If you find yourself in the alluring county of Cheshire, England, with its beautiful landscapes, historic towns, and magnificent stately homes, you’ll quickly discover that it’s not just a feast for the eyes. Cheshire is also a hotspot for foodies! With so much to choose from, it can be quite the task to narrow down the best places to eat. But don’t worry—I’m here to give you the grand tour of the top culinary delights the region offers, so you can dine out in true Cheshire style.
Right off the bat, there’s one place that you simply can’t miss: The Chef’s Table in Chester. This buzzing bistro, located in the heart of the city, is a treasure trove of culinary excellence. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, every visit is a new gastronomic adventure. The intimate atmosphere and focus on locally-sourced ingredients have earned The Chef’s Table a loyal following. The wild mushroom risotto topped with a parmesan tuile is a dish I dream about, and don’t get me started on the desserts—divine!
Speaking of Chester, you might also wander to the outskirts and find yourself at the Blue Bell 1826. This charming gastropub pairs modern British fare with a dash of continental elegance, served up in a beautifully refurbished 19th-century building. If you’re in the mood for stunningly plated dishes in a cozy setting, this is the spot. Try their braised beef cheek with truffle mash for a taste of heaven.
Now, if you fancy swapping the charm of pubs for a slice of Italian flair, look no further than Gusto in Alderley Edge. The dining room is chic, complete with a sweeping bar that’s perfect for sipping on a meticulously crafted cocktail before you dive into their wood-fired pizzas or hand-made pasta. The atmosphere is lively, the service impeccable, and they serve an antipasti platter that will transport your taste buds straight to the Amalfi Coast.
When you’re hankering for something quintessentially English, the Cholmondeley Arms near Malpas is a former Victorian schoolhouse turned pub that simply oozes character. Their menu celebrates British classics, and they take their pies very seriously — and for good reason, they’re extraordinary! Add to that an extensive gin collection featuring over 400 varieties, and you’ve got yourself the perfect English dining escapade.
Are you thinking something upscale? Mobberley’s The Roebuck Inn could be just what your palate desires. This French-inspired brasserie delivers bold flavors and sumptuous dishes. It’s a true gem for anyone seeking an elegant experience. Their bouillabaisse is a journey for the senses, and you’ll want to finish off with their selection of artisan cheeses, trust me on this one.
Let’s not forget our vegetarians and vegans, shall we? The Garden by Leaf in Port Sunlight is a plant-based haven with a menu so creative, you won’t miss the meat. Each dish boasts fresh and vibrant flavors, and their vegan afternoon tea is a delight. It’s proof that sustainable dining can be chic and delicious.
On the topic of afternoon tea, let’s raise the pinky finger to the sophisticated ambiance of The Courthouse in Knutsford. Housed in—you guessed it—a former courthouse, their afternoon tea is a decadent affair. From the delicate finger sandwiches to the fluffy scones and sweet pastries, it’s an indulgent journey in a setting that combines grandeur with comfort.
In the chocolate-box village of Prestbury, you’ll stumble upon The Chocolate Box—a restaurant that, despite its name, serves up more than just sweets. Their dishes are hearty with a touch of finesse, like the pan-seared scallops on a bed of cauliflower puree. A visit to The Chocolate Box is like being welcomed into a warm culinary embrace you never want to leave.
For Michelin-starred dining, you must try Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor. This establishment is the crown jewel of Cheshire’s fine dining scene. An exquisite tasting menu showcasing local produce, an extensive wine list, and impeccable service come together for an unforgettable dining experience. Their venison with chocolate sauce is a daring combination that pays off in spades.
Can’t decide between steak or sushi? Look no further than Piccolino in Knutsford. This vibrant spot serves up Italian dishes alongside a dedicated raw bar. Their steaks are cooked to perfection, but make sure you leave room for their sushi selection—it’s fresh, delicate, and expertly prepared.
If you’re up for a drive, venture to Poynton, where you’ll find The Clink – a restaurant inside a working prison where inmates gain hospitality training. The food is thoughtfully prepared, and the concept will give you plenty to talk about over dinner. The experience is as rich as the flavors on your plate.
Then again, for those with a sweet tooth, a trip to Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall is non-negotiable. Boasting an array of homemade ice cream flavors and a magical setting that feels straight out of Willy Wonka’s world, it’s a place that delights both kids and adults alike. Try the honeycomb flavor, or if you’re adventurous, the bubblegum will have you reminiscing about childhood days with every scoop.
And, before you ask if there’s good seafood in landlocked Cheshire, Upstairs at The Grill in Chester will put any doubts to rest. They offer an array of succulent seafood dishes, along with a steak selection that’s second to none. The lobster mac ‘n’ cheese is a showstopper, blending indulgence with sophistication.
Last but not least, for those seeking a unique dining experience, The Hollows in Hoole is the place to go. This quirky restaurant has an eclectic menu featuring everything from tapas to gourmet burgers. It’s the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a craft beer, and dine in a laid-back atmosphere with a cool vibe that anyone would love.
In conclusion, Cheshire presents a culinary mosaic that caters to any palate, from quaint English pubs to posh fine dining establishments and innovative bistros. It’s a paradisiacal playground for gourmands. Whatever you crave, be it a hearty stew, a fine plate of seafood, or a luscious dessert, Cheshire has an answer that’s sure to satisfy. Take a trip, bring your appetite, and unwind in the wealth of flavors this charming county has to offer. Your tummy will thank you, and your taste buds will beg you to return. Bon Appétit, or as they say in Cheshire, enjoy your meal!