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Cheshire Life Luncheon - The Stanneylands, Wilmslow

PUBLISHED: 14:58 16 June 2017

Darren's local Smokehouse duck, barbecued beetroot salad, candied walnut and sherry dressing

Darren's local Smokehouse duck, barbecued beetroot salad, candied walnut and sherry dressing

Archant

The Stanneylands has just reopened its doors following a major re-vamp. Guests at our special lunch couldn’t wait to see the transformation, as well as taste some delights from the new menu, writes Janet Reeder

Head Chef, Bob Egginton (seated) with his team; Daniel Lewis, Jack Teasdale, Susana Sierras-Alcala, Andy Grundy, Peter Ellis, Leon Garland, Kris Brownlow, Luke Johnston and Nicki GarnerHead Chef, Bob Egginton (seated) with his team; Daniel Lewis, Jack Teasdale, Susana Sierras-Alcala, Andy Grundy, Peter Ellis, Leon Garland, Kris Brownlow, Luke Johnston and Nicki Garner

The Stanneylands, one of the county’s favourite hotels, has had a stunning make-over. Cheshire Life had the privilege of hosting a lunch to give VIP guests a glimpse of the beautiful interior as well as sampling the culinary delights that are now part of its new incarnation.

In December 2015, owner Mark Boler added Stanneylands to his Mere Collection, which includes the famous Mere Golf Resort and Spa in Knutsford and has since been working with his team to create a new vision for its future.

‘We had a year observing, looking and learning about the property but I pretty much knew the vision and the path we should take as this place has been a favourite of mine since I was 12 years of age,’ he revealed as guests gathered in the Tap and Pantry bar and restaurant prior to the main event in the elegant wood-panelled Grill Room.

‘It’s about accessibility. I have looked around the country and felt that Cheshire was really short on British restaurants and engagement with the local community. Now I think we have created that with the Tap and Pantry and the Grill Room.

Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor, with Tracy Thomas Evelyn,  Michelle Robinson and Gaynor Black (Brand Director for the Mere Collection)Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor, with Tracy Thomas Evelyn, Michelle Robinson and Gaynor Black (Brand Director for the Mere Collection)

‘The Tap and Pantry is very much about lots of favourites on the menu. Nice British foods, sharing platters, right the way through to homemade burgers, really nice steaks from the local butcher and lovely desserts.

‘At the Grill Room it’s more about classic dining, with a more reduced menu where the chef can exhibit his own flair and where the menu changes on a regular basis to reflect the seasons.’

To help realise this vision a new team has been brought on board that includes General Manager Carina Martins, who originally hails from Brazil.

‘We are just opening and as such as we have lots of ideas about the hotel but we are very much about getting feedback and talking to customers,’ she said.

‘A lot of regular guests are returning and I just love listening to their stories. People have been here for their weddings, or this is where they met. We had a couple in the other day and they had first been here almost 50 years ago when they had first been dating, so it is very special. Now we have new people coming, so we can start creating those stories again.’

Cheshire Life’s guests found themselves adding to this new chapter by enjoying a memorable lunch that started with local smokehouse duck, a precisely cooked piece of meat with an excellently judged smokiness, complemented by a sweet hit of beetroot and candied walnut. A meat-free starter of sweet beets with whipped creamy Ribblesdale goats’ cheese was served to the vegetarians.

A main of roast Shetland cod won the approval of diners for its moist, soft flaky texture and freshness. You could almost smell the ozone, thanks to an accompaniment of sweet clams and sea asparagus, while for the meat free a dish of fresh linguine coated in a creamy mushroom sauce, served with piquant Ribblesdale Owd Ewes’ Cheese flakes hit the spot perfectly.

The finale of an Arctic roll added a playful touch, although it has to be said this was no retro freezer specimen. This freshly cooked concoction of creamy ice cream rolled in soft sponge had been elevated in its execution and by a gorgeous glass of Bolney bubbly which proved an inspired pairing.

Head Chef Bob Egginton is from Heald Green and cut his culinary teeth in The Stanneylands’ kitchens going on to work at The Lowry, Salford, and Malmaison and Principal Hotels in Manchester before returning to The Stanneylands.

‘For this lunch, I just thought it needed something simple, fresh, all made in house, and keep it as British as I can,’ he said. ‘Obviously being in spring I wanted to keep it light with roast cod from Scotland on the menu. With the dessert I wanted a real classic. I think everybody likes Arctic roll as it reminds them of their childhood. It shows you can take something a little old fashioned and sex it up a little bit.’

MENU

To start

Darren’s Local Smokehouse Duck, barbecued beetroot salad, candied walnut and sherry dressing

To continue

Roast Shetland Isles cod, clams, salsify, sea and land asparagus

To finish

Arctic roll, raspberry nectar and a glass of Bolney bubbly

Coffee and homemade chocolates

To drink

Spy Valley Pinot Noir, Marlborough New Zealand 2013

Pouilly-Fumé Cuvée du Troncsec, Joseph Mellot Loire valley France 2013

Details

The Stanneylands

Stanneylands Rd, Wilmslow SK9 4EY

01625 525225

staneylands.co.uk

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