturation cabinet which is displayed in the restaurant. Prior to ordering, our waiter took us over to the cabinet and explained all the variations of cuts and sizes.
For starter I had the Isle of Man scallop (baked in the flames) with dashi, sea herbs, apple and roe. The scallop came presented in the shell and the accompanying broth was poured by the waiter at the table for a touch of theatre. I’m a big scallop fan and this was a dish jam-packed with flavour and the scallops cooked to perfection. My partner had the whipped chicken livers (sourced from Caldecott Farm in Worcestershire) with tangerine, salted oats & toasted brioche. An incredibly moreish dish, which only needed a tad more brioche!
For main we had to try the dry-aged beef (this is a sharing main) which we hand-picked from the maturation cabinet. We opted for a piece of on-the-bone Sirloin at 900g. The only issue with a sharing steak is that I like my steak medium-rare and my partner likes his rare. I feel it is sacrilege to be made to have a great steak cooked more ‘over’ than you’d like, so I compromised on my preference, and we went for the rare option. However, after ordering I was then worried it was going to be bloody and that I’d hate it! When the fantastic piece of Sirloin arrived, it was indeed rare but not bloody – it was so well cooked, we both thought it was perfection. To please two people with one steak is a bit of an ask, but Mike Peters got it so right. The only thing I’d say is that 900g was a bit on the small side for sharing between us and if ordering again I’d go up a notch on weight. To complement this fantastic cut of beef we had to pair it with a fully deserving red wine. Our waited recommended an Argentinian Malbec – which was the perfect medium-bodied, rich, fruity accompaniment.
For dessert we had a warming Tarte Tatin and fluffy chocolate orange souffle, before heading back into the luxe yet cosy bar for a few after dinner drinks.
This is the second time we have stayed at Hotel Indigo in Chester and it is one of our favourite hotels. The staff are warm and welcoming, and the ethos of the restaurant ensures staff are not regimented, but personable, everyone is encouraged to be individual. It shows, the service is very professional, knowledgeable, and slick, yet with all the feel of your local neighbourhood haunt.
Hotel Indigo Chester, Grosvenor Park Road, Chester, CH1 1QQ,
Parking – the hotel has an affiliation with NCP Pepper Street, £12.00 for 24 hours instead of £20.00 Residents pay with the hotel for the parking to get the reduced rate.
Room rates from £119.
For more information about Hotel Indigo Chester please visit https://chester.hotelindigo.com/