Having been invited as VIP guests to the Extreme Sailing Series™ Cardiff, Papapreneur organised a luxury staycation in the Presidential Suite at Hilton Cardiff with decadent dining at the hotel’s Grey restaurant overseen by Head Chef Mark Freeman.
Hilton Cardiff is an upscale hotel in Cardiff city centre offering luxury spa and fitness facilities, spacious bedrooms and a contemporary restaurant and lounge bar. The hotel has recently won two environmental awards, in December 2016 it was named the best performing Hilton hotel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for utility costs reduction, overcoming strong competition from more than 280 other Hilton hotels and was also awarded a Green Tourism Award for its commitment to waste reduction and reduced energy consumption.
The Hilton brand is dedicated to fundraising for good causes through the Hilton Foundation. The Cardiff hotel has selected several local charities to raise money for each year. The hotel is continually investing in the property with approximately £2 million reinvested over the last three years. This has included renovations of bedrooms, executive lounges and meeting rooms to ensure a luxurious experience for guests. As part of our stay, we enjoyed access to the LivingWell Health Club and newly refurbished gym and swimming pool.
The reinvestment programme also included the launch of the new Grey restaurant offering local and British classics. After enjoying the sites and sounds of Cardiff, we were looking forward to dining at Grey before retiring to the luxurious comfort of our Presidential Suite with uninterrupted views of Cardiff Castle grounds and Cardiff University.
Having launched in September 2016, Grey, though part of the Hilton site, is a restaurant brand unique to Cardiff. Other Hilton hotels offer in-house restaurants, but Grey has worked hard to establish itself as a standalone top restaurant for local diners in Cardiff as well as the hotel’s guests.
At the helm of the kitchen is Head Chef Mark Freeman who joined as head chef at Hilton in 2013 after working at the Park Plaza Hotel and Laguna restaurant with experience supervising the running of four restaurants in the Venditto Restaurant Group. Freeman was named the runner-up Welsh Chef of the Year and is known for his show stopping desserts created for events at the hotel in addition to expertly curating the seasonal menus for Grey.
As you would expect, Grey’s menu showcases the best in Welsh produce and champions local food suppliers such as Douglas Willis Butcher for Welsh Beef and Lamb used to create the honey glazed Welsh lamb shank and Vin Sullivan provides the kitchen with locally made ice creams including their delicious salted caramel ice cream served alongside the warm sticky toffee pudding.
The drinks menu at Grey focuses heavily on a wide selection of gins. Grey’s G&T are made with gin produced by Eccentric Gin based in Llantrisant. Originally developed in the cellar of a 200-year-old building using natural spring water from the area, the gins have a distinct and unique flavour which have been developed into cocktails at Grey.
To begin our meal at Grey restaurant, Duck and Black Pudding Scotch Egg was a luxurious version of a standard Scotch egg. The perfect way to whet the appetite! The curry mayonnaise had the perfect amount of heat to warm up the palate in anticipation of the next course.
Followed by a Prawn Cocktail with Rye Bread and a Smoked Haddock Risotto to start. The risotto was ordered as a small portion as comes in both starter and main course sizes. The small portion is extremely generous and might even suffice as a main meal on its own. The creaminess was exquisitely contrasted with the crunch on the spring onions. Would have liked to taste a little more of the curry oil but was still an excellent dish.
The prawn cocktail was traditional and met expectations. It was fresh, tasty and a far more manageable portion as a starter for those wanting a light bite.
For mains we chose a Dry Aged Cefn Mawr Farm Rib Eye Steak with a garlic butter and skinny fries.
The steak was served on a Himalayan pink stone which added a saltiness that really wowed the palate. For those who want less salt a side plate is provided.
You get choose your steak knife which is novel and fun. I chose… No 2.
My dining companion’s main was Usk Valley Lamb Shank slow cooked and honey glazed with a side of bubble and squeak. The lamb shank was soft and succulent yet firm and flavourful. The honey glazed gave it a sweetness that made you want more. The bubble and squeak mash provided a lovely contrasting texture between the softness of the mash and the crunchiness of the vegetables. A perfect combo.
For dessert who could resist a sticky toffee pudding with two spoons…
Grey offers a weekend bottomless prosecco brunch which has proved particularly popular in Cardiff and the Weekend Lazy Roast on Sundays is perfect way to relax with family and friends over Sunday lunch which starts from just £10 per person.
After dinner, we returned to the comforts of the Presidential Suite for a luxurious end to wonderful stay in Cardiff. Check out the Facebook Live video below for a tour of the suite and my top tips on how to get the life you desire – don’t forget to turn the volume up.
The Presidential Suite is a 2-room suite with a separate living area located on the top floor of the Hilton Cardiff hotel offering panoramic views across the city including being the only hotel room to offer views of Cardiff Castle and its grounds.
The luxurious 134 sq. m Presidential Suite features a comfortable living room with plush sofas, a king-sized bed with plasma TV and floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the suite with natural light and showcasing views of Cardiff’s city skyline. The hotel team welcomed us to the room with a platter of Welsh treats including fudge, cheese and traditional Welsh cakes.
The bathroom offers the chance of a relaxing soak in the whirlpool bath or invigorating separate shower with special touches such as bathrobes, slippers and bottled mineral water adding to the comfort factor.
Guests staying in the Presidential Suite and other suites or executive rooms at Hilton Cardiss can enjoy exclusive access to the Executive Lounge including continental breakfast with hot options from 7am to 10am, afternoon treats from 2pm to 3pm and evening drinks and canapés from 6pm to 8pm. Unlike the lounges in Hilton’s London hotels, you won’t find spirits or sparkling wine as part of the evening beverage offering at Hilton Cardiff’s Executive Lounge. However Carlsberg pilsner beer, red wine and white wine are available in the Executive Lounge for an relaxing pre-dinner drink in exclusive and stylish surroundings. The dedicated business centre with complimentary WiFi and printing services makes the Executive Lounge the ideal place to work during the day.
Kingsway, Cardiff City Centre, CF10 3HH
02920 646 300