Elevating the Pub Experience: Cheshire Cat Pubs’ Champions Programme

In the ever-evolving landscape of Cheshire Cat Pubs, we are delighted to share the ongoing success of our ground-breaking ‘Champions Programme.’ Tailored to enhance every aspect of our guest experience, this initiative has become a cornerstone of our commitment to excellence.

Meet our formidable ‘Food Champions,’ ‘Beer Champions,’ ‘Spirit Champions,’ and ‘Wine Champions’ – the dynamic force propelling our dedication to exceptional customer service and unrivalled product knowledge.

The Journey: In recent months, our champions embarked on a series of captivating educational adventures, venturing on group trips to local suppliers. These outings were not merely recreational; they played a pivotal role in deepening their understanding of specific domains, underscoring our dedication to sourcing FRESH – SEASONAL – LOCAL ingredients whenever possible. 

Collaborative Learning: Interactive training sessions took centre stage, creating an environment where knowledge flowed freely, and skills were refined. Armed with newfound expertise, our champions are now better equipped to lead and inspire their teams across various pubs in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Impact Beyond the Pub: The influence of our Champions Programme reaches far beyond the walls of our pubs. Our champions have returned to their respective locations as knowledge beacons, sharing insights and passion with their teams. This ensures that every guest receives impeccable service and well-informed recommendations.

Celebrating Excellence: As we toast to the success of this program, we also raise a glass to the dedication and enthusiasm of our champions. Their commitment to raising the bar serves as a shining example for our entire team.

A Heartfelt Thank You: A heartfelt thank you to our incredible champions, whose passion and dedication transform Cheshire Cat Pubs into an extraordinary space. Together, we’re not just serving food and drinks; we’re crafting memorable experiences for our guests.

Stay Tuned: As we continue to innovate and elevate the pub experience, stay tuned for more exciting updates on our journey of continuous improvement.

Cheshire Cat’s Wine Champion Program: A Journey into Grape Knowledge and Beyond

Our wine champion program at Cheshire Cat has kicked off with tremendous enthusiasm. Last week’s ‘Forward with Fundamentals’ training provided our champions with a unique opportunity to delve deep into their grape knowledge. The session served as a platform for these enthusiasts to geek up on the intricacies of wine.

Yesterday, our champions ventured to Liverpool for an immersive tasting experience courtesy of Boutinot Wines. The trip not only broadened their palates but also allowed them to explore the great delights that Boutinot Wines have in their arsenal. A heartfelt thank you to Adam and the Boutinot Wines team for extending the invitation.

The excitement lingers as we look forward to where our champions program will lead the team next. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting journey of wine exploration and education.

Culinary Exploration: Cheshire Cat Pubs Chefs Tour Northern Ireland

This week, our dedicated chefs embarked on a fascinating journey through the breath-taking landscapes and diverse culinary scenes of Northern Ireland. From the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway to the historic cities of Derry and Donegal, our culinary team immersed themselves in the rich flavours and cultural tapestry of this enchanting region.

Taking a well-deserved break, our chefs relished the opportunity to indulge in the finest local dishes and sample the exceptional Irish Malt at the renowned Bushmills Distillery. These moments of relaxation and gastronomic exploration have undoubtedly left a lasting impression on our culinary experts.

As our chefs return, we eagerly anticipate the creative influence this trip will have on our upcoming menus. Stay tuned to discover how the flavours and experiences of Northern Ireland will shape and enhance the culinary delights offered at Cheshire Cat Pubs.

The Cholmondeley Arms is named Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards 2023!

The Cholmondeley Arms, on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate in Cheshire has been declared Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards 2023. The pub was named the overall winner having won the ‘Rural Pub of the Year’ category at the awards held at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on Tuesday night.

The awards, presented by Edith Bowman, are a showcase of the country’s best pubs, shining a light on the pub hospitality sector and those who work within it.

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Inns, owned by Tim Bird and Mary Mclaughlin, operates seven pubs and inns across Cheshire and Staffordshire, including the recently opened Mainwaring Arms on the Whitmore Estate in North Staffordshire and the award winning Church Inn in Mobberley, Cheshire.

Owner Tim Bird said of the win: “We will be a beacon of hope for rural pubs, with so many being forced to close due to ongoing economic headwinds. For the team, this is just amazing. Helen Mosford, our manager, has worked at the Cholmondeley for 12 years, taking on the role of manager earlier this year. Helen is the epitome of what makes a pub special, and we are so incredibly proud of her and every member of the team.”

Tim and Mary took on the Cholmondeley Arms in 2011, transforming the former schoolhouse through a significant restoration and refurbishment. The menu, created by Executive Chef Richard Williams and Head Chef Pawel Samczynski, offers locally-sourced produce, and the drinks offering includes a collection of 366 gins. The pub has its own gins too, the award winning Cholmondeley Arms Gin and Pink Gin. Adjacent to the Cholmondeley Arms is the ‘Old Headmaster’s House’ with its six newly refurbished bedrooms, perfect for an overnight stay in the country.

Join us in congratulating Helen, Richard and the whole team at the Cholmondeley Arms with their amazing double-win!

Gratitude to Our Exceptional Partners: Diageo and Double Dutch Drinks

We want to express our sincere appreciation to our outstanding suppliers, Diageo and Double Dutch Drinks, for the thoughtful gifts they’ve shared with us. Following our recent accolade as ‘Great British Pub of the Year’, The Cholmondeley Arms is currently experiencing a pre-Christmas celebration, and our team couldn’t be more thrilled with the generosity and support we’ve received,

A special thank you to Oliver Wilson for orchestrating this delightful surprise. The entire team at The Cholmondeley Arms is truly touched by the outpouring of love and encouragement.

