The Cholmondeley Arms Pub with rooms in Cholmondeley, Cheshire

Prices from:
£85 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Atmospheric ‘schoolhouse’ setting
  • Tasteful rooms in headmaster’s house
  • Imaginative all-day menu
  • Local ales & gins galore – over 300!
  • Regular roster of events – Gin Fest

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House speciality G&T

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Overview

The Cholmondeley Arms Cholmondeley, Cheshire, SY14 8HN

The personal touch

Originally a Victorian schoolhouse, with steep gables and an octagonal bell tower, the Cholmondeley Arms stands in rural Cheshire close to the entrance to Cholmondeley Castle. Imaginatively converted to an inn in 1988 – although it’s still part of the Cholmondeley Estate – the ‘Chum’ retains an old school atmosphere with high-roofed halls, large windows and huge radiators. More recently, it has been restored by Tim Bird and Mary Mclaughlin who operate some lovely individual pubs in Cheshire and beyond smart pastel-painted walls are festooned old photos of the school and estate, shelves groan with over 300 gin bottles, and there are leather armchairs by the blazing fire (arrive early to bag one of these). Elsewhere, note the colourful rugs on plank floors and old dining tables topped with fresh flowers and candles, plus blackboards listing forthcoming events. It’s no wonder that the place draws an appreciative crowd for its lively vibe, great staff, amazing drinks selection (those gins, again) and freshly cooked, modern British pub food.

Sticky fingers

Children under 10 are allowed in pub until 7pm, in the garden until 9pm during the summer, and they are welcome overnight.

Muddy paws

Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the pub: dog bowls are by the doors, doggy treats in a jar on the bar, and you even can order a dog ‘beer’ (a meaty stock-based drink). Dogs can stay overnight in the two downstairs rooms (£10 charge). The Telegraph has recognised the ‘Chum’ in the top ten places to stay with your dog!

Alfresco

There’s a decent sized lawn to the rear of the pub, and a number of smart French oak tables and benches to the front. Both enjoy peaceful country views.

What’s on?

Gin-tasting classes are a big talking point. They take place on Saturday afternoons and bookings are required. Also don’t miss the ‘Gin Fest’ four day gin and music event in July.’Professor Ted’s Old School Quiz’ is held on the last Tuesday of each month, and there are live music sessions on occasional Friday evenings. The Cholmondeley Arms has its own Car Club with five to six meets a year featuring Vintage, Classic and Sporty styles as well as the cherished variety of car! Check the roller chalkboard above the fire for other events ranging from clay-pigeon charity shoots to vintage car rallies.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles; £85 to £100
(single £65 to £85)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Disabled access to pub
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Michelin Pub Guide

Sleep

The Cholmondeley Arms Cholmondeley, Cheshire, SY14 8HN

Do not disturb

Six comfortable rooms are located across the car park in what was the headmaster’s house (converted some 12 years ago). They retain the simple ‘home from home’ charm of the original – note the striking leaded windows – and are named after famous and (mainly) fictional teachers. Tastefully freshened up in January 2015, they are cosy and inviting, with warm heritage colours (Farrow & Ball), good-quality beds and down duvets plus tiled en-suite bath or shower rooms. The pick of the bunch is Mr Bird – one of the larger ground-floor rooms with rugs on polished boards, darkwood furniture, a leather wing chair in the bay window, and prints and paintings on deep burgundy walls. Most rooms also have views of the garden and surrounding countryside.

Creature comforts

Ecossential bathroom products; fresh coffee and milk.

Gadgets

Flatscreen TV.

What’s for Breakfast?

Freshly squeezed orange juice or Willington Farm apple juice; porridge with local honey; fresh fruit and cereals; the Cholmondeley full English with Blake’s farm sausages and the works; bacon or sausage sandwiches.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles; £85 to £100
(single £65 to £85)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Disabled access to pub
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Michelin Pub Guide

Eat & Drink

The Cholmondeley Arms Cholmondeley, Cheshire, SY14 8HN

Mastering the menu

Tom Richards heads up a busy kitchen that delivers a wide-ranging selection of dishes all day, every day. Using local game in season, Rose County beef and lamb, local venison and other produce sourced from the surrounding area, the seasonally changing menu offers something for everyone. Kick off with a sharing ‘pub plate’ laden with black pudding Scotch egg, crayfish and prawn cocktail, crispy whitebait, potted ham hock and other goodies. ‘Old school favourites’ are pub classics with a twist, perhaps a gourmet Wagyu beef burger with Cheddar rarebit, treacle-cured bacon, onion rings, pickles and chips, while ‘seasonal specials’ might list ale-braised oxtail cheek with celeriac and mustard mash. Round off with a delicious nursery pud or a plate of locally sourced cheese.

