The Ultimate Guide to Chester and Cheshire -Summer Edition

MarketingCheshire
  • No tags were found...

Chester

&

Cheshire

Summer

2018

The

Ultimate

Guide

Issue 04

MAY —

AUGUST

2018

Featuring:

Plus:

INDEPENDENCE

DAY: The story of

The Chef’s Table

SCHOOL

HOLIDAYS:

A survival guide

NOWT WRONG

WITH NOSTALGIA:

The best retro

events

HIC!

Why whisky is

now collectible

A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR

THE WEEKEND?

This season’s best art, music,

festivals and more


This summer join Chester Zoo for a festival like no

other. Turn the world on its head and see things

differently. L(o)(o)k. Laugh. And learn!

Inspired by the incredible and unique worlds of animals

and plants, this mind-blowing one-of-a-kind celebration will

have you discovering something new at every turn.

Discover art, science, music, performers as well as glorious

gardens and inspiring spaces, all set within the zoo’s

most amazing places!

Let your mind wander and your imagination roam wild.

STARTS SATURDAY 26 MAY

BOOK NOW

chesterzoo.org


Chester Zoo is a Registered Charity No.306077

1


2


This

summer,

it’s all about

Cheshire’s

best food, art,

history and

culture

IMAGES

ABOVE:

MIDSUMMER

WATCH PARADE /

BELOW: TATTON

PARK FOODIES

FESTIVAL

Summer is always awash with events. From the

humble farmers’ market to full-on festivals, there’s

nothing us Brits like better than partaking of a little

al fresco entertainment. So, get your cultural fix

courtesy of our guide to the best of what’s on this

season: Shakespeare performances in the park,

theatre premieres at Storyhouse, music festivals

and a handful of truly one-off events with medieval

roots are all on the billing (page 25).

There’s history a-plenty in our round

up of traditional festivals, too:

steam engines, classic cars,

vintage buses and country

shows all feature (page

15), while there’s a history

of whisky (page 35) and

the story of how one of

Chester’s best independent

restaurants, The Chef’s

Table, has made a name for

itself (page 40).

Thinking ahead to the school

holidays? Our summer holiday

survival guide gives the lowdown on

all that’s on for kids (page 7) and, as ever,

our full listings of what’s on and where, give you

the chance to make the most of the longer days

and the (fingers crossed) sunny ones, too. Enjoy.

Find out more about what’s on in Cheshire at:

visitcheshire.com

This guide has been put together by

Marketing Cheshire and was made possible

with the help of our editor, Susie Stubbs

and with the invaluable support, ideas and

reality checks of Marketing Cheshire’s

Rachel McQueen and Leanne Eaton. Thanks

also to our interviewees and contributors,

including Mark Littler, Tom Hughes,

Christina Yardley, Mandy Martinez, Gemma

Gibb, Jo Henwood and Stephanie Hughes.

Designed in Cheshire by Lemondrop

Creative. Printed by Stephens &

George Ltd.

Supported by

Editorial and advertising:

Ashley Shacklady

a.shacklady@marketingcheshire.co.uk

Leanne Eaton

l.eaton@marketingcheshire.co.uk

Front Cover Image: Chester Zoo

For more information visitcheshire.com

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied,

stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by

any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise,

except brief extracts for purpose of review, and no part of

this publication may be sold or hired, without the written

permission of the publisher. Words, photography and design

copyright: Marketing Cheshire 2018, except where stated.

Although the authors have taken all reasonable care in

preparing this book, we make no warranty about the accuracy

or completeness of its content and, to the maximum extent

permitted, disclaim all liability arising from its use.

The publisher gratefully acknowledges the permission granted

to reproduce the copyright material in this book. Every effort

has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their

permission for the use of copyright material.

05


3


The Ultimate

Guide To

The Summer

Holidays...

Bank Holidays, half term and six long

weeks of summer: sometimes, being a

parent can feel less like fun and more

like some sort of tightly scheduled,

Quality Time-based torture. Which is why

our editor has produced this, your guide

to all that’s on for families this season.

IMAGE

JUST SO FESTIVAL

07


Magical, whirling

worlds, every flavour

ice-cream, al fresco

film and nature writ

large: this is what

Summer is made of

Let’s start with the basics…

Summer just isn’t the same without a trip to

the Ice Cream Farm (Tattenhall, daily, free), a

day out whose pre-teen appeal has absolutely

nothing to do with it being the biggest ice-cream

parlour on the planet. Oh, OK, it does - but the 50

flavours of ice-cream here are very good and, with

free admission, loads of play activities and daily

opening, it really should make it to the top of your

tots’ to-do list. Nearby, the Chester Races are

also an essential part of summer, with the MBNA

Family Funday (5 Aug, £12) serving a winning mix

of racing, live entertainment and kids’ events.

Best of all, the under 17’s go free.

Then move on to the magical

When I was little I hoped that if I wished hard

enough, the magical, whirling world of Alice in

Wonderland would come to life. Sadly, I grew up

and got a job in marketing, but the clever folk at

the Just So Festival must have wished harder -

as their annual whirligig returns with a host of

new dance, circus and music acts, among them

the Bewonderment Machine, a cross between

a carousel and a bike-powered theatre (Rode

Hall, 17-19 Aug, from £20). Added to live music,

woodland trails, processions, dressing up and

storytelling sessions, this makes the Just So

Festival the closest IRL experience to Alice your

kids are likely to get. Staying on the processional

tip is the Midsummer Watch Parade (Chester,

23 & 24 Jun, free). This annual parade of giants,

dragons, drummers and curious creatures has

been going since 1498; it’s one of those distinctly

English traditions that makes little sense but is all

the more enjoyable for it. Equally promising – and

equally unique - is a new adaptation of Swallows

& Amazons (Storyhouse, 1-30 Jun, from £19.50).

Arthur Ransome’s classic adventure gets the full

Storyhouse treatment with a new adaptation by

Tony Award-nominated dramatist, Bryony Lavery.

Expect wit and clever staging from the largest rep

theatre outside London and the RSC; it promises

to be a performance that’s as entertaining for

grown-ups as it is beguiling for children.

08

… Before going al fresco

Swallows and Amazons transfers to

the Grosvenor Park Outdoor Theatre

later in the summer (Grosvenor Park,

14 Jul-26 Aug, from £21), which means

you can get your theatrical fix with

added picnicking. Al fresco, too, is the

Luna Outdoor Cinema, with screenings

of The Goonies and Paddington 2

(Tatton Park, 24 & 26 Aug, prices from

£7.50), while the elegant surrounds of

Dunham Massey form the backdrop

for a production of Alice’s Adventures in

Wonderland (4 Aug, from £10).

FROM TOP

ICE CREAM FARM /

JUST SO FESTIVAL


… Staying up late

For most young children, being up at night is

a delicious thrill. One of my eldest’s abiding

memories of camping is of a night-time trip to

the toilet block (bear with me). As we stumbled

across the field, we looked up – and there saw the

constellations, picked out bright in the inky black.

