The top places for al fresco dining in Cheshire and North Wales
PUBLISHED: 22:08 05 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:36 20 February 2013
We don't think there's anywhere better than Cheshire and North Wales to enjoy some al fresco dining. Here's a selection to consider
We dont think theres anywhere better than Cheshire and North Wales to enjoy some al fresco dining. Heres a selection to consider
WORDS BY EMMA MAYOH
The Cross Foxes, Erbistock
This former stopping-off point, near Wrexham, for stage coaches travelling from Shrewsbury to Chester was first built by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn for his workers. Since then it has been an independently-run pub, part of Border Brewery and has been a small hotel for fishermen and wealthy game shooters.
Today, it is a popular local and place to eat for the community. It also offers the perfect location to spend a summer evening. Sit on the terrace enjoying the riverside views or watch the fishermen as they endeavour to find their catch of the day. 01978 780380
The Red House, Dee Banks, Chester
Once the site of a small pub, this large glazed structure is now the home of a contemporary, chic restaurant. The building itself constructed with the same glass used on Londons iconic Gherkin is impressive. But it is the views over the River Dee that pack the biggest punch.
Sit out on the terrace with a glass of champagne and something from the expertly constructed menu and watch the river boats glide in and out of view. The great thing is, even if youre sitting inside, it still feels like youre having an alfresco dining experience. Perfect. 01244 320088, www.redhousechester.com
Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Llyn Peninsula
While youre unlikely to head to the Ty Coch for a fine dining experience, there are few better places to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink than this beachside pub.
Sit on one of the benches to the side of this cosy hostelry, which serves traditional dishes like homemade pate, mussels cooked in garlic butter and steak and kidney pie, or squeeze into one of the few places youll find on the often jam-packed wall just outside the pub.
Youll get uninterrupted views of the pristine sandy beach, clear blue waters of the Irish Sea and The Rivals, a trio of hills to the north of the peninsula.
01758 720498, www.tycoch.co.uk
Pant yr Ochain, Old Wrexham Road, Gresford
You dont need to venture far beyond the Cheshire border to find this idyllic spot near Wrexham. Gardeners and people who appreciate pretty plants and flowers will love the explosion of colour outside the Pant yr Ochain in the summer. There are also views across a lake and a surrounding hillside.
The current structure, dating back to the 1530s, was built by the Cunliffe family, whose wealth came from the slave trade. Its now owned by a farming family. If you can drag yourself away from the views, you can see the original Tudor wattle and daub walls and timbers. 01978 853525, brunningandprice.co.uk/pantyrochain
Sheldrakes, Heswall, Wirral
It will come as no surprise that this Wirral restaurant is run by a Greek Cypriot, Helen Demetrios. While the produce is local and organic and the beers come from nearby breweries, her Mediterranean influence is strong. The menu at this award-winning restaurant comprises dishes reflecting Helens roots and she has made the most of the views with vast windows. But the best spot is on the outdoor terrace.
Before the sun goes down youll be able to enjoy the stunning vistas across the Dee Estuary towards the Welsh Hills as well as the opportunity to spot some of the local bird life.
As the evening draws in there are spectacular sunsets offering fabulous mealtime entertainment. Book wisely and youll be able to enjoy both of these.
0151 342 1556, www.sheldrakesrestaurant.co.uk
Corn Mill, Llangollen
There was a time when this old building was falling into the river. Now it is an important part of the local history. The pub was once, as the name suggests, a corn mill and it ground flour for 700 years in fact you can still see the water wheel turning slowly behind the bar,
Enjoy some sun on the outside decks which are built over the mill race and the rapids of the River Dee. You can also watch steam trains pull in and out of the restored station across the river while you enjoy a pint of one of the Corn Mills many real ales or a meal from the excellent and changing menu.
01978 869555, www.cornmill-llangollen.co.uk
Fox and Barrel, Tarporley
Over the past few years this pub, which was built between 1861 and 1869, has gone from strength-to-strength and is featured in the Good Pub Guide. Its name is derived from the occasion when a previous landlord allowed a fox to take shelter in the cellar.
Today, you can sit outside on the garden terrace and try and spot your own wildlife in this idyllic rural setting. Youll find plenty to tempt you on the ever-changing, seasonal menus while you enjoy the surroundings. 01829 760529, www.foxandbarrel.co.uk
The Pheasant Inn, Higher Buwardsley
No doubt many Cheshire Life readers already know this pub, restaurant and hotel. It is a venue that has been mentioned by many people Ive met out on my travels. One look at the view and its easy to see why it has captivated so many diners.
It may be tucked away but its worth the effort. Once youre sitting out on one of the terraces or youve managed to snaffle one of the popular window tables - youll see magnificent panoramas of our beautiful county. This, teamed with the mouth-watering menu, is the perfect sight at the end of a long walk in the nearby countryside. 01829 770434,
The print version of this article appeared in the July 2012 issue of Cheshire Life
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