On the menu

Treacle-cured sea trout, pickled fennel and caperberry salad
Venison faggot, rosemary potato cake and blackberry sauce
Confit duck leg and Yorkshire chorizo hash with fried duck egg
Fish pie
Egg custard tart with poached Yorkshire rhubarb

Sunday Roasts

Roast Cheshire sirloin or prime rib of beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, red cabbage, seasonal vegetables and gravy

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 9.30am (10am Saturday & Sunday)
Food: 12 noon – 9.15pm (9.45pm Friday and Saturday; 8.45pm Sunday)
Sandwiches/light lunches 3pm-5.30pm

Local, local, local

Lamb and beef – Rose County Farms
Sausages – Blakes Farm Shop, Malpas
Cheese – Chester Cheese Shop (www.chestercheeseshop.co.uk)
Real ale – Weetwood Ales, Tarporley (www.weetwoodales.co.uk); Wincle Beer Company, Macclesfield (www.winclebeer.co.uk)

Behind the bar

Step up to the huge sideboard bar and you’ll find yourself in gin heaven, with a mind-boggling choice of over 200 different brands and array of mixers on the menu. If Genever’s your thing and you’re with friends, try the ‘gin board’ – three gins, three garnishes, three tonics, all for £15. Ale lovers are also spoilt for choice with an impressive line-up of five pumps dispensing local beers from within a 35-miles radius of the pub – Teachers Tipple, Headmasters Ale and Cholmondeley Best (all brewed by Weetwood) and two guest ales, perhaps from Wincle Brewery. Wine drinkers are not forgotten with an interesting list offering 13 by the glass.

Bar Snacks

Potted brown shrimps
Spiced crab cakes with red pepper mayo
Homemade black pudding Scotch egg

Time at the bar

12 noon – 10.30pm (11pm Wednesday & Thursday; 12 midnight Friday & Saturday)

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles; £85 to £100
(single £65 to £85)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Disabled access to pub
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Michelin Pub Guide

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Cholmondeley Arms

2

The Church Inn, Mobberley WA16 7RD

There has been a pub here since 1715, but it reopened in 2013 when Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin saved it from dereliction and restored it to its original splendour. Located opposite the 12th Century village church and overlooking the famous stocks of Mobberley, this lovely old inn serves a range of local ales and good food.

3

Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, Tattenhall CH3 9NE

The Cholmondeley Arms serves a few of the 40-plus varieties of Cheshire Farm ice creams and sorbets on its menu, but if you still want to taste more, visit this family-run business and see how it's made. With a play barn for the kids and a cafe for the grown-ups, it's no wonder the farm attracts 500,000 visitors each year.

4

Cheerbrook Farm Shop, Newcastle Road, Nantwich CW5 7EL

Award-winning farm shop offering top quality local food including plenty made on site. They are so proud of their 'perfect sausages' that you can order them online by the. Great for browsing as well as shopping and there's a cafe too.

5

Hollies Farm Shop, Little Budworth CW6 9ES

Now run by the fourth generation of the same family that started it in 1959 as a roadside vegetable stand, this exceptional farm shop now sells produce from more than 40 Cheshire suppliers. Stock up with local fruit and veg, homecooked meats, homemade pies, bread, cakes and preserves before having a cuppa in the on-site coffee shop.

6

Ginger and Pickles,3 Mill Street, Nantwich CW5 5ST

A bakery and teashop with a good choice of leaf tea and some great cakes.

7

Wincle Brewery, Wincle SK11 0QE

Set within the Peak District National Park, this award-winning microbrewery was set up in 2008 in a former milking parlour at Tolls Farm Barn. Many of the beers were inspired by local characters, including the Wincle Waller named after dry stone waller Peter Eardley. The shop is open seven days a week and the brewery also runs guided tours by prior arrangement.

8

The Bulls Head, Mobberley WA16 7HX

Dating back to 1812, The Bulls Head was saved by Tim & Mary Bird and reopened in 2010 after a major refurbishment. It now serves seven cask ales from Cheshire breweries within a 30-mile radius of the pub, 80 whiskies and enjoyable pub grub. The beer garden is a must-visit when the sun shines.

9

Willington Fruit Farm and Farm Shop, Willington, Kelsall CW6 0PH

You might recognise the home-pressed apple juice sold at this well-stocked farm shop as it appears on the drinks list at the Cholmondeley Arms and The Roebuck. Apart from farm-made apple juice and cider, there is a vast range of local fruit and veg, honey, cheese, eggs and ice cream. From June onwards, you can buy strawberries picked straight from the field. Closed Mon-Wed.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Cholmondeley Arms

Activities

Shopping

13

Churche's Mansion Antiques Centre, Nantwich CW5 5RY

A splendid timber-framed Elizabethan mansion that luckily escaped the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583. Grade I listed, it’s a rare survivor and is now home to an antiques shop specialising in furniture from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They have a great selection of Windsor chairs and also antique Welsh oak furniture as well as smaller pieces.