We lay on the grass to admire their majesty,

serenaded by the campsite’s chorus of sighs and

snores, a treat for a boy who’d normally be tucked

up in bed. Festivals such as Just So, Bluedot (see

pages 32,30) and, for the first time, Geronimo

(Arley Hall, 25-28 May, from £30) all come with

camping and the sorts of after-hours activity that

feels just as special, while Fir Trees Caravan

Park (Chester) gives you the chance to enjoy the

great outdoors while retaining a roof over your

head – the perfect compromise between camping

and comfort. Hare Hill’s Nature Walk at Night

(15 & 16 Aug, free), meanwhile, allows you to see

what creeps about when night falls, and Tatton’s

summer deer walk is an opportunity to get up

close to its wild herd in the gloaming (Tatton Park,

26 Jun & 3 Jul, £12).

... And throwing in some four-legged fun

Talking of animals, Dogfest is a two-day affair that features

mass walks, hay bale races, zip-wires (the latter not for

dogs, though I’d be seriously impressed if anyone got their

schnauzer on one) and more camping (Cholmondeley Castle,

16-17 Jun, from £16.50). Dogfest bills itself as the ‘ultimate

summer festival for dogs’. While the cynical may wonder

whether it’s the only festival for dogs, we give you the Dog

Show at the Farm (Tatton Park, 12 Aug, £2), with its ten

categories and agility course, and the Great British Dog

Walk, a fundraising stroll around the grounds of Lyme

(19 May, £10, children free).

The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show

also comes with a dog show, plus a fairground,

pony rides, crazy golf, lakeside ‘beach bar’, show

jumping and dressage (Bolesworth Castle, 13-17

Jun, from £8). And while it doesn’t come with

a canine sideshow, Hack Green Secret Nuclear

Bunker does welcome dogs, which means you

can give your four-legged friend the lowdown on

what might happen in the event of a nuclear attack

(Nantwich, daily, from £6). Just leave out the part about

pets ending up in post-attack pies, eh? Elsewhere, a treetop

climb at Go Ape (Delamere Forest, daily, from £25) means

you’ll get closer to the wildlife that inhabits Delamere’s

woods and, finally, if you prefer your animals to be of the

stuffed variety, may we point you towards a Teddy Bear’s

Picnic (Dunham Massey, 2 & 3 Jun, free to NT members).

Bring your own bear for an afternoon of games, stories and

the joyful oompah-oompah of a real brass band.

FROM TOP

GERONIMO /

BLUEDOT

09


KIDS GO FREE!

Children aged 17 and under are

eligible to attend all racedays at Chester

completely FREE of charge

4

2018 RACING FIXTURES

city day

Wednesday 9 May

ladies day

Thursday 10 May

188bet

chester cup day

Friday 11 May

MBNA

ROMAN DAY

Saturday 26 May

HALEWOOD

Summer Saturday

Saturday 16 June

SPORTINGBET

LADIES EVENING

Friday 29 June

MATTHEW CLARK

Summer FESTIVAL

Saturday 30 June

MR GREEN

LADIES & GENTS EVENING

Friday 13 July

SIGNATURE LIVING

CITY PLATE DAy

Saturday 14 July

STELLA ARTOIS

MIDSUMMER MEETING

Saturday 28 July

MBNA

FAMILY FUNDAY

Sunday 5 August

FOXY BINGO

LADIES day

Saturday 1 September

MBNA

AUTUMN FESTIVAL

Friday 14 September

32RED

AUTUMN FESTIVAL

Saturday 15 September

GOLDEN SQUARE SHOPPING CENTRE

SEASON FINALE

Saturday 29 September

POLO

FIXTURES

Friday 8 & Saturday 9 June

Friday 7 & Saturday 8 September

Tickets are available from £10 I Hospitality packages available from £50 *

01244 304 600 I chester-races.com

*

Prices are per person +VAT at the current prevailing rate, based on a White Horse Garden Package for either MBNA Roman Day or MBNA Family Funday.


8 DAYS - 16 VENUES - 26 COMEDIANS

5

ARCHIE

KELLY

ROBIN

INCE

TOM

WRIGGLESWORTH

ANDY

ASKINS

JEFF

GREEN

PAUL

SINHA

JO

CAULFIELD

GARY

DELANEY

JAMIE

SUTHERLAND

GLENN

WOOL

www.ch1chestercomedyfestival.com

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE


6


14


There’s nowt wrong

with nostalgia

We round up some of the best rose-tinted events

and festivals of the season.

Moaning about the weather, cups

of tea in a crisis and the ability to

form a queue: according to a recent

‘Britishness audit’ these are the

characteristics that mark us out as

Brits. Yet it’s an audit that surely

skipped our biggest trait. Nostalgia.

A love of the past that explains why,

this summer, you will doubtless find

yourself at a steam rally, country show

or summer fair (or, as it’s known in

ye olde book of marketing, a ‘summer

fayre’), peering interestedly at the

inner workings of a vehicle that’d

make you lose the will to live should

you be stuck behind it on a country

lane. As indeed you probably will be

the minute you decide to make your

way home.

The nostalgia-fest kicks off with the

Llandudno Transport Festival (5-7

May). Actually two Bank Holiday

events in one, a transport festival

and a Victorian Extravaganza, they

make for a riot of steam, fairground

rides, costumed parades and candyfloss

and there’s nothing that beats

the sight of so many steam engines

trundling epically along Llandudno’s

streets. Arrive early, and expect

crowds (if it gets too much, strike

out for the sweeping West Shore, a

beach that’s unimpeded by tourist

hordes). Ashley Hall Traction Engine

Rally (12-13 May) is a similar beast,

a relative newbie that nevertheless

packs in classic cars, steam engines,

fairground organs and a food marquee.

It’s also close to Altrincham; swing

by Altrincham Market for its take on

the traditional weekend market – live

music, independent food, and craft,

design or vintage stalls that appear on

rotation every Sunday.

The transport theme continues with

the Heritage Transport Festival at

the ever-friendly Lion Salt Works

(Nantwich, 9-10 Jun), the 30 yearold

Cheshire Steam Fair (Daresbury,

14-15 Jul) and Lymm’s Historic

Transport Day (Lymm, 24 Jun). The

latter sees the village swamped by all

things vehicular, with a line-up that

includes cars from the movies (if you

ever wanted to see the Ecto-1 from

Ghostbusters, now’s your chance),

working boats on the canal, stunt bikes

and the chance to sit inside a fighter

jet cockpit. It’s also so dog friendly that

pets are allowed to ride the vintage

buses that ply the route between

park-and-ride and the village.

IMAGES

CHESHIRE

STEAM FAIR

15


IMAGES

TOP: TATTON PARK

RIGHT: ROYAL CHESHIRE

SHOW

Traditional

pubs with a

gastro feel.

