We love a good pub and the North West has its fair share for a swift or leisurely pint. However, one of England’s most unique rural pubs has been named the ‘best pub in Britain’, and it’s less than an hour away from Manchester.
The Cholmondeley Arms took home the award for Great British Pub of the Year and Country/Rural Pub at the Great British Pub Awards last night. The building, situated on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate in South Cheshire, is an old Victorian Schoolhouse, which closed as a school in the early 1980s and was re-opened as a pub in 1988. Nicknamed ‘the Chum’, the pub still retains many of its traditional features from its past days as a school including a blackboard and school tables.
The pub was taken over by Cheshire Cat Pubs back in 2010 after they were approached by the Cholmondeley Estate to try and rescue it. A year later, the Cheshire pub was restored and reopened boasting hearty dishes, local ales and a back bar designed like an old apothecary housing over 300 gins.
To celebrate 10 years of operation in lockdown, the pub distilled its own Cholmondeley Arms Gin and this summer it also introduced Cholmondeley Pink Gin (a Cholmondeley recipe with the addition of fresh raspberries and vanilla pod in the botanicals). Local also has a role on the bar with four cask ales served including Three House ales, Cholmondeley Best Bitter, Headmaster’s IPA and Chum Gold.
In addition, The Cholmondeley Arms features an an outside area with extensive gardens as well as rooms to stay overnight in. The ‘best in Britain’ pub is also dog-friendly and hosts the Cholmondeley Arms Car Club, which has over 400 members.
However, the Cholmondeley Arms wasn’t the only North West pub to take home a prize at the Great British Pub Awards, as a number of pubs in the region also won big. The Bellflower in Garstang won the award of ‘Best Pub for Dogs’, The Royal Dyche in Burnley won ‘Best Pub to Watch Sport’ and Karl Quirante of The Cricketers in Ormskirk was named ‘Best Young Pub Chef’. Plus, The Old Abbey Taphouse in Manchester was named ‘Community Hero’, in recognition of its ‘hub-in-a-pub’.
You can find the full list of winners at the Great British Pub Awards here.