Food review - The Vicarage Hotel, Cranage, Holmes Chapel
PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 January 2015
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Pub restaurant beside the River Dane, with origins in the early 17th century. The Vicarage has had a recent extensive refurbishment, and boasts 40 rooms which are a quirky take on the theme of a country inn.
We visited for Sunday lunch. Vegetable and rosemary soup was a hearty bowlful with just the right herby hum to it and a whopping slab of bloomer bread. My companion’s starter of salmon, cucumber and dill tian had firm flakes of fish on a bed of rocket with smears of saffron mayonnaise, all subtly flavourful.
My main of salmon fillet with boulangier potatoes, beans and pea beurre blanc was another exercise in delicate flavours nicely balanced. Generous portion, too. Roast beef lunch was a superior version of an old favourite. Stars of the show were the puds. Not normally a fan of the deconstructed dessert (too much work involved), but the delicious apple and cinnamon crumble - served in a glass with a little bowl of ice cream and a slice of toffee peanut brittle on the side - was an exception to the rule. Gooseberry fool with shortbread was another pukka pud.
Decor and ambience
Mish-mash of old and new. A wizened beam above a fireplace in the entrance lounge proclaims the pub’s origins in 1635. There are stone floors, hunting and horsey artefacts and a curious window in the floor affording a view of the wine cellar. The main bar is a spacious, darkly welcoming room with strange heraldic-style designs on the beams. There are more tables in a sunnier, modern extension. The Vicarage is a place with character.
All brisk and efficient. A too-pink serving of beef was put right with no demur.
The Sunday lunch menu was £14.95 for two courses, £17.95 for three. Wine list was being updated when we visited, so there were bargains to be had: a decent bottle of Merlot for only £14.50.
The Vicarage Hotel
Holmes Chapel CW4 8EF