Fancy a taste of

how it used to

be, but with all

mod cons?

Try this top

four:

It’s not all buses and cars. The 175 year-old Royal Cheshire

County Show (Knutsford, 19-20 Jul) is all about agriculture

– the best animals, the best breeding and, in the case of its

dog and horse shows, the best behaviour. It also stages pony

club games, a farmers’ market and the Tabley Eye, a Ferris

wheel with commanding views across the showground. On a

smaller scale is Tatton’s Traditional Country Weekend at the

Farm, which promises a “traditional English fayre” (Tatton

Park, 25-27 Aug).

If that doesn’t float your boat, then perhaps the Northwich

River Festival will. The main action centres on the boat

races, but there’s street theatre, live music and an artisan

food market, too (Northwich, 14-15 Jul).

It shares a boating theme with the Middlewich FAB Festival

(15-17 Jun), a folk and boat festival set up in 1990 to mark

the town’s canal-boat heritage; it’s since been rated as one

of England’s top three folk festivals. Although this year’s

headliner (a certain Peter Hook) may grab the limelight, it’s

the spectacle of hundreds of narrowboats gathered together

that makes this something special – and perhaps proves the

point that many of this summer’s best events have their feet

firmly planted in the past.

#1. The Church Inn, Mobberley.

A restored 18th-century boozer now

replete with craft beer, sun terrace and

seasonal food.

#2. The Church Green, Lymm.

Celebrated chef Aiden Byrne has

been at the helm for the best part of a

decade; he does not disappoint.

#3. The Vale Inn, Bollington.

Craft ales, beer garden and simple yet

expertly cooked food make this dogfriendly

pub a winner.

#4. The Pheasant Inn, Higher

Burwardsley. A historic pub that has

won many awards (including an AA

Rosette), with an outdoor terrace

overlooking the Cheshire Plain.

16


7

Tel. 01829 760 288

www.reclaimedworld.com

Open 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat.

Reclamation ∙ Salvage ∙ Antiques ∙ Vintage ∙ Home ∙ Garden ∙ Flooring ∙ Stone ∙ Timber

Tarporley Road (A49), Little Budworth, Cheshire, CW6 9ES.

Based close to Tarporley, in the heart of Cheshire, Reclaimed World is a unique three-acre antiques,

salvage and reclamation emporium.

In addition to our huge selection of reclaimed stone, wood flooring and traditional salvage materials,

our beautiful showrooms and garden areas are brimming with fabulous treasures for your home.


© MARK CARLINE 2015

IMAGES

ABOVE: GROSVENOR PARK

OPEN AIR THEATRE /

ROUNDEL: BLUEDOT

A Little

Something

For The

Weekend

The best art, culture,

festivals and more are

taking place in Cheshire

this season. Here’s what

not to miss...

“Every time I see it, I trudge

in like a schoolboy to class.

Then I’m always surprised

by how much I like it. It never

fails.” So said Academy

Award-winning composer

Stephen Sondheim of A Little

Night Music – understating,

just a little bit, the runaway

success of a musical comedy

that’s one of Broadway’s

biggest hits, a show about

love and longing (with some

impressive romantic trysts

thrown in along the way).

Sondheim’s masterpiece is

one of a trio of classics staged

at Storyhouse this summer,

with A Little Night Music (5

May-8 Jul) followed by Arthur

Miller’s chilling thriller

The Crucible (15 Jun-7 Jul)

and the sugary, summery

Swallows and Amazons

(1-30 Jun). Each is reworked

especially for Chester and

performed by Storyhouse’s

resident cast of actors.

If the sun shines, through,

camp out at Grosvenor Park

Open Air Theatre. With the

enormously enjoyable Much

Ado About Nothing (6 Jul-25

Aug) and The Tempest (27

Jul-26 Aug), the park’s pop-up

theatre is surely one of the

treats of the Cheshire summer.

Talking of treats, Bluedot’s

line-up includes The

Chemical Brothers, The

Flaming Lips and Slowdive

– although the non-musical

listings at this self-styled

“intergalactic festival” are

just as good (Jodrell Bank,

20-22 Jul). Expect standup

comedy, stargazing,

science workshops and

more beneath the epic dish

of the Lovell Telescope.

Wellies at the ready? Forest

Live returns to Delamere

Forest for three, one-off gigs

(Delamere, 8-10 Jun). Paul

Heaton and Jacqui Abbott,

Paloma Faith and local ladmade-good,

Gary Barlow,

all appear under the sweet

chestnut trees.

18


8

7 - 9 SEPTEMBER

SET IN GLADSTONE’S LIBRARY, NEAR CHESTER

THE BEST CONTEMPORARY WRITERS

BOOK SIGNINGS

ALL-NEW GLADFEST FRINGE

FREE CRAFTING FOR ALL THE FAMILY

TASTY LOCAL FOOD

AND MUCH MORE!

01244 532350 www.gladfest.co.uk enquiries@gladlib.org

Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF

9

Live Park

2018

at ArleyHall

Saturday

14th July

Picnic Concert

Fantastic Fireworks Finale

Gates open at 5pm

Early Bird tickets

from 1st February

£19.50

(children up to 16yrs £14.50)

Family tickets also available

Tickets bought from 1st May:

£22.50

(children up to 16yrs £17.50)

10

in the

John Colins Band

Le Chic

Pete Valentine as

George Michael

Malcolm Pitt as

All Proceeds to

reg charity 1023606

Lionel Richie

Tickets From: www.nmcentre.com, 01606 861733

or Arley Hall, Northwich 01565 777 353


IMAGES

LEFT: CHESTER

MYSTERY PLAYS

/ BELOW:

CREAMFIELDS

The Chester Mystery

Plays make an

appearance this year,

the cycle of medieval

Biblical plays are

performed only every

five years

The energetic should make for

Creamfields, whose 21st birthday

billing features pretty much every

purveyor of electronic music you’ve

ever heard of, from Annie Mac and

Groove Armada to Yousef and Maya

Jane Coles (Daresbury, 23-26 Aug).

Never heard of ‘em? Never mind -

Classic Ibiza at Capesthorne Hall may

be more your thing (Siddington, 30

Jun). It brings the music of the White

Island to orchestral life, at a slightly

more sedate pace.

The Chester Mystery Plays also

make an appearance this year, the

cycle of medieval Biblical plays that

are performed only every five years

(Chester Cathedral, 27 Jun-14 Jul).

With a production team that includes

BBC radio director Peter Leslie Wild

and actor and playwright Deborah

20

McAndrew - and a mammoth cast of

400 actors – they’re part of the wider

Chester Heritage Festival (22-30 Jun).

Originally written by monks some

700 years ago, and once considered

too raucous to be performed inside

(players stood on carts dotted across

the city’s streets instead), this year the

plays will be staged daily inside the

ever-atmospheric Chester Cathedral.

Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival (15-24

Jun) can also claim medieval roots.

The Barnaby Fair dates to the 13th

century, changing shape along the

way to become a biennial festival that

celebrates the art and the music of

Macclesfield. “It’s astounding how

much creativity comes from a town

of just 60,000 people,” says festival

director Mandy Martinez. “It has

become a place where artists and

musicians settle, where there is art

in every nook and cranny.” Look out

for art trails, parkour, theatre, spoken

word and live music from Macc (and

further afield; the James Taylor

Quartet and poet Tony Walsh are

both on the billing). “There’s nothing

more life-affirming than sitting in

the market square, drinking a beer,

listening to a live band,” says Mandy.

“It’s a lovely mix of local and outside

acts. You get an introduction to the

town, its people and its creative spirit.”

And there it is in a nutshell. Cheshire’s

cultural summer is all about the past,

the present and a series of one-off

events that you’d be wise to take

advantage of.


11

May - July Highlights

New winter brochure

out now!

25 MINS FROM CHESTER, 35 MINS FROM LIVERPOOL, 45 MINS FROM MANCHESTER


12

THE LAMBING SHED, KNUTSFORD

7 – 9 SEPTEMBER 2018

FRIDAY EVENING SATURDAY EVENING SUNDAY EVENING

TOM ODELL

SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR

RAZORLIGHT

MELANIE C

SQUEEZE

SCOUTING FOR GIRLS

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

TOPLOADER

GABRIELLE APLIN

THE CHRISTIANS

SOUND OF THE SIRENS

CHEF DEMOS

TOM KERRIDGE | JOSH EGGLETON | PAUL AINSWORTH | STEPHEN TERRY

JAMES MACKENZIE | ANDREW PERN | ANGELA HARTNETT | CANDICE BROWN

POP-UP PUBS

THE HAND & FLOWERS | THE COACH | THE PONY & TRAP

PAUL AINSWORTH RESTAURANTS | THE HARDWICK | PIPE & GLASS

THE STAR INN | CAFÉ MURANO | THE CHURCH INN

Tickets on sale now at

www.pubintheparkuk.com

Event partners

Sponsored by


13

10% off

Save 10% on our Half-hour City

Cruise with discount code UG18

Cruise along Chester’s beautiful River Dee

Half-hour City Cruise

Enjoy a different view of Chester - elegant houses, riverside gardens and tranquil meadows.

Daily sailings at least once an hour until October.

Two-hour Iron Bridge Cruise

Leave the city behind and cruise through the glorious Cheshire countryside. Will you spot the kingfishers?

Weekends in May and June, daily in July & August.

Combined Bus and Boat Tickets

The freedom of the City! Sail with us, then enjoy a hop-on, hop-off bus tour with City Sightseeing.

Available every day.

Tasty Treats, Nights Out and Special Occasions

Afternoon Teas; Fish & Chip Cruises; Curry & Quiz Nights; Party Nights Afloat. Our boats are warm,

comfortable and have on-board bars. We also offer private charter packages for your perfect celebration.

Cruises depart from The Groves, Chester, CH1 1SZ

Save money by booking advance tickets online, or just turn up and buy a ticket on board

(subject to availability). Special events must be booked in advance.

01244 325 394 | chesterboat.co.uk

14

Cheshire

Ice Cream

Sold

We sell tickets for a variety of buses the daily hop on

and hop off sightseeing bus, National Express Coaches

all over the country, Busy Bus and Easy Bus.

We also sell bus tickets for Arriva .

We sell discounted tickets for the Blue Planet

Aquarium and Chester Zoo.

We are the Chester agents for Jones holidays.

We have guided walks which leave the Visitor Centre

daily at 10.30 and 2.00pm.

Roman soldier walking tours are available at 12 and

3.00 Monday –Saturday .

We also sell Chester Running Tours.

The Chester Ghost tour is every Saturday night and

can be booked from the Visitor Centre.

We have a busy retail shop selling a variety of Chester

themed products sourced if possible locally.

www.visitcheshire.com


15


Event

Guide

May / Aug

2018

9 May

CHESTER RACES

- BOODLES MAY

FESTIVAL - CITY DAY

The 2018 season opener

celebrating 100 years of the

Chester Vase. This meeting

serves up some fantastic

on-track action with both

Derby trials separating the

men from the boys, as topclass

contenders go head to

head to compete at Epsom

later in the season.

www.chester-races.co.uk

9 May

PASHA KOVALEV

- THE MAGIC OF

HOLLYWOOD

The BBC TV’s Strictly Come

Dancing star returns with

his brand new show. It is

jam packed with sequins,

glitz and glamour as Pasha

takes to the stage with his

sensational dancers as

they perform ‘Oscar worthy

performances’.

www.thebrindley.org.uk

10 May

CHESTER RACES

- BOODLES MAY

FESTIVAL - LADIES DAY

Thursday’s Ladies Day will

offer an intoxicating mix

of competitive handicaps

and top class Group races,

contrasting with the

vibrancy of an enthusiastic

stylish crowd.

www.chester-races.co.uk

11 May

CHESTER RACES

- BOODLES MAY

FESTIVAL - CHESTER

CUP DAY

The final day of the Boodles

May Festival culminates

with the highest profile

race of the three days, the

Chester Cup. Supported by

the Huxley Stakes, Chester

Cup Day will command

the largest crowd of the

three days and a palpable

atmosphere, impossible to

bottle.

www.chester-races.co.uk

13 May

REASEHEATH

FAMILY FESTIVAL

Enjoy a fantastic day out at

our annual Family Festival

which has been held at the

college for almost 40 years!

You’ll find an exciting range

of fun activities for the

whole family to enjoy.

www.reaseheath.ac.uk/

familyfestival

19 May – 7 October

MICHAEL SANDLE:

MONUMENTAL RAGE

This exhibition presents the

immensely powerful work

of this important artist,

whose international status

is unmatched in his field

by any other British artist

of his generation. With

sculptures, drawings and

prints spanning sixty years,

it offers an extraordinary

aesthetic, intellectual and

emotional experience for

visitors.

www.westcheshire

museums.co.uk

IMAGES TOP

TO BOTTOM

CHESTER RACES /

REASEHEATH FAMILY

FESTIVAL / MICHAEL

SANDLE

25



16

SUMMER CONCERTS

AT THE BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER

THIS SUMMER, BE WHISKED AWAY ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY WITH THE HALLÉ.

SATURDAY 23 JUNE, 7

.30PM • ’80s MIXTAPE

SUNDAY 1 JULY, 3PM • MAGICAL JOURNEYS

SATURDAY 7 JULY, 7.30PM • CHORAL EXTRAVAGANZA

FRIDAY 13 JULY, 6PM • THANK HALLÉ IT’S FRIDAY!

