Restaurant review - 32 by The Hollies, Tarporley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 31 October 2018
The newest enterprise from one of Cheshire’s best known farm shops, 32 by The Hollies, is a fabulous new addition to the village of Tarporley
I love Tarporley. It’s one of those Cheshire villages that has charm in spades, lovely independent shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place for a girlie afternoon of shopping and lunch and now there’s another reason to adore it: 32 by The Hollies.
The Little Budworth farm shop and cafe now has a smart sister operation, a restaurant with rooms on Tarporley High Street.
It’s such a pretty building and the rural elegance is matched by the comfortable but design-savvy interior decor.
We had decided to stay over so we could enjoy dinner in the restaurant and were led to pretty room at the front of the building, which had everything we needed; a great telly with loads of channels including Netflix, air con that was as close to silent as you could get and a gorgeous, large, comfortable bed.
As if I couldn’t love it any more, we sat in the buzzing bar and drank glasses of decent house white before heading to our table in the dining room.
The style is casual dining and there’s a contemporary feel to the place, perhaps because of the open kitchen where you can see the crew hard at work, creating dishes from a small-ish but very tempting menu.
I was bowled over by their evident passion for great produce and superb cooking.
The Hollies is a farm shop and produces its own ingredients and it shows. Everything tastes great. There’s a whipped goats cheese starter, £7.50, that is elevated by the sharp sweetness of plum jam and intensely sweet beetroot. The breast of woodpigeon, £9.50, is everything you want from an autumnal dish, it’s accompanied by sticky dates and barley and is a real taste of the season, the only quibble, we wanted more!
The 12 oz sirloin, £25 restores your faith in steak, packing juicy meaty flavour, it’s quite the hunk. There’s nothing poncey about this dish. It is what it is, steak, vine tomatoes and chips. But what chips. Kids if you want to know what real fries taste like, come here. The potato is sweet, the outside crisp and light. They are divine. I’d come back here for the chips alone.
Actually, I wouldn’t. I’d come back for the gnocchi too. A rich and satisfying rendition of the Italian classic that packs flavour and texture from a mixture of candied walnuts, blue cheese, butternut squash and spinach, £14 - one of the most gorgeous comforting dishes I’ve had in ages.
Of course by this time, we were more than satisfied but how could we not have dessert? The apple tart tatin, £6.50, a bistro classic was sticky and toffee-ish but was actually knocked into second place by the steamed sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, £6.50. The great thing about staying over was we could have breakfast and there is a lovely morning menu that includes real freshly-squeezed juice and excellent coffee. I loved my avocado on sourdough - well in such contemporary surroundings I had to have a trendy breakfast didn’t I? My advice? Book now before they get too popular.
32 High Street, Tarporley, CW6 0DY. 01829 738958, 32bythehollies.co.uk.