The Queen City is about to get a grander Windsor, with innovative, quality dining to match in a setting dear to Auckland’s heritage.

Hotel Grand Windsor has officially relaunched after a multimillion-dollar refit and a new franchise agreement which sees it rebranded as Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel.  It is entering a new era positioning itself as one of the top five-star boutique hotels in the country, with exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites.

Already occupying the much-loved ‘Windsor House’ heritage building in Auckland’s international retail precinct, Hotel Grand Windsor will reveal an opulence and standard rarely seen in the city, and this extends to the hotel’s elegant new dining establishment, Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar.

With a blend of classical and art deco interior design to match the refurbished hotel, Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar pays homage to the famous eatery of the same name which first occupied the building back in 1928.

Built by restaurant and soda fountain company WR Cooke and Son Ltd, the original restaurant was widely known for its sodas and pure fruit ice cream, as well as meals made with fresh ingredients, a theme that has provided inspiration for the new restaurant’s offerings.

As the flagship dining experience for Hotel Grand Windsor, Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar has created a menu in which wholefood dishes are the star attractions.

Group executive chef Jinu Abraham has a passion for nourishing, naturally produced menus and a reputation for taste and creativity, most recently seen with his role as executive chef at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland.

With his two decades of experience, Abraham and his team have used their networks and knowledge to source the best-quality produce from New Zealand suppliers for the new restaurant.

Cooke’s diners will enjoy the very best cuisine made with ingredients from local and sustainable sources wherever possible, including sustainable meat and chicken, sustainably caught long-line fish, free-range eggs and organic milk, yoghurt and butter from artisan suppliers.

And it’s not just the kitchen focusing on wholefoods. Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar also has biodynamic wine suppliers on board, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and craft beer and cider available. Just as much attention will be paid to serving the best loose-leaf tea selection and organic coffee.

“Our food and beverage offerings showcase our commitment to the promise of delivering wellness and sustainable options,” says Abraham.

“These are our stories. We have researched and developed our stories and ensured we are bringing diners the best that the soil can produce in natural, organic and biodynamic produce.”

Diners will also be able to enjoy a side of history with their meals. The menu, designed to be shared and enjoyed by the whole table, includes signature dishes such as The Rangitoto Special for breakfast and the Crumbed Pork Shoulder for dinner, which put a modern twist on well-known favourites from the original Cooke’s restaurant. Even the impressive cocktail list includes a signature drink, The Lucious Dainty, which tips its hat to the famed soda bar that occupied the building in the 1930s.

Cooke’s Restaurant & Bar opened for diners from 23 October.  This will see Hotel Grand Windsor completing the first phase of their multimillion-dollar five-star refurbishment.  Hotel Grand Windsor’s luxury wellness centre, private dining and meetings facilities are set to open in 2018.

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