Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars to open seventh site and first in Staffordshire:

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars, the north west of England multiple operator led by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, is to open its seventh site and first in Staffordshire. The company has taken on The Fitzherbert Arms, which sits on Lord Stafford’s estate in the village of Swynnerton. The 19th century pub will reopen this month following extensive refurbishment work featuring log fires, snug, private dining room and outside summer terrace. It will serve ales from Staffordshire micro-brewers as well as wines and a range of locally sourced, freshly prepared English dishes.

McLaughlin told the Stone & Eccleshall Gazette: “We are very excited to be working with Lord Stafford on this project and look forward to opening the doors to this iconic pub. We have restored the Fitz ensuring its heritage is brought to the fore and that it remains in keeping with the village of Swynnerton and its history, we are very proud to open a pub in Staffordshire.” The company also operates five sites in Cheshire and one in Dorset.

Cholmondeley Arms wins Best Tourist Pub in Cheshire!

cheshmarketAt a glittering dinner at Chester Racecourse in late November we are very proud to announce that the Cholmondeley Arms was chosen as the ‘Tourism Pub of the Year 2015/16’.

The judges reflected on our consistent food and drinks offer particularly the work done to attract more people to Cheshire via our work with Gin and of course the success of our annual ‘Gin Fest’, plus our Bonfire night, our Annual Gin Appreciation homemade gin competition, our Cholmondeley Car Club, the investment in the Headmaster’s House Bedrooms, our Dog Friendly coverage in the Telegraph, plus maintaining our presence in all the guides.

The Cholmondeley Arms is a unique pub with lots to make one happy and it is a great rural meeting place. This award was gratefully received by our manager Jess and owner Mary who were delighted that the ‘Chum’ has at last been recognised for the efforts made to promote its position on the Cholmondeley Estate and in Cheshire as a whole.

 

BEST TOURIST PUB AWARD

BEST TOURIST PUB AWARD

JESS AND MARY CELEBRATE

JESS AND MARY CELEBRATE

 

Sustainable Restaurant Association

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars are proud to announce that our lovely country pubs are now fully fledged members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association!

The SRA are a “not for profit” organisation, (with Raymond Blanc as President), who focus on helping restaurants and pubs to become more sustainable across 14 key areas of their work including in sourcing produce, their environmental impact, and their contribution to the local community and society as a whole.

If you are a customer in any of our pubs you’ll already know that we take sustainability pretty seriously, whether it be in the purchasing of our local beers, or our seasonal food or indeed minimising our environmental impact by attempting to reduce waste and recycling where we can. We also ensure that our pubs are at the heart of the villages in which they serve, by our tireless dedication towards community projects, and the development and training of our fantastic teams of staff!

Now, with the help of the SRA we are hopeful of taking our contribution to the next level so that you can be sure that we are working harder than ever to make our pubs even better at the things that we already try to do so well!

timthumb3Watch this space for more news and updates related to our work with the SRA, just another way of ensuring that our pubs remain for the long term, “local and proud”

SRA President, Raymond Blanc OBE, named Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall as his Food Hero of 2015, (both pictured) at the SRA Awards noting the tremendous effect of Hugh’s hard hitting campaigns such as “Fish Fight”, which illustratively has motivated almost 900,000 people to challenge the European Union to change its regulations regarding fish discards and start eating less popular fish like mackerel.

Our Bulls Head pub started supporting Hugh’s fight nearly five years ago following his TV documentary on the subject and now all our pubs are FishFight supporters and signatories and we celebrate this through our menus and in our Seafood weeks within our pubs.

 

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Church Inn does it again!

MARY AND TIM WITH THE AWARD

MARY AND TIM WITH THE AWARD

We are delighted to announce that our Church Inn pub has won the ‘Chairman’s choice’ Best Dining Pub Award for South Manchester and pipped our very own Bulls Head pub (also in Mobberley)!!

The ‘Eat, Drink, Sleep’ Awards 2015 took place at the Manchester Mercure Piccadilly Hotel and our Bulls Head and Church Inn pubs were up against each other in the same category! Barry our landlord at the Bulls Head was the first to congratulate Simon (our Church Inn landlord) and the team saying “They’ve done a cracking job and I am delighted at least one of us won it!! This will make the Bully team even more determined to beat our ‘little sister pub’ the Church Inn next time round!!”

Simon said “I am really chuffed for the Church team and the customers…it’s been a solid start since opening a year and a half ago…I am very proud and feel a little sorry for Barry but not really!!”

