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Food & beverage


After a string of setbacks caused by the pandemic, the Carlton Tower is keen to reopen its doors.


“I think that it’s linked to the way that hotel groups recently understood the fact that food and beverage is no longer just a commodity,” Simon says. “So, in order to differentiate [the hotel] from the other successful standalone restaurants in a city you need to introduce new innovative ways of thinking and break some boundaries.” Veganism and plant-based eating is another trend that has caught Simon’s attention, although he has no desire to embrace the lifestyle himself. Even five years ago many hotel menus, particularly in Europe, were almost entirely comprised of fish and meat dishes, but plant-based food and drink is now something all successful hospitality enterprises need to cater for. Luxury operators are increasingly preparing these dishes with just as much panache and style as their more traditional offerings.


“In order to differentiate [the hotel] from the other successful standalone restaurants in a city you need to introduce new innovative ways of thinking and break some boundaries.”


The Dorchester’s newly renovated Grill restaurant has a variety of vegan offerings, pushed in part by chef Tom Booton. At the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, chef Raymond Blanc has introduced five and seven- course vegan tasting menus.


Even Parisian hotels long renowned for their stubborn adherence to steak tartare and beef bourguignon are waking up to the benefits of catering to restricted palates.


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“[Veganism] is definitely growing in popularity, we have seen it here in the UK and in other parts of the world it’s also on the rise. So, we’re definitely sensitive to that,” Simon says, explaining that the menus at the Carlton have specially formulated vegan dishes. Many use tempeh, a soy-based product similar to tofu, as a substitute for traditional meat options. With the Carlton currently set for a summer opening, the challenge of launching and maintaining a successful hotel food and beverage opening in “one of the most competitive cities in the world” is not lost on Simon. After all, even in the luxury segment, London will see a slew of high-class hotels open in 2021, including Nobu Portman Square and NoMad, based in the Bow Street Magistrates Court, which boasts renowned chef Abram Bissell. Meanwhile, the Dorchester and Claridge’s continue to provide old-fashioned competition in the form of reliable British classics – and then of course there’s the Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square with a menu devised by Michelin star-winner Anne Sophie-Pic. After a series of delays caused by successive national lockdowns, however, Simon is simply eager to get going and showcase the culinary experience he and his team have been planning. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to continue working on this unique project throughout the last year, and to be able to rebuild the Carlton Tower,” he says. “We are very excited to reopen soon in June, and I believe that people will be eager to travel again and to enjoy hospitality, once it’s possible. We are really impatient to reopen our doors and showcase what we’ve been preparing for.” ●


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


The Carlton Tower

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