Tag Archives: Knutsford

The Lost and Found – Knutsford, Cheshire

“Cant really go wrong with bottomless prosecco and brunch. Especially at a smart gaff where ladies doth lunch”. Did you notice that rhymed?

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Strange one this. Stumbled on it as part of my day job (as someone who specifies furniture). A rather creditable outfit called ‘Revivalist’ pointed out that one of their more recent successful fit outs was their conversion of a Town Hall into a high end bar called ‘The Lost and Found’ in Knutsford. They proceeded to pepper me with wonderful, high res images highlighting their craft of making places look smart. As a fan of Mr Osbourne’s part time residence I decided to treat The Flame once again and head over there for a light brunchette. We like Knutsford, you may remember me in previous blogs, like ‘The Old Sessions House’ and the wonderful ‘Makers Market’. Despite the early start (11.30am) the website recommended booking for brunch. So we did.

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We duly arrived at the imposing old building, suitably spruced. We booked in at reception and admired the spacious downstairs bar. However, the receptionist radioed into a ‘walkie talkie’ to announce our arrival. Moments later we had trudged up several flights of stairs to the top floor dining room. Once we’d ventured through the smart navy doors you are greeted with a huge, naturally lit space. Divided in two along its length. A tiled mezzanine, sprinkled with Eames inspired wire side chairs sits to the right whilst the lower left half houses a series of booths, the bar, the pass and more tables. It is impressive. This could be the first restaurant review you read with the word ‘biophillia’ in its prose! Trees and various branches of foliage abound, bringing nature and the outside in. The lack of soft furnishings and the huge original windows make it a tad noisy though.

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We are presented with our ‘bottomless prosecco brunch’ menu. As it’s not compulsory we elected to miss the £15pp extra for two hours worth of free plonk and settle for a quality black coffee and some tap water. It’s a great menu, small plates and mains, all done with a twist.

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The Flame went for her favourite Smoked salmon, black pepper and lemon cream cheese, dressed rocket, open malted brown bloomer (£7.50). She also asked for some avocado which was duly provided for only a £1 extra. Have to say it looked very good if you like that sort of thing. The Flame was in raptures, loved, loved, loved it.

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I went for their full breakfast which was Bacon, grilled Cumberland sausages, black pudding, fried, scrambled or poached eggs, roasted vine tomatoes, flat mushroom, house beans (£8.50). For research purposes I had Brown butter pancakes, banana, hazelnuts, chocolate sauce too (£6.00). The breakfast was fine. The sausage rather good, the bacon a bit too crisp for me. The house beans added a twist. The pancakes were hot and plump, sweet and nutty. A fine end to proceedings.

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A little, local bird told me that the place had a rather stuttering start, inexperienced staff, cocktail making by numbers, poor beer stocks and lacklustre management. It would seem much has improved. Whilst it shouldn’t be too difficult to rustle up a good breakfast and serve unlimited prosecco, the staff we encountered, particularly Dianne our American? waitress was experience, warmth and ‘attentiveness’ personified. As I mentioned the place had started to fill considerably, with couples and groups of lunching ladies. The Flame was well impressed and has already earmarked some girlie events here in the future. Its on the list to try for a proper meal. Its worth a punt for the grand view alone. On a nicer day, you can always walk off the excess with a walk round Tatton Park. Give it a go.

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The Lost & Found
Old Town Hall, Princess Street,
Knutsford. WA16 6BY
Telephone – 01565 760 096
knutsford@the-lostandfound.com
http://www.the-lostandfound.co.uk

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The Old Sessions House – Knutsford

“Looks like all these NewMoon Pubs are worth a go”

Whilst I love going to top restaurants as much as the next man it’s not always the best option. You generally need plenty of readies, have to get ponced up and you’re limited as to where you go afterwards. I along with The Flame like nothing better than combining a nice meal out with a good walk or a day out somewhere. Sunday is a big day in our house and last week was no exception

The smart exterior! Thanks to Plog for the bottom pic
The smart exterior! Thanks to Plog for the bottom pic

A bright, crisp autumn morn set the scene before a twenty minute scoot to the food and living fair at Tatton Park in Knutsford (pronounced ‘Nats fiord’!). Knutsford is a beautiful, picturesque town set in the heart of Cheshire, it’s proper HS2 bashing territory, Range Rovers prowl the narrow streets, stealthily breezing past the boutiques, wine bars, gallery’s and swanky hairdressers.

Tatton Park

Tatton Park

Sat bristling at the head of Princess Street is ‘The Old Sessions House’. It forms one of the fleet of hostelries serving food set up by Paul Newman and Dave Mooney (NewMoon – geddit?). It’s a wonderful old building and in keeping with the brand and high quality visuals it is distinctive and inviting. Dark grey with white contrasting decals set behind a phalanx of red flowers. After our leisurely hour and a half stroll round the equally wonderful Tatton Park we were proper gasping and hunger pains were setting in.

