Review of 'Churches Mansion'

Reading some comments on a community web site I read that Churches Mansion is supposed to serve up the best Sunday Roast in Nantwich. Eager to put this to the test, we visited for lunch on Easter Sunday.

When you drive into Nantwich from the east you pass by the distinctive Churches Mansion on a roundabout - A building from 1577 with it's distinctive tutor architecture, yes, wonky beams a-plenty. We had thought it might be difficult to get a reservation at fairly short notice so were delighted when we were put in for 12:15 pm. We walked from our home on the other side of town but there is a patron car park around back along with a wonderful outdoor seating area. There was a bit of a queue going in as the restaurant had just opened for the day but we were shown to our table in a wooden panelled room to the right of the entrance on the ground floor, seated at a window looking out into the back yard drinking area. The weather was wonderful and sunny so it was a very pleasant sight indeed.

Seating Area

We were given the single sheet of A4 containing the menu along with a small, slender book of drinks. The drinks list was pretty standard though did have mocktails and a good selection of soft drinks for non-drinkers. The “Easter Sunday Menu” featured 2 courses for £23 or 3 courses for £28, with a small number of starters, mains, and desserts to pick from as well as a few sides ranging from extra gravy (£3) to “truffle and parmesan chips” (£4.95).

Ham Hock Terrine

For my starter I chose the “Ham hock terrine” (“tomato chutney, grilled sourdough”) which I found disappointingly bland with the most prominent taste being of salt. The tomato chutney and grilled sourdough were wonderful though, adding some much needed flavour and texture to the dish.

Gallantine of Rabbit and Bacon

Keeping up the terrine theme, my companion had the “Gallantine of Rabbit and Bacon” (“Piccalilli, grilled sourdough”) which was an altogether more tasty dish with real flavour coming from the rabbit though, oddly, not from any bacon that may, or may not, have been included. The home-made piccalilli was excellent with large chunks of vegetable and a delightfully tangy finish.

Roast Leg of Lamb

For my main I had to have a traditional roast, as that is what we were there for, so I had the “Roast Leg of Lamb” (“traditional vegetables, cauliflower cheese, apple sauce, Yorkshire pudding, jus”) which came to the table magnificently assembled into a tower with the Yorkshire pudding on the top. The lamb was nicely cooked (we were asked if we were happy with the meat being “pink” to which, of course, the answer is “yes”) with a good deal of lamb flavour, the “traditional vegetables” turned out to be a single boiled carrot (verging on overcooked mush) a piece of tenderstem broccoli (cooked properly with still a bit of bite) and two pieces of underwhelming roast potato (fluffy inside but no outside crunch), the cauliflower cheese was a bit on the bland side though the cauliflower was cooked perfectly (slightly aldente), the Yorkshire pudding was wonderful and light, while the jus was full of flavour…though not really a lot of it (I suppose they wanted us to pay the extra £3 for more…). Sadly, the “apple sauce” listed on the menu never showed on the plate.

Roast Beef

My companion had the “roast beef” (“traditional vegetables, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, jus”) which was also served pink. She enjoyed this very much with the beef being very tender if, perhaps, a bit under-seasoned, as, we believe, was much of the meal.

Saffron Creme Brulee

After a short interlude, our menus were returned to us for the selection of dessert. I chose the “saffron creme brulee” (“sable biscuit”) which was oddly metallic tasting with the thin biscuit offering not much more flavour than that of flour and quickly decomposing into two thin slices.

Chocolate Pavlova

Once again my companion ordered the more flavourful “chocolate pavolova” (“strawberry cream”) which consisted of a light, gooey-centred pavlova topped with cream “lightly” flavoured (almost non-existent) with strawberry that was playfully topped with slices of strawberry and small chocolate Easter eggs. The chocolate eggs were the only non-sequitur here with their hard texture not working terribly well with the rest of the dish (though fine taken on their own…).

The staff throughout were wonderful and welcoming. At £73.75 for the two of us for three courses as well as a bottle of water, a cocktail and a coffee, it was quite expensive (the bill did not include a tip and the credit card machine did not allow one to be included either so we had to leave cash on the table).

In summary: Quite disappointing food – under-seasoned, often overcooked, and uninspiring – served in amazing surroundings but I am willing to give it another chance given that Sunday roasts are often disappointing when compared to their normal menu. Note that I am told that if it is not busy you are free to come for a drink in their back gardens…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-04-17

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 150 Hospital St, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5RY ENGLAND

Location: Cheshire (England) - Nantwich



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