Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Great Victoria Hotel - Bradford

The Great Victoria Hotel is often overlooked by those who stream in and out Bradford each day. If only commuters and visitors looked up from their busy worlds for a second they would see this great historic building before them. In 1867 The Great Victoria Hotel came to life during Bradford's growth spurt which saw the tiny town grow in to a city, with the industrial revolution in tow. It was also around the same time that Sir Titus Salt was building his model village not so far away in Saltaire.

The Great Victoria Hotel is situated next to Bradford Interchange which makes it a top spot for people to stay who are spending the night, either for business or for pleasure and want something more than your run of the mill Premier Inn.

The Great Victoria Hotel invited me (and D) to try out their evening menu and to be honest I had never thought once about eating here, or admittedly noticed it myself when walking past, despite it's grand fa├žade.

We visited mid week after work and joined a packed train full of commuters from Leeds. When we arrived I certainly had the feeling that the Victoria was a great and historical hotel, the windows and doorways were large, there were chandeliers hanging from the high ceilings. The reception was rather quiet, with just one receptionist who was on the phone when we arrived, we needed a little help with being pointed in the right direction to their restaurant and loitered for a while until the phone call had ended, we saw no one else during this time. 

We walked through to the restaurant which was part bar but with a separate dining space. There were a few people dotted around on laptops staring avidly at their screens whilst shovelling pasta in to their mouths. 

We were greeted by a very friendly and chirpy waitress who served us throughout the night, she was always available and checked all our needs were met throughout the meal.

The menu here is exhaustive, it's range is vast, from Italian to Indian, from British to American. I was so overwhelmed by the choice I decided to bypass starters and stick to mains and a dessert.

For mains I ordered the bangers and mash (under the home comforts section) which came with a Cumberland swirl sausage on mustard mash with caramelised red onion and onion (?) gravy.

There was very little taste in the sausage, it was definitely missing the spices and herbs I am used to finding in my Cumberlands. The mash was good, there was a hint of mustard but not too much and the gravy went well although I struggled to pick out the two types of onion.

D ordered the pie of the day (also under the home comforts section), on this day it was Steak and Saltaire Brewery ale pie, served with thick cut chips, mushy peas and gravy.

The pie was okay, the pastry wasn't as fresh and crisp as those at Pieminister, the chips were hit and miss with some barely cooked in the middle. The peas had a metallic taste to them and I didn't like them at all.

Despite a mediocre main we were still determined to try dessert. The dessert menu is small with a few pub favourites. 

D predictably chose the Eton mess but was disappointed with the lack of ice cream and the, what appeared to be, tinned fruit. 

I chose the sticky toffee pudding and I couldn't fault it. It was hot but not too hot, sweet but not overly so, the pudding was moist and the honeycomb and vanilla ice cream paired perfectly with a dead on ratio of sponge to ice cream. 

I can't fault the staff, they were brilliant, really accommodating and extremely friendly. There is improvement to be made with the food if they're hoping to bring in customers that aren't staying at the hotel. 

We were the only table with more than one person seated, everyone else was a single diner away on business (I suspect). I applaud them for using local suppliers such as Saltaire Brewery and for trying to cover all bases, it's just with regret that I write the comments above about the food. 

The Great Victoria Hotel
Bridge Street

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