What the locals really think of Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 June 2015
Gastro delights and more at cosmopolitan Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme
From Southern Indian street food to Lebanese mezze, afternoon teas to gastropub lunches, Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme is an area filled with foodie delights.
Could this be the hidden foodie capital of Cheshire? It certainly does diverse. The Tiffin Room and Aamichi Mumbai get rave reviews for their authentic Indian cuisine and at the weekends both are packed.
The local Lebanese is small but you can take away fresh salads and hummus and as the weather gets warmer what could be nicer than sitting out in the beautiful gardens at the Pointing Dog with friends over a glass of the fizzy stuff?
Commuters catching the train at Cheadle Hulme can head over to Platform Five for breakfast secure in the knowledge they won’t miss their train as live train times are displayed on the venue’s TV screen and they can stop off and meet friends for a craft ale and supper there in the evening.
And it’s an area that seems to inspire devotion. The White Hart in the centre of Cheadle Village has been attracting customers back for years with its food and drink.
There are other businesses here that have managed to weather the storm and remain a constant in the area. Daisies Florist for example the staff have been around from anything between eight to 25 years. In fact, longer than the premises themselves which were moved to make way for a car park revamp 12 years ago. Owner Bridget Small took over from her mother and the business is about 30-years-old.
Another business with longevity is Cheshire favourite Crissan boutique - which owner Ann Lees set up around 25 years ago.
If nothing else Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme has staying power and here we meet some of the people who make the area such a vibrant place to live and work.
The owner of Crissan boutique on Church Road, Cheadle Hulme has lived in the area for 25 years.
‘I started doing little hose party fashion shows and wanted a place to keep the stock so I thought I would buy a shop at the top of the road and the rest is history.
I chose the area because I loved the big houses that were there and there’s a nice country feel, even though Manchester and the airport are easily accessible. We had a pub at the top of the road too and good schools for when the children were growing up, so it was perfect.
‘Favourite places? The Indian Tiffin Room in Cheadle is amazing and they have direct competition from the Aamchi Mumbai which is really lovely too - both specialise in Indian street food, we also like the Church Inn, which is a very quaint pub and a super place has opened up on Mellor Road selling real ale. It’s a very sociable and cosmopolitan place. I can also recommend Platform 5 which has just opened up at Cheadle Hulme station and sells high quality burgers that sort of thing. With three trains an hour every day you can go all over the place from the station.’
The write stuff
Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme may be carving a reputation as a foodie destination but local author John Hartley has been immersing himself into a time when there were such shortages that even Eccles cakes were banned!
His book, Bully Beef and Biscuits: Food in the Great War explores the daily lives of the men cooking and eating on the front line in their own words and chronicles the First World War through food and rationing.
Using the men of the Cheshire Regiment’s letters and diaries he discovers what they thought of the food of the trenches and the results are surprising.
‘How they felt about what they got was very much a class thing,’ says former Manchester City Council Worker John.
‘Working class people before the war would only eat meat once or twice a week but in the trenches they had it as their main meal and maybe bacon for breakfast as well, so they say they’re enjoying their food in the army. Then you get letters from the middle class men who are saying that the food is awful in the army. it is quite revealing.’
It is one of the remarkable successes of the war that they rarely went hungry. During the First World War, the army grew from its peace-time numbers of 250,000 to well over 3 million and Jon tells the story of eating bully beef and army ‘dog biscuits’ under fire.
It’s the story of the enjoyment of food parcels from home or eating egg and chips in a cafe on a rare off-duty evening. It’s also the story of the lives of loved ones at home - how they coped with rationing and how women changed their place in society.
Not only that, but John also includes recipes from the era at the end of each chapter so readers can re-create the dishes of WWI.
‘A lot of the recipes talk about leftovers and about being economical,’ says John.
‘Things like Eccles Cakes were banned and sausage rolls and people we prohibited to make sandwich cakes which was all to do with the sugar shortages.’
Crumbs. Janet Reeder just can’t resist the temptations of a nice cake - or two - cooked by husband and wife team Nick and Heather Chick
Cakes are the new black but so many of them are disappointing. One of my personal dislikes are cafes that wrap them in cellophane. You know who you are! Where’s the pleasure in getting an extra spare tyre eating something that tastes like sawdust?
So when I headed into Cheadle and discovered The Galley on High Street I was overjoyed to discover that almost everything here has been baked with love by husband and wife team Nick and Heather Chick.
First impressions are of scrubbed wood tables and a deli section with a basket of delicious looking bread on display. There are chalk board menus and a counter filled with utterly tempting cakes and pastries with a sign that tells customers everything has been home made at the Galley.
Well of course they are home-made! Everything tastes fresh. Broccoli and stilton soup is just being finished off in the kitchen and the pies are of the kind which would probably be too individual looking to be sold in a supermarket.
After sampling a delicious chocolate roulade of light chocolate sponge and a creamy filling and gooey chocolate Guinness cake with a cream cheese and fresh cream frosting I spoke to Nick who revealed that both he and Heather met when they were cooks in the Royal Navy.
‘Hence that’s where we got the name - the Galley,’ says Cheadle Hulme born Nick.
‘I was in the navy for 22 years and Heather did 12. The plan was that when we left we would set up our own place and this is it.
‘We specialise in home baked goods prepared daily and both have a passion for cooking. Everything is baked here except for the bread and the rest of the produce we sell such as the cheese is sourced locally where possible too.’
Helen ran Cheadle bride for 15 years before becoming the owner two years ago.
‘I was brought up in the local area. it’s such a friendly place I’ve never had any problem here at all. It’s very much on the commuter belt but that means there’s easy access to everywhere - it’s less than an hour to the Peak District which I love. it’s such a beautiful area.
‘We are very much a destination shop and I am very proud that we are one of the only stockists of Badgley Mischka bridalwear. I am also proud to hold the Disney Fairytale wedding collection.’