MOBBERLEY, WA16 7RD
Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin have certainly put this old inn back on the map, together with their other pub in the village, The Bulls Head. The Church Inn has a stylish country appeal, pleasing locals and destination diners alike. On the edge of the village and opposite the 12th-century St Wilfrid's church, it is ideally situated between the bustling towns of Wilmslow and Knutsford and only eight miles from Manchester Airport. Surrounded by rolling Cheshire countryside, the attractive summer dining terrace and rear garden lead down to an old bowling green that boasts panoramic views across neighbouring fields. In the bar and boot room, a range of locally sourced ales includes Mallory's Mobberley Best, named after Mobberley-born mountaineer George Mallory; Tatton Brewery's Ale-Alujah may be making a guest appearance. A choice of intimate dining areas provide relaxed and comfortable seating for the perusal of the extensive menu, which includes country tavern favourites such as steak and marrow burger with mature cheddar, chips, tomato, caramelised onion and cumin chutney. Gluten-free choices are a real strength: start a feast with halloumi, roasted tomatoes, red onion, aubergine, courgettes and sun-blush tomato and red pepper coulis, and follow perhaps with corn-fed chicken breast, tarragon gnocchi, roast baby vegetables with lemon and tarragon sauce. If you can manage a pudding, the home-made vanilla baked brûlée will round things off nicely, or look to a daily-changing board of Cheshire artisan cheeses. Canines are more than welcome in the bar and the boot room; a bowl of dog biscuits, together with dog 'beer' (meat-based stock) to refresh them, are very thoughtful touches.