TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright praises Cholmondeley Arms in new autobiography

Oct 15 2009 by Ben Coulbeck, Chester Chronicle

CELEBRITY chef Clarissa Dickson Wright has included a Cheshire pub in her latest autobiography.

The Two Fat Ladies star picked the Cholmondeley Arms as her favourite pub in Cheshire!!

The Malpas pub, on Wrenbury Road, is re-opening its bed and breakfast rooms at the end of the month and Dickson Wright, who released the book ‘Rifling through My Drawers’ earlier this year, will be attending the celebratory event. A complete renovation of the pub’s en-suite rooms is being completed throughout October.

In her latest offering, Dickson Wright pays particular attention to the Cholmondeley Arms’ breakfasts. She describes her experience of mornings at the breakfast table as being: “consoled by the hearty breakfasts’

The breakfast also made it onto the ‘10 best things Clarissa Dickson Wright has ever eaten’ list, produced for a BBC Radio 2 show.

Clarissa at the Cholmondeley Arms


THE regulars at the Cholmondeley Arms near Malpas are not the sort to bat an eyelid when a TV chef appears from the kitchen.

This is all part of the charm for Clarissa Dickson Wright during her regular stays at the South Cheshire pub.

The food broadcaster and writer has been using the converted village school, an award-winning pub since 1988, as a staging post on journeys south from her home near Edinburgh for the last 23 years.

‘I find it the most delightful place, and on top of that it serves very good food,’ she says.

‘I stay there very often. I live in Scotland, and if I am going down the West side of the country it’s the perfect place to stop because it’s about halfway down. For instance, I was in London this week so I went by train from Crewe, and left my car at the Cholmondeley.

‘The regulars there are a wonderful mixture of people, farmers, people in the hunting community, there’s a Mancunian tycoon, a wonderful man who brings his vintage car club every year for lunch, there’s the cheese-makers, there’s always something going on.

‘If you go at lunchtime you will always find Johnny O’Shea, who hunted with the Cheshires for 25 years, you get a lot of gardeners because of Cholmondeley Castle gardens, and I’m quite a keen gardener, there’s a huge cross-section.

You get people coming in from Manchester, even to spend the night. It’s a very friendly pub and everybody talks to everybody, so you won’t be left on your own staring at your thumbnails. There are High Court judges and QCs, all sorts of people, one is never strapped for conversation.’

It was Clarissa’s third career, as an unlikely TV presenter, that made her famous. She had already been a barrister and a chef before teaming up with Jennifer Paterson in 1996 as the Two Fat Ladies, puttering about the country on a motorbike and sidecar, in search of fine British food.

They were halfway through filming the fourth series when Jennifer died suddenly, in 1998. Clarissa later appeared with another TV partner in the series Clarissa and the Countryman: sheep farmer Sir Johnny Scott, she has known since she was ten and it was he who told her about the Cholmondeley Arms.

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