Fishpool Road, DELAMERE, CW8 2HP
Idyllically positioned on the edge of the Delamere Forest in the picturesque Cheshire countryside, this 18th-century pub seamlessly blends the traditional with the contemporary. The extensive refurbishment in the pub's recent past created an interior that impresses with its spaciousness. Scrubbed beams and pillars, pale floorboards, and roof windows augmented by downlighters and wall lamps together produce an unexpected light airiness. The decor is rich in furnishings such as chesterfield-style banquettes, solid wood tables and chairs, rugs, and Victorian tiles. Memorabilia from the Cheshire Polo Club, fishing rods and reels, decorated stags' heads, and even an upside-down skiff are just a few of the artefacts hanging from walls and ceilings in this engagingly quirky interior. The cellar keeps up to eight handpumps busy, with Weetwood's Cheshire Cat in permanent residence alongside a changing selection of local and seasonal real ales. An open-fronted kitchen produces modern British and popular European food, the latter in the form of thin-crust pizzas from the dedicated Wood Stone oven. Seasonal and regional ingredients are turned into starters of crayfish, Muncaster crab and smoked salmon cocktail; or a tandoori spiced Welsh Valley lamb kofta served with harissa couscous and tzatziki. Main courses follow traditional lines with the likes of scampi with chunky chips; a hand-crafted pie of the day; and a barbecued pulled pork burger served with apple and celeriac slaw. More tradition is displayed on the desserts list, where the words 'crumble', 'trifle', 'sundae' and 'sticky toffee' all tempt the sweet of tooth. Children have their own menu, dogs are welcome, and there's a garden to relax in.