Food profile - The Inn at Huxley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 July 2019
The Inn at Huxley is the culmination of a long-held dream, one we all get to enjoy
When someone holds a dream for over fifty years, you can be sure that when it's brought to fruition, it's perfect in every way. Danny Lees started his working life at The Mere, back in the late 1960s, and it was here that his dream was realised. After founding his own business, in the somewhat different field of industrial doors, and selling it following his decision to retire, Danny was finally in the position to create the venue of his dreams and, along with his entire family, this is just what he's done.
From the moment you arrive you will appreciate that Danny is a perfectionist. He must have driven his family, staff and contractors insane in the creation of this fabulous place. From the pristine exterior, envy-inducing kitchen garden and incredible views to the Mouseman furniture throughout the venue (see how many tiny mice you can spot), restored cast iron pillars (taken from Altrincham train station) in the Orangerie to the Chesterfields in front of the fireplace, nothing has been left to chance.
All this is wonderful, but if the food doesn't measure up to the surroundings, it's also all rather de trop. Luckily, Danny's vision extends to the menu too.
Settling into the sofas, we sipped on G&T and the house ale, Bertie's Brew (named for Danny's much loved and sadly departed terrier, Bertie) while perusing the menu. It's short, but you'll still struggle to choose your favourite. Packed with classic English and French dishes, it's no nonsense, flavour-packed and built to satisfy - not fine dining, but absolutely dining fine. Eventually I plumped for Asparagus with a Crispy Egg to start, followed by Steak Diane - not something you see too often on menus these days. Mike went for Pork Terrine, followed by Steak and Ale Pie. My starter was fresh and light and utterly delicious. Mike's terrine was lusciously flavoursome and made him very happy. The bread, a wholemeal focaccia, was made by the pastry chef Andrew, who came to The Inn from The Grosvenor Hotel. It's awesome, almost worth the trip in itself.
Mike's pie, we learned, was one of the dishes Danny himself makes, to his own recipe, using chunks of five-week-hung beef and a gravy flavoured with Guinness, while the pastry is made to his mother's recipe. It's big on flavour and deeply satisfying - a real man's meal, if I can say so! My Steak Diane was also wonderfully rich and the meat so soft I could have used my butter knife. Accompanied by perfectly cooked chips, it's a dish I shall remember with great pleasure for some time.
Puddings: a must-do! Nothing odd, or challenging, just a short selection of tempting deliciousness. We shared a Lemon Meringue Pie - made by Danny himself, to a recipe he's used for 50 years. Again, it was full of flavour and absolutely traditional, with a sharply sweet lemon filling and soft meringue a mile high.
The Inn at Huxley is a destination dining experience. It's not somewhere you come across in passing, special effort is required to take you there, but if you love great food, served in stunning surroundings, you won't be disappointed.
Huxley, Chester theinnathuxley.co.uk