Churche’s Mansion is a timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan mansion house in Nantwich, Cheshire. The Grade I listed building dates from 1577, and is one of the very few to have survived the ‘Great Fire of Nantwich’ in 1583.
It is impossible to miss. It stretches along Hospital Street and it presents impressively with lawns and shrubbery surrounding it. The grounds are beautiful. Even the car park is memorable, edged by a pear tree dripping fruit, courgettes ripe for the picking, giant iridescent gladioli, and thriving tomato plants.
Feature by: Jean Hill
Inside is a revelation. There is a brick ‘walk in’ fireplace, with a carved Cheshire oak surround. The décor is not austere, and the seating is elegantly comfortable. We had a view of the gardens, lush shades of green, peaceful and soothing. We felt totally ‘at home’ and relaxed as we ordered afternoon tea. Luca who served us comes from Naples: he was friendly, efficient, really knowledgeable about the food and the building, and was a pleasure to chat with. His colleague Luigi was on hand to explain about the history and the new direction of travel. This is a speciality fish and seafood restaurant, that seeks the best sourced seafood and the finest of local produce. Thomas Tapley is the Head Chef, and he is working on new menus, which is quite exciting.
Outside lunch in the gardens is a viable option, surrounded by natural beauty and dappled sunshine, when the weather allows.
The Prosecco afternoon tea, was our choice, out of many and a bargain at £19.95. You could opt for Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne or Hendrick’s G & T(with varying cost). Loose leaf tea and artisan coffee set the tone. The finger sandwiches were delicious; salmon and cream cheese, and ham that had old-fashioned, home-cooked flavour. There are children’s portions at a very affordable £7.95. The fruit and plain scones were scrumptious. The clotted cream and conserve reminded me of childhood treats. The home-made cakes were works of art. The brownie had a delicate, moist flavour and the tiramisu was a construction of some skill, with a glorious boozy kick.
Afterwards driving back through winding, leafy Cheshire lanes, it seemed that the food delicious as it was, was only a part of the experience. We had explored a piece of history and seen a vision for a rosy culinary future. A day well spent.
Churche’s: 150 Hospital Street, Nantwich CW55RY
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