By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
After extensive renovations Solotel will today open the doors of its original venue, The Paddington Inn, to the public for the first time in over six months.
The redevelopment of The Paddington Inn is the first major project for Solotel after the merge between the Solotel pub business and the MorSol restaurant group. The hotel has been completely overhauled, with a new dining room and bar, new décor and a new head chef, Justin Schott (pictured right).
Solotel’s creative director Anna Solomon (pictured), worked extensively on the redevelopment, alongside designer George Livissianis (pictured left), who’s CV includes some of Sydney’s most well know restaurants (Billy Kwong, Cho Cho San) and most recently, The Dolphin Hotel.
The renovations are an homage to the venue’s original character from the late 80s and 90s, with a modern spin.
“The intention was to celebrate the Paddington terrace. We wanted to recreate the sense of a darker, more traditional front bar, using heavier materials that mirror the entrance and traditional living rooms you would see in the front of a Paddo terrace. The dining room is reflective of the modern addition to the terrace, where you would usually find the kitchen, casual dining or family room,” says Solomon.
Food will be a large focus for the pub, with Schott (ex Kitchen By Mike, Rockpool) stepping up to fill some rather large shoes, with the likes of Matt Moran, Steve Manfredi and Paul Merrony all having spent parts of their careers at The Paddington Inn.
The new produce-driven, Australian menu will include dishes such as chargrilled Fremantle octopus with grilled fennel and spicy nduja, whole roasted Thirlmere duck with fermented red cabbage, and an 850g Rangers Valley rib-eye made to share.
“I like simple and distinctive flavours and have created a menu that is driven by seasonality and a desire to be uncomplicated and flavoursome. We’re making as much in-house as possible – we are dry-ageing the duck and we’ll make our own cotechino as well as focaccia and gingerbread daily,” stated Schott.
Group sommelier Matt Dunne has put together a wine list that focuses on low-intervention wines and intriguing global varietals, while group bars manager Jeremy Shipley has put togtehr a cocktail list that focuses on aperitifs using Australian vermouths, and old favourites using Australian small-batch spirits.
Solotel owner, Bruce Solomon, is excited for the new chapter in The Paddington Inn’s story.
“When the Paddington Inn was bought 30 years ago it marked the beginning of Solotel, which is now one of the leading hospitality groups in Australia. I am so excited to now relaunch The Paddington Inn Bar & Dining, a truly amazing venue that I'm sure will continue to serve the people of Paddington and the Eastern Suburbs outstanding food and drinks for many more years to come.”