SATURDAY 14 JULY, 7.30PM • MAGIC OF THE MUSICALS

SATURDAY 28 JULY, 7.30PM • THE LAST NIGHT OF THE HALLÉ PROMS

0161 907 9000 • www.halle.co.uk/summer

TAKE YOUR SEAT IN THE BRIDGEWATER HALL AND BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE SYMPHONIC ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME.


© LINDSAY MELBOURNE

IMAGES

LEFT: GERONIMO

FAMILY FESTIVAL

ROUNDEL: LDF

INTERNATIONAL

POLO

8 June

LDF INTERNATIONAL

POLO SEMI-FINALS

DAY

The Sport of Kings returns to

the Roodee. It’s the perfect

opportunity to gather a few

friends, pack a picnic and

enjoy the beautiful outdoors

to see the oldest and most

exhilarating team sport,

pitch side free of charge.

www.chester-races.co.uk

25 – 28 May

GERONIMO FAMILY

FESTIVAL

Geronimo has a kids’

field like no other festival,

catering solely to children

and allowing families to

connect for a fairytale

weekend of madness. New

for 2018 are the Tigers

Motorcycle Display Team,

a full-scale Highland

Games takeover in the

main arena, and the Sock

Wrestling Federation’s daily

tournaments.

www.geronimofest.com

26 May

CHESTER RACES -

MBNA ROMAN DAY

MBNA’s Roman Day is

always a regal affair. Enjoy

an unforgettable afternoon,

with non-stop racing action

alongside family friendly

Roman themed activities for

younger racegoers. Spot the

Roman foot soldiers walking

about the course - they’ll be

happy to pose for a photo

or two.

www.chester-races.co.uk

26 & 27 May

PEPPA PIG’S

ADVENTURE

Join Peppa as she gets

ready to go on an exciting

camping trip to the woods

with George and her school

friends. With lunch-boxes

packed and Daddy Pig

driving the bus, Peppa and

friends are excited about

their outdoor adventure, full

of games, laughter and live

music!

www.venuecymru.co.uk

June - August

CHESTER TOWN

CRIER – PUBLIC

PROCLAMATIONS

The High Cross, Chester

City Centre. Chester is

the only place in Britain to

have retained the historic

tradition of regular midday

proclamations from a fixed

point. It’s free, fun and

totally unforgettable.

Proclamations take place

Tuesday to Saturday at

12noon (11am on Chester

race days): 16 June, 30 June,

14 July, 28 July.

26 May - 3 June

AMAZED BY SCIENCE

Come and join in the fun with

events and activities taking

place across Cheshire. Visit

website for full details.

www.amazedbyscience.com

29 May – 2 June

SON OF A

PREACHER MAN

Directed and choreographed

by Strictly Come Dancing’s

Craig Revel Horwood and

featuring the greatest

hits of Dusty Springfield,

this sparklingly funny

and sweetly touching

new musical play by

internationally-renowned

writer Warner Brown will

have you laughing, crying

and singing your heart out to

some of the greatest songs

ever written.

www.venuecymru.co.uk

8 JUNE

THE TRUE STORY OF

JIMI HENDRIX

Leon Hendrix is the younger

brother of Jimi Hendrix

and was his companion

throughout his career. He

will be performing all Jimi’s

hits and more. He will also

talk openly about his life

with Jimi and the audience

will be given the chance to

pose questions in a Q & A

session.

www.thebrindley.org.uk

9 June

LDF INTERNATIONAL

POLO FINALS DAY

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere

of Finals Day. Guest will be

presented with a drink on

arrival and a sumptuous

two-course buffet will be

served at midday before the

subsidiary match begins

at 2pm. Finals Day guests

are also lucky enough to

take part in the champagne

soaked presentations, where

guests can congratulate the

winning players and toast to

their success!

www.chester-races.co.uk

27


13 – 17 June

THE EQUERRY

BOLESWORTH

INTERNATIONAL

HORSE SHOW

The Bolesworth

International plays host

to world-class, 4-star

equestrian sporting action;

and plenty of family friendly

attractions and activities,

guaranteeing a fabulous

day out for the whole family

to enjoy. The newly-added

watersports element will

feature as a headline

attraction, along with the

famous dog shows.

www.bolesworth

international.com

14 – 16 June

20TH CENTURY BOY

This hit musical, inspired by

the life of rock legend Marc

Bolan, returns to the stage

to mark the 40th anniversary

of the iconic star’s untimely

death. Featuring some of

the greatest rock songs

ever written, 20th Century

Boy tells the life story of

the legendary Bolan and his

band T. Rex.

www.venuecymru.co.uk

15 – 17 June

MIDDLEWICH FAB

FESTIVAL

This year promises to be

even bigger and more

popular than ever, having

historically attracted an

estimated 25,000 visitors

into Middlewich over the

three day festival. Friday’s

headline act Peter Hook

and The Light! Saturday &

Sunday concerts are free!

www.middlewich.org.uk/

middlewich-fab-festival

16 June

CHESTER RACES –

HALEWOOD SUMMER

SATURDAY

Attracting crowds of

enthusiastic racing fans

and those looking to up the

style stakes, racegoers flock

from around the country to

witness history unfold before

their eyes across the season

at Chester Racecourse.

www.chester-races.co.uk

16 & 17 June

DOGFEST

The UK’s Summer Festival

for Dogs! DogFest is a funfilled,

action packed day for

you and your dog, hosted by

Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick.

The Ultimate day out for you

and your furry friend!

www.dog-fest.co.uk/

cheshire

19 & 20 June

THE ROYAL

CHESHIRE COUNTY

SHOW

For more than 175 years,

the Cheshire show has been

the premier summertime

agricultural event in the

North West. This prestigious

event enables all to

experience and celebrate all

that is great and good about

the countryside.

www.royalcheshireshow.org

23 June

LES MUSICALS

Musical Theatre’s leading

men and X Factor stars;

Jonathan Ansell (G4

frontman) & Rhydian Roberts

join forces for the first time

ever to create a dramatic &

spine tingling concert. Hear

classics from Les Miserables,

Phantom Of The Opera, Miss

Saigon, Chess, We Will Rock

You & many more.

www.thebrindley.org.uk

23 & 24 June

MIDSUMMER WATCH

PARADE

One of the oldest and

most colourful events in

the country with 500 local

participants including

angels, devils, green men

and mythical beasts rub

shoulders with Romans,

St Werburgh, elephants and

camels in a parade full of

colour and music that dates

back to the late 1400s.

www.midsummerwatch.

co.uk

27 June – 14 July

CHESTER MYSTERY

PLAYS

Produced every five years,

the Chester Mystery Plays

will be performed by a

community cast of hundreds

in the nave of Chester

Cathedral. These medieval

tales of ambition, intrigue,

betrayal and passion are

drawn from iconic Bible

stories with a special

Chester twist.

www.chestermysteryplays.

com

29 June

CHESTER RACES -

LADIES EVENING

The perfect way to enjoy an

early summer Friday evening

and get the weekend off to a

winning start.

