Helen O’Donnell - My favourite five restaurants

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 October 2013

Helen O'Donnell CEO, photographed by Alison McLean

Helen O'Donnell CEO, photographed by Alison McLean


Helen O’Donnell is chief executive of Cheshire Community Foundation. She lives in Haslington near Sandbach with her husband and three daughters. The CCF is a charitable business, based in Northwich, which helps local philanthropists ensure that their donations really make a difference. By the end of 2013 the Foundation will have raised over £4m for those in need in Cheshire and will have distributed donations to many local charities. Helen tells us about her favourite restaurants

Panama Hatty’s

Whitchurch Road, Spurstow, Tarporley, CW6 9TD
01829 260068

A firm favourite for birthdays and family occasions and hugely popular with my teenage daughters who love both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails as well as the great menu (the ribs are a firm favourite). Good value for money and great fresh food from a mix of Latin and Asian countries. Always very welcoming with excellent service from friendly and accommodating staff.

The Bear’s Paw

School Lane, Warmingham, Sandbach, 
CW11 3QN, 01270 526317

The first place we dined at on returning to Cheshire and still a firm favourite with my husband and I on those rare occasions we manage a meal for just two. The inn has retained its traditional character despite the now contemporary styling which makes for a great atmosphere. The home-cooked food is locally sourced and always delicious. Well deserving of its AA award. Would consider a short break there even though it’s only down the road!

Knutsford Wine Bar

41A King Street
Knutsford, WA16 6DW 
01565 750459

A great place for meetings over a light lunch as there’s always a good mix of traditional and contemporary dishes on the menu, so something to suit everyone. The crispy duck salad is a particular favourite of mine. Perfect on a really cold day as well if you can get a seat near the open fire!

La Brasserie, The Chester Grosvenor

Eastgate, Chester CH1 1LT
01244 324024

The Westminster Foundation is one of CCF’s Founding Partners and a key funder and so it’s always good to catch up with the Foundation’s Administrator over lunch at La Brasserie. The Plat du Jour always offers the perfect two-course lunch and in such sophisticated surroundings! The French style reminds me of the Brasserie Georges in Lyon although without the same hustle and bustle. I treated my parents to Sunday Lunch there recently as part of my father’s 70th birthday celebrations and they had a fantastic meal.

Marco Pierre White, Steakhouse Bar and Grill, DoubleTree by Hilton Chester
Warrington Road, Chester, CH2 3PD
01244 408 830, www.mpwsteakhousechester.co.uk

A touch of glamour but affordable with fabulous food and cocktails and a real treat if combined with an overnight stay and use of the spa. My husband tells me the steaks are fantastic but if you’re not a fan there’s an extensive choice of other meat dishes, pies and fish on the A la Carte menu. Rabbit’s a personal favourite if there’s a special on. The local cheese board selection with quince jelly is a lovely way to finish off. Looking forward to the planned ‘al fresco’ dining area opening in the future.

For more information about the CCF visit: www.cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk

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