Two-Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan has partnered with QHotels to take over the management of two restaurants in the group’s Manchester property, The Midland Hotel.
Rogan will oversee The French fine-dining restaurant and a larger bar and dining room currently named The Colony. The move coincides with a £400k investment by QHotels into The Midland Hotel’s F&B offerings, which will see both venues now revamped to offer Rogan’s L’Enclume-style of cuisine.
“Since getting the second Michelin star at L’Enclume, we’ve had numerous UK-wide opportunities for our next big restaurant site,” said Rogan. “I have always loved Manchester – it’s like being in London but on a smaller scale.
“It’s trendy and dynamic, but very accessible and friendly. Overall, the Manchester dining scene has been quite casual and bar-driven, but this is a great opportunity to set the trend for luxury dining and the city is definitely ready for it.
“There is a huge affection for The Midland Hotel in Manchester and I want to help bring its restaurants back to their former glory. It’s a wonderful challenge.”
With L’Enclume also achieving a full 10 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide earlier this year, Rogan will continue to be based in Cumbria but emphasises that Manchester is close enough to Cartmel for him to have a major input into the restaurants at The Midland Hotel.
QHotels’ managing director Michael Purtill said: “Since The Midland opened its doors in 1903, food has very much been top of the agenda. Simon is a culinary genius and we’re really proud to be associated with one of the UK’s finest chefs.
“This partnership marks a new chapter for the hotel, in particular The French; in modernising our offering within the city. The Midland is already renowned for its fine-dining experience, but this partnership is about offering our guests an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in Manchester.”
The Midland Hotel’s general manager Mike Magrane added: “The next few months are going to be a very exciting time for us. We’ve always been extremely proud of our food offering here, but working with someone so highly regarded as Simon Rogan is yet again giving us that edge which people will struggle to find elsewhere in the city.”
The 50-cover fine-dining restaurant The French will close in January and reopen in late February following a major refurbishment which will be respectful of the site’s Grade II-listed status. The restaurant will offer British-only produce and ingredients.
Meanwhile the second, larger restaurant will seat approximately 150 and will be more informal, casual and contemporary. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will have the same Rogan style but will not be restricted to UK dishes.
Rogan is currently assembling his own chef brigade to work alongside the existing team at The Midland Hotel. The restaurateur also recently took over his local pub - The Pig & Whistle in Cartmel - which is located within walking distance of his flagship restaurant L'Enclume and sister venue Rogan & Company.