Set in rolling Cheshire countryside virtually opposite Cholmondeley Castle on the A49, and still part of the Viscount’s estate, is this red-brick former schoolhouse. Quirky and eclectic, it’s surely one of England’s more unusual pubs, the decor and artefacts, including family heirlooms, educational memorabilia, bell tower without and blackboards within add tremendously to the atmosphere of the cavernous interior. It’s no longer a draughty institute – owners Tim and Mary Bird have created a warm and inviting interior, with church candles on old school desks, fresh flowers, glowing log fires and a relaxing atmosphere. After exploring the local countryside, visiting the castle, or the fabulous ruins at Beeston, stapled to Cheshire’s hilly sandstone spine, it’s the perfect place to unwind, sup a pint of Cholmondeley Best or another local guest (only microbrewery beers from a 35-mile radius are stocked), or delve into the mindboggling list of 366 different gins, celebrated at the annual gin festival that takes place in July. Allow time to taste some of the best produce from Cheshire’s burgeoning larder, including seasonal game from the estate. Please note that children under ten are not allowed after 7pm in the bar, or 9pm in the garden.
Open all year
Open all week
Open all day
Lunch: Monday to Friday 12–9, Saturday 12–9.30, Sunday 12–8.45
Dinner: Monday to Friday 12–9, Saturday 12–9.30, Sunday 12–8.45