The A-Z of Cheshire's Golden Triangle - Wilmslow, Prestbury and Alderley Edge.

PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 October 2019

View from The Edge

View from The Edge

Archant

It's no media myth, Cheshire's Golden Triangle really exists, so here's our guide to the very best of Wilmslow, Prestbury and Alderley Edge.

Artistic hub

Every year, the Wilmslow Art Trail spotlights a clutch of local artists and bright young things with fresh artworks dotted around town. This year it's taking a different tack with its Under One Roof exhibition at Wilmslow United Reform Church, exhibiting works by 21 artists from October 12th-13th. Browse, buy and meet the makers.

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Boo!

Halloween is almost upon us and there's a handful of events across the Triangle to scare yourself silly. There are Halloween-themed subterranean tours of Alderley Edge's copper mines on October 28th; Quarry Bank Mill is hosting apple-bobbing, fortune telling and spooky takes from October 27th-November 2nd; and Wilmslow Cookery school has kid-focused Halloween baking sessions from October 30th-31st.

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Cars

Join the throngs of locals gathering on outdoor terraces as the weekend hits, quaffing champagne, grazing on olives, and staring at a rotating cast of supercars. McLaren's move from Knutsford to its world-class showroom in Wilmslow - where it shares floor space with Rolls-Royce no less - says it all. Not your supercar of choice? Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari all have showrooms here too.

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Desirable

If your favourite self-sabotaging pastime is to indulge in a little house envy, then gaze longingly no further - the area is home to five of the 10 priciest roads in the North West, with properties averaging a cool £1.5million. Prestbury's Withinlee Road is one of the North's most expensive streets where mansions average £3.5million. You don't have to earn a Premier League paypacket to go golden though. Alderley Park is a luxury 400-acre development with wellness and lifestyle at its heart. There are ornamental lakes, walled gardens and an arboretum as well as a leisure complex, farm shop and neighbouring cricket pitch. Detached houses start from £675,000.

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Footballers

Whatever you think of the Triangle's association with its footballing contingent, there's no denying the impact they have on the area. Most likely to be spotted at Alderley Edge's notorious Bubble Room and, more recently, Parea, the Pan Asian bar/restaurant co-owned by Chantelle Heskey, wife of ex-Liverpool striker Emile.

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Groomed

When you're golden, there's no shame in making an effort to look good. In fact your choice of aesthetic assistance is as much as a status symbol as the car you drive. Leading the pack is award-winning Medispa whose founder, Dr Nyla, is considered one of the UK's top cosmetic doctors.

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Horticulture

Pop to Nether Alderley and Capesthorne Hall's immaculate gardens this month before the stately pile shuts its doors until April - all breathtaking in scale, design and sheer attention to detail.

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Italians

There's a whole lotta love in the Triangle for Italian restaurants - many of which remain firmly on the must-eat list. There's enduringly fun Cibo, a glossy space in Wilmslow with all the classics, as well as Sarafina, the sort of neighbourhood restaurant everyone wants on their doorstep. Over in Prestbury, The Coast has garnered a loyal following with its top-notch service and flair, and Alderley Edge's Piccolino lures glamourpusses to its year-round terrace with spot-on Negronis and superb seafood. Our personal favourite? Pontofresco café in Alderley Edge, where its legendary owner Victor serves food so delicious that locals, including the rich and famous like Sir Alex Ferguson, come back time and again. And if he feels like opening at night he will - but only if you're nice.

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Jamboree

Gin Jamboree, a fresh and innovative gin masterclass will be held at Alderley Edge's Festival Hall on November 1st. Armed with a tasting booklet, you can work your way through up to 150 varieties of mother's ruin, as well as savouring Sebastian's Stash - a range of rare and often expensive tipples. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kid-friendly

Wilmslow's Unico Lounge dishes up spot-on brunches and kiddie staples with a side of toys in the corner. At Alderley Edge's Gusto, mini chefs in the making can craft their own pizzas, and Petit Delice whips up cracking babyccinos and billowing cakes for your brood. There's also the newly launched Mama Society - a dapper events enterprise that hosts mum meet-and-greets in spaces across the county; the recent lunch at Victor's in Alderley Edge was a hit, with more in the pipeline.

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Legends

Head to the fabled Edge - the well-known red sandstone escarpment, reached via a series of trails, where kids scurry around its adventure play areas, hang from drooping boughs and ramble along the focal points of Druids Circle and Engine Vein. Its dark and damp caves are the subject of countless legends; it's said King Arthur and his knights lie here in an enchanted sleep. A tale that inspired Alan Garner's enchanting novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

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Markets

Flying the flag for fresh and local produce, the perfectly polished Wilmslow Artisan Market takes place every third Saturday of the month with more than 120 of the region's finest traders selling everything from gluten-free goodies to pooch paraphernalia. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New openings

The Wilmslow outpost of The Easy Fish Co has just opened on Water Lane, having carved out a heavyweight reputation for its clever cooking and good-time atmosphere in Heaton Moor. Jumping on the speakeasy bandwagon, Stir by Night draws in-the-know locals to a secret Wilmslow location, where mixologists whip up personalised cocktails with BYOB. And popping up this autumn on Grove Street is Potato and Cake. The owners are keeping tight-lipped about the menu, so watch this space.