Owners Tim and Mary were there to cheer both their pubs on and what a night for the village of Mobberley with two pubs from the same village up for the award! Tim said “it is always so exciting to be nominated for an award without entering anything and for both our Mobberley pubs to be nominated was a great achievement for all our fantastic people from our pub teams to our loyal and supportive customers and suppliers”

Mary added “we have been in Mobberley now for just over five years with the Bulls Head and have so enjoyed it becoming a proud pub in the village. We took on the Church Inn two years ago when it had closed down and we knew it was going to be hard to create a second special pub in the village… but we are on our way. The teams at both pubs have made this possible with the help of course from our customers. This award is for everyone to celebrate”

Cheshire Cat team go to Mallorca!

As a big thank you to our team of managers and support managers a trip to Mallorca wineries was planned. Three wineries were visited over the three days. Macia Batle whose wines we sell in our pubs in the UK, C’an Vidalet who not only make wonderful wine but also distil Gin!! Then we finished at Angel Winery for an excellent final day!

The weather was wonderful and the wines equally as good. We were so well looked after by Marta, Anja and Andreas! Thank you to them for their hospitality and well done to our team for working so hard for our business.

Church Inn recognised!

The-ChurchpoemWe are delighted to announce that our lovely Church Inn in Mobberley has been recognised as the UK’s ‘New Pub of the Year 2014-15’ by the Good Pub Guide!

We re-opened the Church Inn just over a year ago following major restoration and refurbishment works. The Church Inn dates back to at least 1753 and we are proud of its standing in the village of Mobberley. There is plenty of history associated with the pub and this award recognises the efforts of many people.

We have to mention our landlord Simon, Head Chef Lloyd and the team who have endless enthusiasm and passion for the business and try their best at all times. Our customers who have supported the pub so well in its first year since re-opening. Our owners Tim and Mary who, despite owning the Bulls Head also in Mobberley, had the vision and courage to see the opportunity for a differentiated pub style so close to their already award winning Bulls Head and last but by no means least all our wonderful suppliers who have helped us achieve this award.

The award is for all the people associated with the Church Inn to celebrate, enjoy and raise a glass to.

Well done everyone!!!

goodfood

Chester Chronicle published August 4th 2014

gin200A Cheshire pub has welcomed the 200th gin to its record-breaking collection.

The arrival of the 200th gin at The Cholmondeley Arms, near Malpas, marked the end of a week-long ‘Gin Fest’ and the third anniversary of the pub’s refurbishment and opening.

Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin opened the pub in 2011 with 40 gins and established a reputation for stocking a collection of some of the best and most unusual gins in the country.

The 200th gin to be unveiled was a newly launched Burleigh’s Gin.

The new gin arrived at the pub in a helicoptor, where it was welcomed by hundreds of guests and locals celebrating the culmination of ‘Gin Fest’, which saw gin tastings, a collection of sports and vintage cars, live music and a pop-up gin bar in the pub’s garden.

Tim Bird, owner of the Cholmondeley Arms, said: “It was a fantastic festival of gin at the weekend.

“We’re delighted to welcome the 200th gin to our collection and intend to keep building on this in the years to come.”

The pub continues to challenge brand owners and customers to ‘bring a gin to the Inn’ to see if they have it in stock.

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars buys in Punch and Wellington freeholds:

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars, led by Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin, has acquired the freehold of their Bulls Head Pub from Punch Taverns and also bought the freehold of The Roebuck Inn from Wellington Pub Company, situated opposite The Bulls Head in Mill Lane, Mobberley in Cheshire.

Bird told Propel: “It has been exciting doing the two deals at the same time. We have operated The Bulls Head for four years on a lease with Punch Taverns and have built the pub up after carrying out a major refurbishment. We are sure Punch is pleased with the deal but we are delighted to have paid 4.8x Ebitda for a pub we cherish. As for The Roebuck Inn, this pub has been closed for well over a year. It sits straight opposite The Bulls Head in Mill Lane, Mobberley. We were tired of looking across the lane and seeing The Roebuck deteriorate and knew if the deal was right we would go for it. We will hopefully develop bedrooms and a small bistro as well as the barns and gardens. It is the first time in history (some 200+ years or more) that the two pubs are under single ownership. Our bank, HSBC, have been hugely supportive with the two investments and we continue to work very closely with it. In a year of consolidation we had said that we wouldn’t necessarily be acquiring a pub this financial year but this opportunity was a rare one and we had to take it.”

The deal means Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars now own three freeholds and two 25-year leasehold pubs in Cheshire. Meanwhile, its award-winning Cholmondeley Arms, situated on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate, celebrates its claim to fame as the biggest Gin Palace in the north west next week when it holds its first ‘Annual Gin Fest ’. Gin brand owners are asked to visit www.cholmondeleyarms.co.uk to check if they are listed in its collection of 200 gins.

Bird added: “If they aren’t listed then we challenge them to bring their ‘Gin to the Inn’ on Saturday 19 July.”

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