www.chester-races.co.uk

30 June

CHESTER RACES -

MATTHEW CLARK

SUMMER FESTIVAL

Attracting crowds of

enthusiastic racing fans

and those looking to up the

style stakes, racegoers flock

from around the country to

witness history unfold before

their eyes across the season

at Chester Racecourse.

www.chester-races.co.uk

IMAGES TOP

TO BOTTOM

THE EQUERRY

BOLESWORTH

INTERNATIONAL

HORSE SHOW /

DOGFEST /

MIDSUMMER

WATCH PARADE /

CHESTER MYSTERY

PLAYS

28


The Bridgewater Hall International Concert Series 17|18

Dresden Philharmonic

Michael Sanderling conductor | Arabella Steinbacher violin

Friday 25 May 7.30pm

17

Weber Euryanthe Overture

Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor

Beethoven Symphony No.5 in C minor

The Sixteen’s Choral Pilgrimage 2018

Sacred & Profane

Harry Christophers conductor

Thursday 7 June 7.30pm

A programme of Britten and Cornysh

Murray Perahia

Friday 15 June 7.30pm

Programme to be announced

Wayne Marshall

Friday 22 June 7.30pm

A programme of British organ music

Box Office: 0161 907 9000

www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

Box Office: 0161 907 9000

www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

London Philharmonic

Orchestra

with Anne-Sophie Mutter

Łukasz Borowicz conductor

Tuesday 1 May 7.30pm

Jonathan Scott Lunchtime Organ Concerts

Around the World | Friday 25 May 1.10pm

Greatest Hits | Monday 2 July 1.10pm

Berlioz Le Carnaval Romain

Penderecki Violin Concerto No.2

Prokofiev Symphony No.5

Box Office: 0161 907 9000

www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

Box Office: 0161 907 9000

www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk


20 – 22 July

BLUEDOT FESTIVAL

Set against a backdrop of

the iconic Lovell Telescope

at Jodrell Bank, Bluedot

combines a truly stellar lineup

of music with a groundbreaking

programme of live

science experiments, expert

talks and immersive artworks.

www.discoverthebluedot.com

21 July

MACCLESFIELD

FESTIVAL

IMAGE

LEFT:TATTON

PARK FOODIES

FESTIVAL

A fabulous day out for both

families and music lovers

with over 50 live acts, a

giant funfair, VIP clubhouse,

competitions, displays,

artisan market and much

more. This year will be an

even bigger and better event.

www.macclesfieldfestival.

co.uk

1 - 8 July

CH1 CHESTER

COMEDY FESTIVAL

8 days, 16 comedians,

26 locations! Famous TV

comedians including Paul

Sinha, Joe Caulfield and

Chester funny man Jeff

Green are set to perform

at some of the city’s most

iconic venues this summer

as part of a brand new

comedy festival being

launched by Chester’s

Business Improvement

District CH1ChesterBID.

www.ch1chestercomedy

festival.com

13 July

CHESTER RACES –

MR GREEN LADIES &

GENTS EVENING

Start the weekend with an

evening to remember at

Ladies & Gents Evening!

www.chester-races.co.uk

13 – 15 July

TATTON PARK

FOODIES FESTIVAL

Watch Great British Bake Off

winners baking live in The

Cake & Desserts Theatre.

Meet Michelin starred chefs,

Great British Menu winners,

MasterChef champions

and top local chefs cooking

their signature recipes in

the Stoves Chefs Theatre.

Feast in the Street Food

Avenue; learn to bake in

the Cake and Bake Theatre;

enjoy afternoon tea in the

Vintage Tea Tent; taste wine,

Champagne and craft beer in

the Drinks Theatre; buy from

local producers in the Artisan

Market and lots more!

www.tattonpark.org.uk

14 July

CHESTER RACES -

SIGNATURE LIVING

CITY PLATE DAY

Attracting crowds of

enthusiastic racing fans

and those looking to up the

style stakes, racegoers flock

from around the country to

witness history unfold before

their eyes across the season

at Chester Racecourse.

www.chester-races.co.uk

14 & 15 July

CHESHIRE

STEAM FAIR

The grounds of Daresbury

open once again featuring

the Flyin Ryan Stunt Show.

This event showcases

products like steam

engines, classic cars,

vintage tractors, classic

motorcycles, fairground

organs, miniature steam

engines, stationary engines

and vintage commercials.

www.outdoorshows.co.uk

18 – 22 July

RHS FLOWER SHOW

TATTON PARK

Set in magnificent

parklands, the RHS Flower

Show at Tatton Park is a

celebration of the best in

gardening with a vibrant

carnival atmosphere.

A spectacular day out, not

just for plant lovers, but for

friends and family too.

www.rhs.org.uk/

shows-events

21 & 22 July

COUNTRYSIDE FAIR

This is a brilliant family

friendly event celebrating the

best of the beautiful British

countryside and the many

pursuits available locally.

Enjoy animals, fun dog

shows, artisan stalls, craft

activities, arena displays and

demonstrations, fair rides,

local clubs and associations,

delicious food stalls, an

outside bar and much more.

www.blakemerevillage.com

14 July

LIVE IN THE PARK

Live music concert at the

stunning Arley Hall & Gardens,

where you can bring a picnic

before you’re entertained

by tributes to some of the

greatest acts of all time. Acts

this year include: Le Chic, a

collective of some of the UK’s

finest musicians and vocalists,

Pete Valentine, a fantastic

George Michael tribute, and

headlining is Malcolm Pitt

as Lionel Richie; Europe’s

leading Lionel Richie

Tribute act.

www.nmcentre.com

30


Welcome to the

CHESHIRE GAME

& COUNTRY FAIR

Saturday, Sunday & Monday

25th - 27th August

Including

The 14th English

Open Chainsaw

Carving

Competition

• A large Country Fair wih all day entertainment in the three Main Show Arenas by

some of the countrysides top names and organisations • Food Glorious Food

• Hands on experience, come and ‘Have a Go’ at country sports

• World of dogs, Gundogs, Lurcher and Terriers • Craft Village

• Shooting Village, ATEO Airguns, ACA Archery, Clayshoot

• Lots of children’s entertainment and attractions

For more information visit

www.cheshiregameandcountryfair.co.uk

Telephone 01283 820548

Cheshire County Showground

Tabley • Knutsford

Cheshire

WA16 0HJ

18

Admission

Adults £14.00

Over 65s £13.00

Children £4.00

LH0101 107x145 CHESHIRE FAIR 30-3.indd 1 27/03/2018 15:06

Eaton Hall Gardens

Charity Open Days 2018

19

20

Sunday

27 May

Sunday

29 July

Sunday

26 August

£8 Adults/£2 Children /£18 Family

Family – two adults & two children. Cash only.