This recognition only amplifies our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of excellence, and we look forward to continuing to provide exceptional experiences for our patrons. Stay tuned for more updates as we savour this moment and continue to celebrate our achievements.

Celebrating Excellence: The Cholmondeley Arms Named “Pub of the Year” at The Great British Pub Awards

It is with immense pride and joy that we share the exhilarating news: The Cholmondeley Arms, our beloved pub, clinched the prestigious title of “Pub of the Year” at The Great British Pub Awards. This remarkable achievement stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication and exceptional efforts of our entire team.

Last night marked a momentous occasion as the Cheshire Cat team, led by Tim and Mary, alongside the Cholmondeley Arms General Manager Helen, and Head Chef Richard, gathered at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester for the grand award ceremony. The atmosphere was electric as we witnessed our industry uniting to celebrate shared successes, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come.

The evening was more than just an awards ceremony; it was a celebration of hard work, passion, and the collaborative spirit that defines The Cholmondeley Arms. The team, including our People Manager Jenny and Brand Manager Emily, was not only recognized for their outstanding contributions but was also treated to a memorable night out in Manchester. Dressed in anticipation and excitement, the team revelled in the acknowledgment of their efforts and the collective achievement of being crowned “Pub of the Year.”

We extend our heartfelt thanks to The Morning Advertiser for hosting this remarkable event and for acknowledging the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the entire team at The Cholmondeley Arms. This win is not just a triumph for our pub but a celebration of the shared passion and camaraderie that defines our Cheshire Cat family. As we savour this victory, we look forward to continued excellence and creating more unforgettable moments in the journey ahead. Cheers to The Cholmondeley Arms and the incredible team that made this achievement possible!

Cheshire Cat Chef Academy Explores Culinary Horizons at Wellocks Chef and Producer Show 2023

On a crisp Monday morning, undeterred by the gentle rain, the Cheshire Cat Chef Academy embarked on a flavourful journey to Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The destination? The Wellocks Chef and Producer Show 2023, a realm of culinary inspiration and a haven for those seeking to delve into the artistry behind exceptional ingredients.

The experience was not just a feast for the senses but a unique opportunity for our dedicated chefs to connect with the passionate minds behind the produce that graces the tables across our pubs. Engaging in conversations with those who cook, craft, and create with an unmatched zeal, our chefs gained invaluable insights into the intricate world of culinary craftsmanship.

This venture beyond the kitchen walls serves as a testament to our commitment to Chef Academy’s ethos—a commitment that extends beyond the confines of our pubs. As our brilliant young chefs immersed themselves in this showcase of culinary excellence, they discovered a wealth of inspiration and ideas that will soon find their way to a pub near you.

The Wellocks Chef and Producer Show not only broadened the palette but also fuelled the fires of creativity within our chefs. This hands-on experience is a vital component of our training and development program, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth. By staying attuned to industry trends, engaging with local producers, and embracing fresh and seasonal produce, our chefs are not just cooking; they are crafting culinary experiences that elevate the dining journey for our patrons.

Bulls Head in Great British Pub Awards Final!

Our Bulls Head pub in Mobberley has exciting news….it has made the final of the Great British Pub Awards 2023 for the ‘Best Pub for Pet Dogs’.

Since opening 13 years ago, under the ownership of Tim and Mary, the Bulls Head has been a dog’s favourite pub! Free dog biscuits on the bar, dog beer, a dog menu, puppy blankets, water bowls aplenty and of course the now legendary, annual Dog Show held in the garden each year in August. All reasons the Bulls Head has impressed the judges to make this final. 13 years ago pubs were not really that ‘Dog Friendly’ at all, but with so many pet dogs being walked around the village the Bulls Head set its stall out to be the perfect place to walk (or drive) your dog to.

Steph and the team have worked tirelessly to make our four-legged friends welcome and now they have been rightly rewarded with this recognition. On 19th September 2023 we will find out who has won. There is still some tough judging to go to keep us on our paws, but we are confident we can bring it home for the hounds! A massive well done to Steph and the team for getting this far and making the National final…..fingers crossed!

The Cholmondeley Arms is a finalist again!

Having come runners-up in the Cheshire Life Magazine’s Cheshire Dining Pub of the Year final at the end of July, we are now proud to announce that the Cholmondeley Arms (The Chum) is a finalist again. This time in the National Great British Pub Awards 2023. The Chum has come through vigorous judging to make it to the final of Best Country/Rural Pub 2023 category. Judges are still to visit, with final interviews in late August. It is very tense, but we believe we can lift the trophy come 19th September and celebrate on behalf of the many rural pubs that support communities across Cheshire.

Helen and the team have done a great job after the Chum, like many pubs, had to come back from the numerous  pandemic closures and its severe aftermath that affected staffing and of course the challenges of increased costs since. The Chum has sailed through many storms and is doing very well again now, we are pleased to say. Having had investment in the guest bedrooms in the Headmaster’s house adjacent to the pub and decorative work inside the pub itself, it offers a wonderful place to visit when out and about in rural Cheshire. We are very proud of the kitchen team who have cooked their hearts out since things returned to ‘normal’ and to the front of house team who ensure everyone receives a warm welcome! We will keep you posted on our progress, so fingers crossed for the Chum and the Team! Well done for reaching such an important National final!