Places to visit

5

Erdigg, Wrexham LL13 0YT

This very atmospheric country house dates to the 18th century and is ideal for exploring 250 years of the life (both 'upstairs' and 'downstairs') of a gentry family. There's a unique collection of servants' portraits, as well as fine furniture, textiles and wallpapers, plus a 485-hectare country park and formal walled garden.

6

Nantwich Museum CW5 5BQ

Small local museum with displays about (amongst other things) Roman salt making, Tudor Nantwich's Great Fire, the English Civil War and the Battle of Nantwich (1644). The Millennium Gallery houses a diverse selection of temporary exhibits.

7

Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Chapel Lane, Beeston CW6 9JX

In a dramatic setting, perched on a high crag, the 'Castle of the Rock' is famous for its spectacular views. You can see eight counties on a clear day, from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains. As well as the views, there's lovely woodland to explore, with wildlife trails, regular events, and the chance of a bacon sandwich.

8

Cholmondeley Castle, Cholmondeley, Malpas SY14 8AH

A delightful early nineteenth century Gothic castle, with turrets and battlements and beautiful gardens, still home to the Cholmondeley family. There are fifty acres of stunning ornamental gardens, which have been extensively developed over the past sixty years by Lady Lavinia Cholmondeley, and 670 acres of historic parkland. The hugely popular, annual festival of motorsport, the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, with racing, demonstrations and displays, is held at the Castle. (The castle is not open to the public except groups by prior arrangement).

9

Stretton Watermill, Stretton SY14 7HS

One of the best preserved demonstration water-powered corn mills in the country. Visitors can see the ancient wooden machinery in action, hear about the history of the mill, have a go at milling grain, work miniature models, and enjoy the beautiful countryside setting.

10

Little Morton Hall, Congleton CW12 4SD

A stunning National Trust-owned timber-framed Tudor building complete with moat, knot garden and kitchen garden supplying the tea room where you can enjoy light lunches and afternoon teas after a walk around the grounds.

15

Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, Wrexham SY13 2PQ

These three peat bogs make up the third largest area of lowland raised bog in Britain. Most ‘mosses’ in the UK have been drained, so the area is a rare survivor. No commercial cutting has taken place here since 1991 and the place is a haven for wildlife. A number of circular, waymarked trails will take you through this fascinating habitat.

Walking

www.sandstonetrail.com
www.visitcheshire.com
West Cheshire offers plenty for walkers of all ages and levels of fitness. The Sandstone Trail provides unbroken and often elevated walking, from Frodsham on the Mersey Estuary to Georgian Whitchurch in north Shropshire; and there are plenty of other walks as well, taking in wild moorland and rocky ridges, or delightful towns and villages. Further west, the Offa’s Dyke Path follows the Welsh border down from Prestatyn.

Cycling

www.visitcheshire.com
A great selection of cycle routes suitable for everyone can be found here. There are nice flat canal towpaths and gentle inclines as well as serious downhills and exciting off-roading. The Cheshire Cycleway offers 176 miles of varied terrain, and there are also several National Cycle Network routes in the area.

Events

www.visitcheshire.com
The Chester Food and Drink Festival takes place at Chester Racecourse at Easter, and then there’s the Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards in July, the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival in September, along with the Cheshire Food Festival and then the North West Food Lovers Festival in October. Rewind North, the 80s Music Festival, takes place in August, and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (just one of many events at Tatton Park) in July.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Take the A49 from Whitchurch, heading north towards Tarporley for 5½ miles. The pub is at the crossroads of Bickerton Road and Wrenbury Road.

By Rail: The nearest train station is Whitchurch (5½ miles) – just over 2 hours from London Euston (change at Crewe) or get off at Crewe (11 miles away) in less than an hour and a half from Euston and get a £30 taxi which will take 25 minutes.

Address:

Wrenbury Road,Cholmondeley, Cholmondeley, Cheshire, SY14 8HN

Rooms rates & booking
Reviews

Reviews

Daily Telegraph: Top 10 best pet friendly hotels, 10 March 2015
This former Victorian schoolhouse-turned-inn is as stylish as Beau Brummell inside. The glorious carved oak bar dominates the main hall and apart from the malted charms of Cholmondeley Best Bitter and Merlin’s Gold, there are a staggering 200 varieties of ruinously good gin to discover. Your faithful friend will not go thirsty either, as dog beer (made from meat stock) is readily available. Food is hearty and delicious and rooms in the old headmaster’s house behind the inn are calm, civilised and comfortable. Three of them are dog-friendly, and dog beds are supplied too.

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