Church Inn Team are star performers at Pub in the Park….

The Team at Pub in the Park 2018 with Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park arrived in Knutsford in September and the Church Inn was invited to take part. It was a true honour for Mary and Tim and the teams from the Church Inn and our other pubs. All the head chefs from our Northern Pubs took part during the three day festive ensuring the Church Inn itself wasn’t too disrupted by the team being busy at the Food, Drink and Music Festival.

The event was held on the land of the popular Lambing Shed farm shop who supply our pubs in and around Knutsford with local produce. We celebrated our close association with them by using their lamb for our famous Lamb and Anglesey Feta Cheese Croquette with pea puree and crème fraiche. This proved to be a real hit with the festival goers. We had to prepare three smaller plates for the festival with a Vegetarian Root Vegetable ‘Chilli’ being another dish and finally a ‘Spirit Of George’ Gin Cured Seatrout with Beetroot and Horseradish featuring Mobberley’s award winning Gin, whose distillery is now at the Church Inn in Mobberley.

It proved to be a brilliant weekend for the Church Inn and we want to thank everyone who worked so hard to ensure we delivered a hugely successful occasion for all who ate with us at the event.

Tom Kerridge was on hand to give great encouragement to all the teams that were cooking their three dishes for the public to enjoy. It was an honour to rub shoulders with a number of Michelin star pubs such as Kerridge’s own Hand and Flowers Pub from Marlow and the Star Inn from Harome in North Yorkshire as well as the Pipe and Glass also from North Yorkshire and the Pony and Trap from down south. In fact the Church Inn was the only non- starred pub to take part….which gave the Kitchen team a great deal of satisfaction.

All in all a great event!

Church Inn named in the Times Top 30 Pubs in the UK

Following a great year for the Church Inn, to be listed in the Times Top 30 Pubs was the icing on the cake. Earlier in the year Pub and Bar magazine chose the Church Inn as their ‘Best Pub in Cheshire and then at the final in the BAFTA theatre in London the Church Inn picked up ‘Best in the Northwest’.

This was followed by us being chosen to be at Tom Kerridge’s ‘Pub in the Park’ in Knutsford in September. This was a great weekend for the Church Inn as our chefs cooked for thousands of people attending the event of exceptional food and drink with some live music thrown in. A proud moment for us all and we were the only non-Michelin Star pub in the show but received great plaudits for our three dishes….particularly our Lamb Croquette! The Times clearly picked up on our achievements and listed us. We are naturally all very proud indeed.

Big Hill Distillery opens at the Church Inn

Ben Kaberry and Dave Clayton of Mobberley have opened their Big Hill Distillery at the Church Inn in Mobberley. They have been distilling the award winning ‘Spirit of George Gin’ for nearly a year with great success and needed bigger premises to meet demand for their premium craft Gin.

The Gin pays homage to Mobberley’s famous mountaineer George Mallory who lost his life in 1924 on the ‘Big Hill’ ……Mount Everest. He lost his life with climbing partner Sandy Irvine who’s nephew Peter Summers attended the grand opening (see picture). The opening ceremony was attended by all the people who helped get the distillery open on time from painters to plumbers as well as friends and family. MP Esther McVey was there with Cllr. Peter Coan to cut the ribbon and chat with guests as well. Of course, to raising a glass to the ‘Spirit of George’.


Award-winning country pub The Cholmondeley Arms, near Malpas in Cheshire, has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Gin Pub of the Year 2019’ by The Good Pub Guide. The award category, introduced for the very first time this year, was added to recognise the increasing number of pubs now stocking an impressive selection of gins.

With a staggering collection of more than 400 gins, The Cholmondeley Arms was deemed a very worthy winner. The award recognised the Cholmondeley’s seven-year focus on gin, the pub’s hugely popular annual Gin Fest, which is now in its fifth year, as well as their regular Saturday Gin Classes which continue to soar in popularity. The award also comes in the very month of the seventh anniversary of owners Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin’s re-opening of the pub after extensive investment and refurbishment.

Tim Moody, General Manager of the Cholmondeley Arms, comments: “We’re proud and delighted to have been awarded the title of ‘Gin Pub of the Year for 2019’. Gin has always been our favourite tipple and being recognised with such a prestigious award is a real boost for the whole team who have worked so hard to bring ‘Gin to the Inn’ here at the ‘Chum’. I’d like to say a big thank you to our excellent team and also to our loyal ‘gin loving’ customers – we couldn’t have done it without you all.”

