(3 star hotel)
from the airport
Expect the deliciously unexpected
Unusually for a Holiday Inn Express, the T5 has two restaurants. The hotel is very proud of Tratts pizza and pasta, and rightly thinks its as good as any posh London Italian eatery. The restaurant is very stylish, but still inviting and fun. The large Great Room bar/restaurant on the other hand is more informal, open and bright, but still has funky lighting and a lot of thought put into decoration.
Despite the restaurant being stylish and grown-up, kids love Tratts. The menu is straightforward, with the same kind of dishes youll find in your local Italian restaurant, but the quality of the food is much better. Theres plenty of pizza, pasta and risotto to choose from, with Italian-inspired desserts for after. We had some light and airy garlic bread with cheese to start, which had a good hit of garlic without being overpowering, with some marinated olives to accompany it. For our main, we had a delicious Hawaiian pizza. You could really taste that it had been cooked in a quality pizza oven. The thin crust was still a good mouthful and deliciously doughy. The mozzarella was gooey and time had been taken to bury the huge chunks of pineapple in amongst the cheese, instead of just scattering them over the top. To finish, we had a banana and Amaretti cheesecake that was as delicious as it sounds.
Tratts pizza and pasta
- Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
- Breakfast: 6am to 10am (a half hour later on weekends)
- Lunch: Noon to 6pm
- Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm
The staff were friendly and made sure to check we were enjoying the meal, assuring us they would replace any items that werent to our taste. Tratts is spacious, so youll never be turned away, but the restaurant does get busy, so be sure to book a table when you check in to avoid a wait.
The Great Room, on the other hand, has some tasty light meals to help you through the day. Order from the bar and the hotels efficient staff will bring you over your choice from a small selection of dishes, including barbecue chicken wings, a couple of curry dishes, pizza, pasta or a steak. Theres also a selection of triple-decker club sandwiches. We had the BLT, which was flavourful and salty, with nice, thick cuts of bacon, crisps and salad. You can even finish with a choice of desserts like cheesecake or ice cream. There are plenty of vegetarian options and there is a section entitled 'healthy choices'.
Breakfast is simple, and is free for all guests. The usual continental options are here: croissants, pains au chocolat and conveyor-belt toasters with a choice of bread to run through. There are also a few cooked items on the buffet: sausages, scrambled eggs and beans. Theres tea, coffee and juices to wash it down, too.
The hotel doesnt offer room service, but youre welcome to take your food up to your room or grab a takeaway pizza from Tratts. There are vending machines with canned drinks, snacks and travel essentials next to reception, but be aware, they are not cheap.