I recently visited The Grand Pacific, a new restaurant in Manchester’s old financial district and the former home of the Reform Club. It was the last project of Living Venture’s Tim Beacon who snapped up the property as soon as he heard it was going to be up for sale and he worked with interior designer Michelle Derbyshire to bring his vision to life before he passed away last year. And it’s a fitting tribute because it’s probably one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve been to in Manchester.
The Grade II listed building has been lovingly adapted to house this spectacular homage to the historical colonial hotels of South East Asia. As soon as I walked in, I fell in love with it. Of course, as is normally the case when I am on an evening out, I only had my phone so apologies that the images aren’t quite as striking as I would have liked! I really need to remember to bring my ‘proper’ camera with me more often!
The Grand Pacific wows you from the start with a stunning door, promising the visit will be a special one. Up a staircase lined in House of Hackney’s Palmera in Midnight wallpaper (which I failed to get a picture of in my excitement), you’ll notice the repeating motifs of palm leaves and golden pineapples. As you get to the top of the grand staircase, hanging high above you, are golden birdcages lighting the way with foliage and peacocks – it’s as grand an entrance as any.
Upstairs is a small seating area with high back chairs and then you’re through to the main event. The 25-seat bar area is the main showstopper here but there is something beautiful to see at every turn. The glorious wood floors and pitch pine ceilings, stone fireplace, arched windows overlooking Manchester, enormous urns and huge palms create such a wonderful juxtaposition.
The inspiration for the look was the historic colonial Raffles Hotel in Singapore with luxurious finishes, dark wood and tropical accents throughout.
The staff is friendly and attentive at every turn and as we were a little early for our reservations, we decided to have a couple of drinks at the bar. The cocktails are simply beautiful to look at as well as taste. Wayne got a smokey whiskey-based Old Fashioned (complete with smoke) and I tried the deliciously fruity ‘Peacock’ which was gorgeous and looked so good, I actually felt guilty drinking it because I didn’t want to ruin its prettiness.
In the restaurant area, beyond the enormous cut crystal screen, the GP logo is a subtly repeating motif with pale wicker seating set against dark wood tables with marble insets and brass detailing.
Even the bathrooms were totally Instagram-worthy (and indeed I shared a lot on my stories!) with their black glossy herringbone tiles, Asian style black lacquer mirrors and gold hardware.
Of course, I know I’m just here to talk interiors with you guys but I must say the Pan-Asian cuisine was absolutely top-notch as well. We both totally enjoyed our meals and for 3 courses and drinks for the two of us, the bill was £80 which I thought was incredibly reasonable.
I felt totally inspired when we left and wanted to recreate a little of that Grand Pacific look in a bedroom. This is how I interpreted the style using items you can purchase online! What do you think?
House of Hackney Palmera Wallpaper / Four Poster Bed by Maisons du Monde / Asian-style bedside tables / Pineapple Lamps / Dar Atticus Palm leaf chandelier / Peacock chair / Faux Banana Tree by Abigail Ahern / Faux Taxidermy Peacock / Black Tallboy / Gold Decorative Birdcages / Teak Herringbone Wood Floors
I had so much fun creating that space and now I’m thinking I might need to get a faux peacock and some birdcages going somewhere in my house.
So, tell me, what do you think of the Grand Pacific? Have you visited yourself? Would you want to have a little of this Colonial South East Asian-inspired look in your own home?