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Orchestras

The Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage on October 19th for one of its five annual concerts, pulling in the crowds with the promise of Sibelius, Mozart and Dvorák. Another date for your diary is November 16th, when the Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra kicks off its live season in the Festival Hall.

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Parks

There are miles of rural space framing the area, but it's the verdant parks that keep the regulars coming. Look to The Carrs on November 2nd and you can sign up to its mushroom foraging walk with wild food gurus, Totally Wild, scouring the park's nooks and plucking the best morsels. Round off with lunch cooked up by your guide, who's a pro at putting a sophisticated spin on your foraged fungi. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quarry Bank Mill

The National Trust's legendary cotton mill looms over dazzling gardens, woodlands and adventure playgrounds - an always atmospheric spot for kids and families. New to the site this autumn is a free exhibition - A Healthy Profit - exploring the physical, mental and emotional toil of working in a mill. From October 19th.

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Rex Cinema

If you're a cinephile, you're in luck… Wilmslow's old movie house has been renovated and reopened following a successful Facebook campaign. Showing both live theatre performances and new releases, this Art Deco-style space oozes community cool. In addition to regular stalls and luxury seats there are comfy sofas and VIP boxes with a well-stocked bar. You'll never want to enter a run-of-the-mill multiplex again.

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Supper club

Experimental chef, Ernst Van Zyl, is bringing his eclectic style-cooking to Wilmslow in a series of late-night supperclubs. For now, the venue's under wraps and the six-course tasting menu is all hush hush, but diners can expect a hip and playful night in the hands of one of Manchester's most exciting chefs. Next supperclub is November 7th, 8th & 9th.

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The 1975

The Triangle's not all about the mainstream: it has, in fact, spawned The 1975 - who NME are calling 'the biggest band in the world right now'. Upping the cool stakes of the area, the bandmates met at Wilmslow High and started strumming in 2002 at the tender age of 15, before bagging a record deal and soaring to rock 'n' roll fame.

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Underground

Did you know Alderley Edge is one of a handful of pre-historic mining sites in Britain? Archaeological evidence indicates that copper mining took place here during the Roman and Bronze ages. Many of the mines are now defunct and owned by the National Trust. You can discover more about these ancient copper sites by taking an underground tour with the Derbyshire Caving Club.

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VIP

Who do you call if you want tickets to a sold-out gig in town? Or a last-minute private jet? Or you want to book the celeb-chef-of-the-moment to cook a private dinner? When they want something doing, sorting or fixing, many of The Triangle's super rich get hold of their personal concierge to arrange far-out, extravagant requests, from companies such as Cheshire Lifestyle Concierge Company. As long as it's not illegal or immoral, it's fair game.

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Walking

The area is laced with walking trails stirring adventure seekers with green and serene pockets. There's the fabled peat bog with paths forking towards Mobberley and the riverside walk from Twinnies Bridge to Quarry Bank Mill, where you can step in the shadow of towering trees. Head for a bracing stroll around Hare Hill's wooded garden and march all the way over to Alderley Edge. The Bollin Valley Way is another favourite - start in Prestbury Park and follow past Mottram Hall all the way to Wilmslow Park.

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X marks the (one-stop) spot

It's not just the inventive brunches and oozy-looking cakes that have dazzled the regulars of The Old Garages in Wilmslow. The high-ceilinged space also sells design-conscious home accessories, from homespun textiles and hanging cacti to repurposed furniture. It's also the place to pick up organic veggie boxes. Oh, and from September, it's open late into the evening for small plates and a thoughtfully curated collection of wines.

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Yu

For a seriously sophisticated spin on Chinese fayre head to the legendary Yu in Alderley Edge. Reminiscent of London's famed Hakasan in style, it serves traditional eastern cuisine with a luxe twist. Example dishes include champagne miso black cod and wagyu beef spring rolls.

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Zzz…

Looking to bed down in The Triangle? The Alderley Edge Hotel underwent a £2.5 million transformational facelift back in 2018, dusting off its dated corners and brightening up the bar and restaurant. Cross over into Wilmslow and you'll find The Stanneylands - a country house-style bolthole with a relaxed, unbuttoned vibe and a restaurant focusing on British classics. For a demure grand dame with a spa urging unapologetic R&R, try Mottram Hall. And shaking up the hotel scene is Prestbury's The Bridge, having been drastically updated and reimagined last year, thanks to its takeover by Flat Cap Hotels.

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