The Legh Arms @ Prestbury

Seeing as we travel around the country with enough electronics to remotely navigate a super liner into a berth on the other side of the Atlantic (phones, GPS, PDAs, laptops etc), the sort of confusion thing I’ll go into here shouldn’t really happen.
But, precisely because of the reliance on such equipment over the commonsense and paper map efficiency of times gone by – they do.
Setting off for a weekend trip out to the scenic delights of Cheshire we’d already looked online to seek out the Legh Arms at Adlington, near the grand and impressive Adlington Hall.
We called up and, on being informed that there was a “sittings” arrangement i.e. set starting times for service in the restaurant, made a reservation.
The postcode was likewise sourced from t’internet and the satelitte nannying maam was switched on to hector us with driving instructions.
What could be more pleasant then a Sunday afternoon drive out through the leafy green Cheshire roads? Leaving the flashy flesh pots of Altrincham and Hale and venturing into the rural charms of the flat county – albeit with fortress heigh hedges, preventing any nosy glances towards the multi-million pound residences of the seriously wealthy of these parts.
As “Susan” instructed, we passed by the Legh Arms at Adlington. Straight past. Looking at it disappearing in the rear view mirror with three miles still to go on the sat nav it didn’t look much like the picture we’d seen online. Of course we could have just stopped there and then but no, we continued to the destination and there it was – another Legh Arms.
Confused maybe but thankfully this one in Prestbury village was the one we’d made the reservation with so we were soon in the dining area looking through the set menu.
This Legh Arms has a restaurant housed under the low and ancient beams of a traditional inn. Diner’s can eat in the cosey, welcoming bar area or the restaurant where the style is a rather dated sort of formality with carpets and crisp table linen.
Perhaps disappointingly for such a characterful setting, there’s only two beers on offer in the Robinson’s establishment so he settled in with a Hatter’s Mild and I plumped for the Chilean Merlot from a choice of wines by the glass which was big on Merlot from a wide range of countries.
The set menu offered mostly traditional food – roasts, grills, fish etc. with a choice from three courses for £15.95
I started with a rather generously al dente helping of asparagus topped with a particularly sweet and mellow goats cheese while he ventured under a generous helping of leaves to discover some Scottish smoked salmon which was pleasantly dressed if unexceptional.
A perfectly cooked roast beef with a deliciously hot yet creamy bowl of horseradish sauce was a welcoming sight for him while I tested out the chef’s adventurous sounding seabass with pesto mash.
Where the beef succeeded, the fish fared less well being, not only on the small side, but also completely over powered with black pepper and a pesto mash which seemed to be more pesto than mash. The separate serving of vegetables for both meals was an bowl of plain carrots, broccoli, beans and potatoes.
We chose from a long list of puddings of the expected pub menu nature (does anyone still ever order cheesecake?) but here I’d say I was definitely the winner with a homemade apple crumble which was both generous and cooked with some bite still left in the fruit, not overly sweet and topped off with a light but creamy custard.
He enjoyed the chocolate torte which was a dark choc concoction.
Getting back on the road from this idyllic, picture postcard village we considered our confusion over the original destination and came to the conclusion that it will all work out in our favour in the end – the error means a visit to the other Legh Arms is now on the cards for a future adventure.
The Legh Arms hotel and restaurant reviewed here is at Prestbury Road, Prestbury, Cheshire. 01625 829 130.
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