The latest addition and the seventh hotel in the Hastings Hotels’ portfolio, Northern Ireland’s finest collection of hotels, is the  Grand Central Hotel in Belfast.

Having opened just at the start of July, guests are already enjoying a range of dining options created from the finest local produce by the hotel’s Executive Head Chef, Damian Tumilty, and his team.

Damian Tumilty, Executive Head Chef

With over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Damian Tumilty’s outstanding flair for food will guarantee the perfect fine dining experience at The Grand Central. Having previously prepared high quality, French-influenced food at Shu Restaurant and traditional baked delicacies at French Village in Belfast, his background favours great taste and attention to detail. Outside of the kitchen, Damian further spreads his passion and enthusiasm for food as part-time lecturer in Professional Cookery and has an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts in conjunction with Thames Valley University.

Damian is responsible for the creation of all menus in the three hotel eateries as well as leading the hotel’s culinary teams. Damian comments on the restaurants’ exciting opening, “With a hugely talented and experienced team behind me, our main mantra is to serve only the best seasonal ingredients and combination of flavours to our guests and the public. Our menus have been compiled with this in mind and we are delighted to have finally opened.”

The Grand Central offers three exquisite dining settings include the Seahorse Restaurant, Grand Café and the Observatory.

The Seahorse Bar and Restaurant

The Seahorse Bar and Restaurant on the first floor of the hotel is a wonderfully luxurious and light flooded space.  The bar offers a fabulous array of drinks, cocktails and the finest wines and guests can enjoy taking in the views of bustling Bedford street below, whilst Afternoon Tea is served in the Lounge and features all the classics with a local Irish twist. A selection of lounge food and smaller plates are also available throughout the day, perfect for a light lunch or sharing platters with friends.  Highlights include wonderful buttermilk scampi or smoked Irish salmon salad, as well as wonderful sweet treats and desserts. The signature roast Irish beef sandwich, filled with Hannan’s salt aged sirloin with a tarragon emulsion, shallots and cress is not to be missed!

For evening dining, the Seahorse Restaurant offers delicious A la Carte menus with an array of culinary delights; including the signature beef wellington to share, rump of Mourne lamb, slow cooked blade of Northern Irish beef or salt aged Glenarm sirloin steak.  Guests can end their meal on a sweet note with a choice of delightful desserts, such as the lemon & elderflower posset or salted caramel chocolate torte with ginger ice cream and bourbon butterscotch sauce – or even a special after dinner chocolate & espresso martini cocktail for the perfect end to your evening.

The Grand Café

The Grand Café on the ground floor has a very cosmopolitan atmosphere and offers a range of contemporary cuisine in a more informal setting. The Café is popular with both hotel guests and locals to come in and enjoy breakfast, brunch or the all-day menu with a range of “to go” options for local customers and business people.

The breakfast options in the Grand Café feature tasty dishes including eggs Benedict, a delicious Croque-monsieur or healthy chia bowl and a host of signature specials, such as buttermilk waffles with sweet cure pork belly. The fabulous all-day menu, with options such as an antipasto platter to share, fish finger sandwiches, spaghetti with locally caught prawns or a slow cooked beef brisket sandwich, is also sure to tempt anyone’s taste buds. A pre-theatre menu available 5-7pm daily is also served at the Grand Café, with creative dinner choices like the ‘Korean style’ crispy chicken wings starter or a deliciously simple and locally sourced Irish beef burger with smoked Irish cheese.

Observatory, photo courtesy of Grand Central Hotel Belfast

The Observatory

The Pièce de Résistance at the Grand Central is the Observatory on the 23rd floor of the hotel. As Ireland’s highest bar and most celestial of liquor lounges, it is here that guests are able to sit and marvel over never-seen-before views of Belfast and beyond.  Visitors to the bar can take in the magnificent views, pour over the dazzling menu and savour the most masterful mixology creations in Belfast’s most memorable sky bar. The ceremony of Afternoon Tea is also enchanting in The Observatory, and their array of the finest teas, crafted coffees and deliciously designed and handcrafted nibbles ­– make this Afternoon Tea nirvana.

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