Short break - The Roebuck Inn, Mobberley
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 October 2016
The Roebuck Inn, in the pretty village of Mobberley, Cheshire, has recently re-opened with a marvelous new take on English country pub dining and rooms. Kate Houghton went along to check it out.
The Roebuck Inn sat empty and unloved for far too long, much to the distress of locals with fond memories of this well-loved pub. So imagine our joy when not only did it re-open, but as part of the marvellous, award-winning Cheshire Cat Pubs company.
The Inn, which dates back to 1708, opened after major refurbishment that saw the iconic building transformed from a slightly dusty and dull old pub to a stylish and welcoming bistro-style restaurant. The interior is as warm and welcoming as you’d expect from any traditional English country pub, but now has a stylish French feel generated by brightly coloured café style tables and clever touches of décor, including a quite stupendous drinks cabinet.
Outside, the terraced garden is a joy to behold. A grand archway leads up to a top terrace with seating and a huge firepit, while lower down drinkers and diners enjoy olive trees and greenery designed to lift you from Cheshire to the Med.
The Roebuck Inn also now offers six individually designed and very comfortable bedrooms. I was able to have a sneaky peek at a couple while I was there, which made me quite sad that I live so close-by, as an overnight there – whether it be as a mid week business traveller or a weekend wedding guest at one of the many nearby top class venues – would be a real treat, trust me!
The bistro menu is designed to change seasonally, and I am so grateful I got to go following the launch of their Autumn menu, as I was able to enjoy the most fabulous Saffron Risotto I have ever experienced. Served with sautéed chicken livers and sherry and with fresh garden herbs, it was a masterpiece of flavours and textures, with the iron tang of the melt-in-the-mouth liver perfectly complimented by the creamy, pale primrose yellow rice – so good in fact that I almost wished I’d chosen to repeat the experience for my main course. Until my main course came, that is.
The menu is designed to encourage people to share, with Small Plate starters and tear and share pizzas topping the list. ‘Normal’ sized starters fall into the Middle Plates section, which is where I found my Risotto. The wine list is a thing of joy. Not only does it only offer old world wines chosen to match the menu, but it offers 12 varieties by the glass and there’s not a bottle above £25. But don’t panic, this isn’t ‘cheap’ wine, it’s fabulous, carefully selected, discovery wines you’ll adore. We chose the Surani Costarossa Primitivo di Mandaria. No, not one I’ve ever heard of either – but gosh it was good. Ripe red fruits, a soft rolling mouth feel and a smooth finish…deep sigh. It matched as equally well with my rice as it did with my Slow Cooked Curried Lamb Shank, which was served with coriander yoghurt, rice and the best dahl I have ever, ever eaten.
This dish is already, unsurprisingly, a favourite with regulars (yes, there are already regulars, both newcomers and those who knew the pub back in the day) The meat fell from the bone into a rich, red, fruity, scrumptious sauce mere words cannot do credit to. The rice was perfectly cooked and the yoghurt gave a cool, sharp counterpoint to the rich sauce. There is no heat to this curry, it is instead a dish to please those who love deep, intense flavour and reject the notion that curry must be chilli-filled and tastebud numbing. This sauce brings out the flavour of the lamb and allows it to shine in its own right. My only complaint is that my tummy wasn’t big enough to handle it all – but that’s okay, they packed what I couldn’t manage into a container for me and I got to enjoy it all over again for lunch next day!
You shall simply have to go and try it for yourself, quick – before they change the menu!