We recently discovered the Carrington, and we love it so much we've been a few times for drinks, dinner and high tea.
Firstly, cocktails in the lounge is a must. They have a fantastic menu of all the old favourites as well as a really creative menu of their own, along with their signature drinks like Lady Carrington (yum!). On average they're about $14 each which I love - you'd pay $18 - $20 for a similar experience in the city. The cocktails are made with care and attention (there is nothing worse than a cocky waiter attempting to free pour a cocktail and getting the balance all wrong), and you can sit by the fire or on one of the many lounges. There is also live music sometimes.
Secondly - high tea. Sunday afternoons only at $32 a head or $37 with a glass of bubbly. Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt good value and an awesome experience. You get to sit in the grand dining room and what with the pianist, the high backed chairs, the white linen and periwinkle teaware you really have an oldworld experience. The tea menu is quite extensive with some really interesting options (like Creme Brulee) and they are really generous with the variety and quantity of food. You get 4 varieties of sweet petit fours, scones, 4 sandwich varieties, and a further 3 savoury/ hot options. I can't compare but a few people I know who've done the Victoria Room all say that Carrington runs rings around it.
Lastly, the Grand DIning Room. Have been for dinner a few times and absolutely love it. The setting always makes it feel like a special occasion. We have always found the service to be good, and again, I think it's really good value for money. The menu is limited to 4 or 5 choices but it's always a nice menu so that you end up struggling to decide what to have! The restaurant is beautifull decorated and ' ye old worlde' but not over the top. It's classy and tastefully executed. The tables are spaced really well so it feels quite private, and this makes it suitable for couples, families, groups etc as no one group would get in the way of the other. The only time I've have a 'problem' was when I ordered a steak medium well and it came out quite rare, but the waiters were all over it and it was fixed straightaway in a friendly manner.
Great for locals as well as guests of the hotel.The only downside is that they only open for dinner Thurs - Sat!
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