Cheshire Life Luncheon - De Vere Venues' Wychwood Park, Weston, Crewe

PUBLISHED: 13:39 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 21:38 21 October 2015

Emma Redfern and Nicola Gotting

Emma Redfern and Nicola Gotting

Guests at this Cheshire Life luncheon enjoyed golf club catering in a class of its own - and all presented in a beautiful contemporary setting accompanied by panoramic views

James Higgin and mum, Beryl with Lorna ThompsonJames Higgin and mum, Beryl with Lorna Thompson

The golf course is a great place to do business, some say - especially golfing enthusiasts.


And the claim may, indeed, be true: hence the number of hotels boasting conference facilities and state-of-the-art business suites that have surrounded themselves with golf courses. And the attraction of 18 absorbing holes, of course, spills over into the hospitality industry's equally important leisure market - ie golfers who don't even pretend they're doing anything else but enjoying themselves.


Thus mixing business with pleasure is the stock-in-trade at De Vere Venues' Wychwood Park, which, a short hop from Crewe railway station and close to the M6 motorway, offers flexible 25 meeting rooms holding up to 250 people. It's an ideal spot in the heart of the Cheshire countryside to cater for business meetings, training and conferencing requirements; and it's got a European PGA tour-standard golf course laid out in 2002, widely regarded as one of the premier inland courses in the north of England.


Like its sister venue at Daresbury, Wychwood Park boasts a Steam Bake & Grill restaurant within the hotel designed to offer both conferencers and leisure visitors a quality dining experience. And then there's the Claret Jug...


Wychwood Park golf course's '19th hole', is named after the coveted trophy fought over by the world's top golfers at The Open and as guests at Cheshire Life's April luncheon discovered, provides a contemporary, continental and unstuffy atmosphere with exposed stone walls, polished stone floors and floor-to-ceiling windows providing a panoramic vista over the rolling fairways.


The Claret Jug's menu majors on hearty comfort food that provides day-long sustenance for golfers before and after they've endured the demanding 7,213-yard course. It starts with breakfasts between 7am and 11am, classic sandwiches and from noon, favourites like steak, sausages and mash, fish and chips and burgers. Plus there's a range of delectable hand-raised pies.


As we gathered in the bar, welcoming flutes of superior sparkling pinot noir-chardonnay - first of the afternoon's wines from Preece in Victoria, Australia, supplied and described by James Martin of Bibendum - accompanied canapés comprising miniatures of the Claret Jug's menu staples. There were mini pizzas, goujons of beer-battered haddock with tartare dip, dinky beef and chicken burgers, roundels of garlic bread topped with Bolognese and baby steak pies. All this before three-courses!


Guests took their places at tables sumptuously decorated by venue dressers Faerie Godmothers and the Melody Corporation, showcasing the ambition of Wychwood Park's general manager Iain Gray and head chef Carl Stenson for the venue to reach out to local clientele as a destination restaurant.


We began with an attractive and generous portion of timbale of tip-top smoked salmon accompanied by the counterpointing piquancy of horseradish and dill dressing. Preece Chardonnay's refreshing cool-climate fruit, with just a hint of vanilla oak, provided the ideal wine pairing.


The main course was a reflection of the Steam, Bake & Grill's menu style, tender and juicy roast saddle of lamb stuffed with spinach and wild garlic, served simply on a bed of spinach with a timbale of crushed potatoes, baby carrots and thyme-scented red wine jus. Preece again provided the wine partnership, this time the classic match with lamb embodied in the luscious cassis fruit, fragrant spice and lingering finish of the cabernet sauvignon grape.


Dessert was an indulgent warm banana and nut brownie topped off with smooth, boozy Bailey's ice cream and delicious vanilla sauce. Fore!

Cheshire Life Luncheon Menu

To start
Timbale of hot oak smoked salmon, horseradish and dill dressing
Preece Chardonnay 2007, Victoria

To continue
Roast Yorkshire saddle of lamb, spinach, wild garlic stuffing, thyme and red wine jus
Preece Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Victoria

To finish
Warm banana and nut brownie, Bailey's ice cream, vanilla sauce.
Coffee and homemade fudge.

Wines were supplied by Bibendum.

Fact file

The Claret Jug, Wychwood Park, Weston, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 5GP.

Tel: 01270 829200;

Open (winter) Mon-Wed 8am-8pm, Thu 8am-10pm, Fri/Sat 7am-11pm, Sun 7am-10pm; (summer) daily 7am-11pm (10.30p Sun).

Breakfast from £2.50, sandwiches from £4, main courses from £6.95, pies £7.50, desserts from £4.

Golf packages available.

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