3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Restaurant review - The Shippon by Mark Ellis, Eyton, Wrexham

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 August 2018

On the menu at Shippon by Mark Ellis

On the menu at Shippon by Mark Ellis

not Archant

Renowned Cheshire chef Mark Ellis - of Great British Menu fame - is now showcasing his talent in leafy Eyton, just over the border.

The Shippon by Mark Ellis is an exciting new chapter for the talented Cheshire-based chefThe Shippon by Mark Ellis is an exciting new chapter for the talented Cheshire-based chef

You’ve got to love a restaurant which wears its origins with pride. Look at The Con Club in Altrincham - a nicely-weathered former Conservative working men’s club now an apolitical, buzzy eatery. And now there is The Shippon restaurant and bar, set in lovely countryside at Eyton, Wrexham. From taking the odd touring caravan in the 1980s, the dairy farm here developed into a five-star holiday park, The Plassey, and the milking parlour became a restaurant and bar, The Shippon, which, after a re-styling, now bears the name of Mark Ellis, a star of BBC2’s Great British Menu, who also has Allium in Tattenhall.

It’s appealingly obvious that The Shippon was once a place for cows, not humans. Our table is in a booth created from a cattle stall, complete with feed trough and water basin. There’s polished brick (the same brick as used for the London underground, apparently) and white tiling everywhere. Milking paraphernalia and old agricultural posters adorn the walls. The theme even continues over into the loos where (I am reliably informed) the urinals are created from shiny milking pails!

The holiday park affords the restaurant a captive market, but even at weekends, the clientele tends to be 50/50 between residents and non-residents. And if the notion of caravanning and good food doesn’t seem like a natural fit, you need only look at Marram Grass on Anglesey - once a caravan site cafe, now a destination restaurant place-to-be.

Mark Ellis has past form for dreaming up turbo-charged versions of comfort food staples, so I am intrigued by his ‘toast on cheese’ starter. But I am more intrigued by ‘Mosaic’ (£8) a slab of juicy pressed chicken topped with mussels, lip-smacking chicken skin and something which tastes like posh salad cream. Our other starter is Chirk trout, blow torched and accompanied by a deeply-flavoruful smoked trout mousse, pickled grapes and fennel. A main of Welsh black beef (£18) is a Jacob’s ladder (short rib) cut, cooked, says the menu, for 48 hours. It’s certainly a succulent slab of meat, charred on the outside, just beyond pink at the core, the rich flavour nicely complemented by yeast potato. Our other main is hake (£17) beautifully poached in beef butter with samphire and a decorative trellis of broccoli, almonds, crispy fish skin and pea puree - almost too pretty to eat.

On the menu at Shippon by Mark EllisOn the menu at Shippon by Mark Ellis

On to puds and the parfait (£8) is a delicate, tantalising combination of iced passion fruit, white chocolate, lemon and meringue. Better yet, though, is ‘Save The Bees’, one of Ellis’s Great British Menu dishes. It has a rhubarb sorbet, aerated honey mousse with bee pollen-encrusted shards of tuile wafer and, at the bottom, cubes of rhubarb and a sweet nugget of real honeycomb. It’s as enticing a mix of sweet, sour, sharp and soft flavours as I’ve ever tasted. There’s much more to the offer, not least the ‘experience’ menu: six courses, with a vegetarian option and wine or gin pairings. It’s also worth mentioning a wine list which includes some very affordable choices.

The Shippon by Mark Ellis is at Eyton, Wrexham, LL13 0SP, tel 01978 780999, theshippon.com

More from Food & Drink

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Digest this mini review in 60 seconds

Read more
Stockport Asian Food
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Parea in Alderley Edge serves up an all-day menu, a lively atmosphere, a soupçon of glamour and there’s not a tasting menu in sight.

Read more
Alderley Edge Cheshire Restaurants

Raise your glasses to the winners of the Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards. They celebrated in style at Carden Park

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

The local produce and rising number of eateries deserve closer examination

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

Enjoy our September specials, this month we travel to Barbados!

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

The shop on Godstall Lane becomes the company’s fourth location in Cheshire and Wirral.

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Colin Starkey and his team created a memorable lunch at the Pinewood Hotel’s One Eighty restaurant in Handforth

Read more
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Belton Farm were crowned Supreme Champion at the International Cheese Awards at Dorfold in Nantwich.

Read more
Monday, August 27, 2018

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search