Gates open 10.30am to 5pm

Eaton Park, Eccleston, Chester CH4 9ET

Telephone 01244 684400

www.eatonestate.co.uk


IMAGE:

SHREK THE

MUSICAL,

VENUE CYMRU

THE CHESTER TOUR

The must-do walking tour

of Chester

Your guide will lead you on a

captivating journey through

2,000 years of history,

taking in all the main sites

along the way, including

the unique Rows, mighty

Walls, beautiful River Dee,

impressive Cathedral and

not forgetting the worldfamous

Eastgate Clock.

Tours at 10.30am and 2pm.

For more information please

visit chestertours.org.uk

25 July

NANTWICH SHOW

AND INTERNATIONAL

CHEESE AWARDS

A day not to be missed!

With celebrity chef demos

and massive marquees will

house the International

Cheese Awards. Also

displays of cattle, horses,

sheep, poultry, pigeons, and

dogs, whilst other exhibits

will include over 450 trade

stands, with something for

everyone!

www.nantwichshow.co.uk

26 July

KEVIN AND KAREN

DANCE

Following a sensational

sell-out debut tour last

year, Strictly sweethearts

Kevin and Karen Clifton

are back with a brand new

show. It’s a high-energy

performance filled with

sassy tunes, heart-pounding

choreography and sparkling

costumes.

www.venuecymru.co.uk

27 – 29 July

CARFEST NORTH

First acts confirmed

include Bananarama, Billy

Ocean, Jools Holland, Rick

Astley, Status Quo and The

Proclaimers. Packed with

as much 4 wheeled action

as we can squeeze into a

weekend. From our Hill

Climb Track Show, Car Club

displays, Vintage Village, and

the ever popular Sporting

Bears Dream Rides.

www.carfest.org

28 July

CHESTER RACES

- STELLA ARTOIS

MIDSUMMER

MEETING

Attracting crowds of

enthusiastic racing fans

and those looking to up the

style stakes, racegoers flock

from around the country to

witness history unfold before

their eyes across the season

at Chester Racecourse.

www.chester-races.co.uk

17 – 19 August

JUST SO FESTIVAL

An annual, intimate,

weekend long festival - an

imaginative outdoor family

adventure like no other, a

wonderland of world-class

literature, arts, theatre,

dance, music, comedy and

creative pursuits.

www.justsofestival.org.uk

21 August – 2 September

SHREK THE MUSICAL

Based on the story and

characters from the Oscarwinning

DreamWorks

Animation film, this hilarious

and spectacular production

turns the world of fairytales

upside down in an allsinging,

all-dancing, mustsee

musical comedy.

www.venuecymru.co.uk

SECRET CHESTER

CASTLE TOUR

Your guide will have the

keys to unlock the secrets

of Chester Castle. Discover

the Sally Port and Mint in the

Castle grounds and marvel

at the intriguing medieval

wall paintings in the Agricola

Tower. Then continue on to

the original cathedral, now

St. John’s Church. Includes

steps. Tours at 11.30am on

the first Tuesday and 3rd

Friday of the month.

For more information please

visit chestertours.org.uk

32


21

22

CASH IN

YOUR

CELLAR?

An internationally inspired grill using

outstanding ingredients.

Standing out from the crowd, this 400-seater

restaurant is housed over two floors and

brings theatre on a grand scale to Chester.

Free wine & whisky

valuations

Private sales

arranged

LIVE MUSIC

EVERY WEEK

Macallan Private Eye

Sold for £2,250

01270 440357

mark@marklittler.com

www.marklittler.com

23

CONQUER THE

TOP SPOT

Race up the woodland trails and storm

the castle for some high-spirited fun.

T: 01244 343 888

E: Opera.Grill@Individualrestaurants.com

Opera Grill, Pepper St, Chester CH1 1DF

operagrill.com

Chapel Lane, Cheshire CW6 9TX


24

©

SUMMER at

BOAT LIFT

A FANTASTIC DAY OUT FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Take a river cruise, boat trip through the lift or simply explore with FREE entry into our coffee shop,

interactive exhibition, gift shop and grounds with NEW play area. Events throughout the summer.

For more information call 01606 786 777 or

visit www.andertonboatlift.co.uk


As the market

for traditional

antiques fades, new

opportunities for

collectors arise –

and among them

is the relatively

new market for

fine whisky, says

Mark Littler.

Whisky?

As A

Collector’s

Item?

The most sought-after whisky on the market is

made by The Macallan distillery. Established in

1824, it’s a distillery that strives to be the Faberge

(to use an antique analogy) of the whisky world,

its whisky matured almost exclusively in rare

ex-Oloroso sherry casks. In fact, such is their

demand that The Macallan now makes casks from

Spanish oak and lends them to sherry producers,

all so that it can secure a reliable supply of casks

in which to mature its whisky.

So just how expensive and sought after is The

Macallan? Last October, a cask distilled in

1987 sold for £285,000 – though the cask itself

contained hundreds of bottles of whisky. At

around the same time, Bonhams sold a complete

set of The Macallan in its ‘Lalique Six Pillars

Collection’ for £360,000. The set comprised six

bottles (each made by Lalique) containing whisky

aged between 50 and 65 years – a sale price that

makes that 1987 cask seem like a bargain. But by

far the most expensive bottle of The Macallan sold

at auction was a six-litre bottle of Macallan M. It

took Lalique over 50 hours to craft the 70cm high

bottle. Sold by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, the sale

price was in excess of £460,000.

These sales represent the top of The Macallan

market. In the UK, auctions are dominated by

bottles in the £500-£5,000 range. The main things

that effect their value are the age of the whisky

(how long it has spent in the cask, not the bottle),

the bottling date (whisky doesn’t improve once

bottled, but older bottles do tend to be rarer),

limited editions, the distillation year (collectors

often try and collect one from each year), the level

(the level of the whisky should be into the neck of

the bottle; if it’s lower it will have less flavour and

thus less value) and, finally, the (ideally pristine)

labels and packaging.

marklittler.com

35


On top of that, there are a number of soughtafter

ranges, such as the 25 Year Old Anniversary

Malt. Housed in distinctive wooden boxes with

The Macallan branding, the first edition was

distilled in 1957 and was matured for 25 years,

being released at £25 per bottle in 1983. The last

bottling of the edition was released in the year

2000, and the 25 Year Old Anniversary Malts now

sell for between £1,000 and £3,000 per bottle.

Other such ranges include the Macallan Private

Eye – with only 5,000 released in 1996, today they

can sell for as much as £3,000 per bottle – and

two editions of the Macallan Royal Marriage, the

first marking the marriage of Prince Charles

and Diana, the second a marriage of two casks,

one filled on 29 April 1996 and the other on 29

April 1999, to celebrate the wedding of Prince

William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2010.

Originally priced at £100 per bottle, it now sells

for around £1,500-£2,000 per bottle.

