Cheshire Life Luncheon - Pecks, Congleton

PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 April 2019

Peak District Lady Wash Farm Lamb

Peak District Lady Wash Farm Lamb


Pecks at Congleton was the perfect location for a lunch of laughter and lasting memories

Paul Taylor, Louise Taylor, Andrew Pear, Janet ReederPaul Taylor, Louise Taylor, Andrew Pear, Janet Reeder

The recent spring lunch at Pecks restaurant in Moreton near Congleton was extra special, not least because of the continuing excellence of the food and hospitality but it was the last one for Louise Taylor as editor of Cheshire Life.

Pecks is one of those restaurants that are so unique to the county thanks to the passion of their owners who make it their business to ensure diners come back time and again. It opened back in 1984 and was bought by the current owners 12 years ago, however a recent make-over has kept things current.

‘We were regular customers and my wife and I liked it so much we bought it,’ owner Andrew Pear laughs over a welcome glass of Crémant De Bourgogne.

‘The concept is dinner at eight. Everybody sits down at the same time and unlike a conventional restaurant there are no menus, the waiters and waitresses bring out dishes, you see the food and we describe to you how it’s cooked so you avoid the horrible situation in restaurants where you order the wrong thing.’

Andrew PearAndrew Pear

The restaurant is also a hot spot for a fine dining lunch, and an indulgent afternoon tea, as well as private parties and weddings.

Andrew said he was delighted to host the Cheshire Life spring lunch in Louise’s honour, especially as she had been such a champion of Pecks.

‘She’s been a real ally over the years she’s been at Cheshire Life,’ he said.

‘We’ve worked really closely with her so it’s lovely she’s chosen here for her farewell lunch as editor.’

Before taking their seats for lunch, the invited guests drank the bubbles and nibbled on a selection of canapés prepared by chef Les Wassall.

They included hearty sage sausage rolls goat’s cheese beignets, tiny open sandwiches of prawn cream cheese and chive, and chicken liver parfait.

Chef Les explained that although most ingredients are now available all year round, he was keeping the menu seasonal with Peak District Lady Wash Farm lamb taking centre stage as a main course. A pulled shoulder of mutton and moist lamb cutlet were served with vegetables and parmentier potatoes from PC Produce Congleton.

There was a bit of a boozy theme with a much lauded starter of beetroot vodka and soy cured Loch Duart salmon courtesy of fish supplier Neve Fleetwood, served with a lemon aioli and pea puree and for pudding a gin and tonic cheesecake that proved pretty addictive.

‘I decided on the mutton as a main course as it has so much more depth but there was also new season lamb cutlet,’ said Les, who has been the Pecks head chef for 15 years.

‘The starter of beetroot and cured salmon is as healthy as you can get and the gin in the gin and tonic cheesecake is very fashionable at the moment.’

Wines served with dinner were supplied by RD Wines of Telford and included a fruity and elegant Walt Reisling Pfalz, full of peach and apple flavours giving a pleasing dryness and a Santa Alba Pinot Noir 2018 Reserva from Chile, which was light but packed full of cherry and spice to offset the meatiness of the mutton and the lamb cutlet.

From the menu

To start

Beetroot vodka and soy cured Loch Duart salmon

Home hot salmon rillette, lemon aioli, pea puree

To continue

Peak District Lady Wash Farm lamb

Lamb cutlet ad pulled shoulder of mutton served with a melange of vegetables and parmentier potatoes

To finish

Gin and tonic cheesecake

A classic cheesecake laced with blackberries and Brockman’s gin, decorated with a layer of blackberry tonic jelly

To drink

Crémant De Bourgogne

Walt Reisling Pfalz

Santa Alba Pinot Noir 2018 Reserva; Chile


Pecks, Newcastle Road, Congleton, CW12 4SB 01260 275161,

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