Cheshire Cat ‘Master’ Chef 2018……..

This year we decided to create our very own Master Chef competition! Open to all our Chefs at the Commis and Chef De Partie levels within the business.

The idea was to get our young chefs creating dishes that would suit the menus of the pubs in which they work, in the first instance and learn to cook with what is in season. They were also taken out of their comfort zone by arriving to the first heats not having any idea what they would have to prepare.

The competition started with two heats both were identical with all chefs having to make a soup from the ingredients left on the bench by our very own Marcus Wareing, Andy…Head Chef at the Roebuck Inn where all the heats were held this was their skills test.

Then it was seabass time………… taking a full sea bass and creating their very own dish after filleting the fish successfully this was effectively the invention test.

Finally they had to buy their own ingredients for a set price and cook a dish that meant a great deal to them. This was the ‘Own Dish invention test’.

The top Five scoring Chefs progressed to the semi-final on a lovely sunny day in May. The tension mounted as they first had to look at 10 ingredients and through sight, taste or/and smell guess the ingredients. This was probably the ingredients test was the toughest test to date with white radish, sorrel and baby water melons causing the most confusion!

Once past this round the chefs had to make their own pastry in the pastry test……and they then had to create sweet or savoury dishes that included their lovely pastry!

Quiche and tarts followed aplenty and then it was on to the final round where the five chefs had to cook a dish from scratch again from costed ingredients that they had bought locally. This was the ‘Dish invention test 2’ .

Adam from the Fitz, Jack from the Church Inn and Arak from the Roebuck Inn scored the higher points to make it through to the final leaving Callum from the Three G’s and Mark from the Bulls Head to go back to their pubs having done a great job but not quite ‘smashing it’.

In true Master Chef style Arak dropped out before the final allowing Mark to take his place. Sadly Mark couldn’t take up the challenge for personal reasons so the final was held between Jack and Adam and the Final date was set in sunny June.

The final task was to cook a three course meal that would suit the menu of their pub…..a signature three course meal. The judges were Mary and Tim, with Andy and Jess from operations and Ed and Adam from our wine suppliers Boutinot.

It was a tough task for the judges let alone the chef finalists……but both chefs did an amazing job. The scores were 769 to Jack and 768 to Adam….there was a further two recounts before Jack was confirmed as the winner… could not have been closer.

The prize was a £1000 pay increase for the winner Jack and as it was so close, Adam in second, got a £500 pay increase too.

We are very proud of all the chefs that took part so a big thank you to them. They all showed creativity and skill while learning a lot at the same time.

Well done to Jack, a very good win for a junior chef which made his teammates at the Church Inn very proud of him.

Here’s to next year!​

The Cholmondeley Arms wins Cheshire Life Dining Pub of the Year 2018!

We are very proud to announce that the Cholmondeley Arms has won ‘Dining Pub of the Year 2018’ at the Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2018 at Carden Park Hotel near Chester.

Big congratulations go to our General Manager Tim and the entire Cholmondeley team.

Tim attended the awards presentation with Tom our Head Chef and Fliss our Deputy Manager.

Hard work and passion has persevered…

well done everybody!

Great time…But it isn’t coming home just yet!

History was made on the Saturday the 8th July as England beat Sweden in the World Cup Quarter Finals! This will be the first time in 28 years they have made it to the Semi finals! Although we did not make it to the final. We are proud to have come fourth in the World Cup and what a great time was had!

Chum appears to have real pedigree in dog friendliness

So now it’s official! The Cholmondeley Arms (‘Chum’) has been recognised by three national newspapers in the space of six weeks as a great place to bring your pet dog! The Guardian’s latest take is linked here below….we have featured in the Independent and the Telegraph too. Voted in the Top Ten Pubs in the UK three years running! Nowadays our chefs bake the biscuits for the dogs staying with us….a gourmet treat…and we have Cholmondeley Arms blankets that one can buy their Pooch as a lasting memory of their favourite pub! Dog Beer is available to toast ones Master as well as a bed or two to sleep it all off! The Chum…..a real howl!

Read the article here