While demand for The Macallan bottlings has

risen exponentially in the past decade, many,

myself included, don’t think that this level of

growth can be sustained. As more owners of

The Macallan begin to realise the value of their

bottles, the market will become saturated and

no one knows if demand will continue to outstrip

supply. That said, a crash is unlikely; we’re more

likely to see a correction of prices followed by

slower growth. One positive in this respect is the

number of bottles that my clients consume –

steadily increasing the rarity of the

remaining bottles.

Mark Littler is an

independent antiques valuer

and consultant

marklittler.com

36


CHESTER

MYSTERY

PLAYS

June 27 - July 14 2018

CHESTER CATHEDRAL

Book now: 01244 500959

www.chestermysteryplays.com

Written by Deborah McAndrew

Directed by Peter Leslie Wild

Music by Matt Baker

Designed by Dawn Allsopp

25

SPECTACLE & HiSToRY, MiRACLES & MYSTERY

A community cast of hundreds tells how God created the world, Noah (and Mrs Noah) built

their ark and jovial shepherds made their way from North Wales to witness the birth of Jesus.


26

Book at rhs.org.uk/tatton

Supported by


Maps

Chester

4

28

14

15

25

21

13

3

1 Chester Zoo

2 The Ice Cream Farm

3 City Sightseeing

4 Chester Races

6 Jodrell Bank

7 Reclaimed World

8 Venue Cymru

9 GladFest

10 Live in the Park

11 The Brindley

12 Pub in the Park

13 ChesterBoat

14 VIC

15 Grosvenor Museum

16 Halle

17 Bridgewater Hall

18 Cheshire Game &

Country Fair

19 Eaton Hall Gardens

20 Hack Green

21 Opera Grill

23 Beeston Castle

24 Anderton Boat Lift

25 Chester Mystery Plays

26 RHS

28 Storyhouse

29 Tatton Park

Cheshire

16 17

11

10 2629

24

18

12

8

1

9 7

6

19

2

23

20

Not featured on map:

5 Chester Comedy Festival

22 Mark Littler

27 Amazed by Science

39


eviewed...

The Chef ’s

Table

Small but apparently perfectly formed –

Susie Stubbs finds out how one Chester independent is

giving the competition a run for its money.

Independent. Artisan.

Seasonal. Authentic. They’re

the watchwords of the food

scene, the markers of the

sorts of restaurants that

gather acclaim as easily as a

sommelier collects empties

at the end of the night. But

they’re also words bandied

about so often that they risk

becoming meaningless; so

much noise in a world where

hype has become the norm.

Yet there are still places

where the independent spirit

is alive and kicking. In fact,

there are a growing number

of restaurants where the

covers are kept low and the

service relaxed, and where a

real knowledge of food and

drink is key to an experience

that’s about as far from

hype as the sun is from a

Manchester sky.

Take Stockport’s Where the

Light Gets In, Sticky Walnut

in Hoole, Aidan Byrne’s

The Church Green (p16), or

Chester’s own The Chef’s

Table – the latter a place

so unassuming that, tucked

away along a medieval

passageway, I walked past

it twice before I realised

where it was. It’s worth

hunting down, though, this

30-cover restaurant whose

menus have won it the sort

of awards that many a

big-time restaurant would

spend serious time and

money chasing.

According to Tom Hughes

(who runs The Chef’s Table

with Katie McLachlan and

chef Liam McKay), the

reason for its success is

simple. “To run a small

independent at this level,”

he says, “it’s about pride,

it’s about showing people

how to run things the right

way.” It’s also about “bloody

hard work”, the sort of graft

that sees Tom driving up

to his vegetable supplier

in the morning, washing

the produce in buckets and

serving it on the same day

- a distinct lack of glamour

that Tom reckons many of

his diners just don’t get.

They see the accolades, our

refurbishment, how slick

it is, but they don’t see the

fact that 95% of the time it’s

really hard.”

40


The presentation

was jewel-like,

the choice of

ingredients clever

without being

show-off

And why would they? On the

Friday lunchtime I visited

the place was buzzing, every

table full, the chefs banging

out stellar dish after dish,

the waiting staff quietly

attentive. As for the food:

pickled mussels came with

the aniseed taste of fennel, a

carrot and ginger soup was

elevated via the inclusion

of marigold leaves, blood

orange and pumpkin seeds

(“I’ve never tasted anything

like it,” said the waitress

of the piquant, perfumed

leaves). Cod loin was served

with roe that glistened like

a ripe blackberry, the flakes

of seared fish shored up by

roast potato and a risotto

made with Parmesan, carrot

and celery. The presentation

was jewel-like, the choice of

ingredients clever without

being show-off. In other

words, as lunches go, it was

none too shabby.

The vegetable supplier Tom

mentioned is the Natural

Veg Men, a three-acre

organic site near Malpas

that supplies all of the

restaurant’s fresh produce

between April and October.

The relationship between

the two businesses started

over Twitter, developed over

a cuppa, with the two now so

close that, “Liam calls up the

Veg Men to see what they’ve

got, and works out the menu

based on that,” says Tom.

“It 100% causes a headache

sometimes, but this is

produce coming from one of

the oldest pieces of organic

land in the country and it’s

so fresh – you won’t get that

anywhere else in Chester.”

What else is unique is

the restaurant’s attention

to detail. While Liam’s

inventiveness is the

undeniable star of the

show (his signature dish

is made with the electric

daisy, a Brazilian flower with

anaesthetic properties), this

is a restaurant that spends

time getting the basics right.

“We have four lads who bake

on site, twice a day,” says

Tom. “Baking gets you in

the right frame of mind; if

you can get the bread right,

you can get anything right.”

What this means, then, is

that it’s the food that does

the talking here, not the

marketing department. And

while the making of it might

be hard work, Tom, Katie

and Liam make it look – and

taste – anything but. This is

one restaurant that’s more

than living up to the hype.

The Chef’s Table, Music Hall

Passage, Chester CH1 2EU.

www.chefstablechester.co.uk

41


ABS UG AD_Layout 1 17/04/2018 17:57 Page 1

27

Supported by

26th May – 3rd June 2018

COME AND JOIN THE FUN

Amazing Events

and activities are

taking place across

Cheshire at various

locations!

@amazedbyscience

amazedbyscience

www.amazedbyscience.com


Summer 2018

5 May - 8 July

By William Shakespeare

6 July – 25 August

By William Shakespeare

27 July – 26 August

1 June - 26 august

Stage version by Bryony Lavery, based

on the original by Arthur Ransome

14 July – 26 August

15 June - 7 July

storyhouse.com

#madebystoryhouse

storyhouse.com

#madebystoryhouse

28


NEW

FOR 2018

29

A Taste of Tatton

In its heyday, the Tatton Estate fed the Egerton family and staff.

This year we’re bringing this story to life with exciting activities

that give you a Taste of Tatton and the chance to discover

fascinating facts about where your food comes from.

FARM • GARDENS • MANSION • PARKLAND

tattonpark.org.uk/FieldToFork

More magazines by this user