Some interior fittings
Some interior fittings, Mooney hard at the pass

We had thoughtfully pre booked for a two thirty kick off but arrived an hour early. Thankfully an efficient chap greeted us and paved a way towards the back of the packed house and sat us at a table in the conservatory towards the rear of the dining area. He stated that Ro (short for Rochina, decked out in the black ‘TOSH’ T shirt) would be handling all our needs. It was a little warm at first but a pint of ‘Old Sessions’ (a special brewed just for them) soon cooled things down. It was good to see the mustachioed (Moon) half of the partnership handling what was starting to be a busy pass.

As it was Sunday our order was culled from the simple three courses for £14.95 side of the binge. However, it was comforting to know we could have ordered from the ‘classic’, printed, place setting menu that we have seen before at sister gaff ‘Beef and Pudding’ in Manchester (reviewed here). Well cooked, quality, local ingredients is the mainstay of the offer.

Mackerel, venison terrine, menu
Mackerel, venison terrine, menu

First up The Flame rattled in a spot of smoked mackerel with a refreshing potato salad and a sheath of fresh leaves. So we could go ‘halvey halveys’ I had the venison terrine. Both dishes, simple, well presented and super tasty. Just as you need it.

Sunday roast, beef and chicken
Sunday roast, beef and chicken

We both had a Sunday roast. The flame, half a small Cheshire chicken, me a few slabs of Cheshire beef, cooked pink as requested. Whilst full of flavour the chicken was a bit dry in parts but my beef was as good as I’ve had. Covering the trimmings it went down a treat with a good dollop of horseradish.

Cheese, atrium roof, menu, banoffee sundae
Cheese, atrium roof, menu, banoffee sundae

Mindful of the three course deal The flame finished with the cheese and biscuits whilst I fell for the banoffee sundae. Set in a small tumbler it didn’t look much, but blimey it was good. Lumps of sticky toffee pudding, caramel, bananas and cream. A perfect bit of sweetness to tingle the palate, super.

We like to seek out quality eateries and I think along with Nigel Haworth’s RVI pub chain in Lancashire, I reckon the NewMoon portfolio is building very nicely to become arguably the best set further south. Check them out. We will.

The Old Sessions House
43 Princess Street
Knutsford
WA16 6BW
01565 621 833

http://www.oldsessionshouse.co.uk

http://www.newmoonpub.co.uk

 

The Artisan Market – Knutsford

The Artisan Market – Knutsford 4/8/2013
The summer of 2013 has seen the incarnation of ‘The Artisan Market’. Already a National Award Winning event it takes place most weekends at one of several Cheshire market towns. I along with the wife (the flame) scuffed along to the first Sunday of the month event at Knutsford. It operates on Princess Street from 11am till 4pm. The market features food, drink, art and crafts.

Whilst we have had a scorching summer the forecast suggested we were in for a more normal summer day, sun and showers! We docked in early, elevenish, but already the crowds were in session.
At a rough guess food, my passion, accounted for half the stalls. It proved to be quite possible to kit the pantry out with a whole host of culinary treats. I was able to purloin oils, olives, iberico ham, scotch eggs, chillis, cup cakes, sweet and savoury tarts, legumes, sauces, dips, bread and goosenargh duck. I could have doubled up on cheesecake, pies, a whole host of Asian foods and more. I was like a kid in a sweet shop, in fact yes you could get sweets as well!

The flame really enjoyed herself, she weighed in with a leopard print scarf and Jemima the purple booted duck, such was the variety of booty on offer.

The common thread running through the whole scheme was quality. There was no burnt out Black and Deckers here. Mind you, a fat wallet would be handy, plastic cards struggled to swipe down this thoroughfare of dreams.

After sauntering down the one side of the street the avenue opened up to reveal the bit where you sat and ate. A jaunty, ten piece band kept the throng entertained as they queued at the impressive array of hot street food venders. The flame fancied the peri peri chicken which was searing gently on easily the biggest barbie I’ve ever seen. Coupled with salad, hot rice and chilli sauce it was a mouth watering treat.

A scoot back down the other side of the street brought us gently into the welcoming arms of ‘The Old Session House’. A thirst quenching ‘Sessions’ ale supplied by the Tatton Brewery provided a much needed restorative.

All in all a fantastic few hours. I would heartily recommend The Artisan Market. Look out for it in Wilmslow, Northwich and Nantwich as well as Knutsford.

See www.theartisanmarket.co.uk for more details.