The Al Hamra Restaurant is named after the Al Hamra Palace in Granada, Southern Spain. The name Al Hamra originates from an Arabic word ‘ Hamra ‘ which translates to the colour red. The walls and towers had an iron hue which led the magnificent structure to be know as the ‘ Red Castle ‘. This was built in the 9th Century by the Moors and the old fortress was restored by the founder of the dynasty, Mohammed Al Ahmar. Know for it’s charm beauty and architectural splendor, the Al Hamra Palace still stands today as a bridge of civilisation between the East and West. We, at the Al Hamra Restaurant aim to reach out to the West by shortening the divide with the introduction of our traditional authentic food, to tempt the taste buds and traditional wines, to raise the spirits.
The site of the Al Hamra restaurant has many interesting bygone associations being situated in Shepherd Market, affectionately known as the village of Mayfair. Since 1735, Shepherd market as the name suggests, was the centre for a market with tiny paved alleyways, coach houses and a duck pond, built by a local builder and architect named Edward Shepherd. In May of each year, a fair was held much to the annoyance of the aristocratic residents nearby. In the days before the existence of the Police, the rowdy event was very difficult to control and was finally banned. Edward Shepherd then set about reconstructing the area, building a two-storey market house with shops below and a great room above to be used as a Theatre. During the month of May, the Theatre opened and attracted aristocracy nearby, so much so, that the surrounding area became known as Mayfair, as we know it today.
The Al Hamra Restaurant occupies this site which is honoured by a blue placard denoting a preserved building of historical interest.
Al Hamra today combines its long and past associations of sociability with contemporary traditions of ‘ haute cuisine ‘ fine wines and friendly service.
Established in 1984 and now recognised as one of the foremost Lebanese restaurants offering the very best of authentic cuisine, Al Hamra continues to fulfill its obligations to those who appreciate a varied and healthy diet for a longer sustained life.