“ Address: Cross Lane / Church Minshull / Nr. Nantwich / Cheshire / CW5 6DY „
The Badger Inn
My sister and brother in law live in Cheshire so we quite often meet and go out for lunch at a local venue. On our last excursion we had our lunch at The Badger Inn in the village of Church Minshull which is sort of between Nantwich and Winsford in Cheshire.
When we arrived there was a large empty car park so no problem with parking. We went in and it seemed that once again we were going to be eating alone in the restaurant as no one else was around at all. We ordered our drinks and toyed with the idea of sitting in the bar area of the comfy looking leather sofa near the wood burning stove but the arrangement of cushions looked so neat that we decided to go straight to our table. It was nice to get my white wine spritzers with soda water and ice as asked as so often I end up with lemonade and have to ask for it to be changed.
It was lovely and warm throughout the place from the bar area with it polished wooden floors and wood burning stove all the way through to the quite sizeable restaurant also with polished wooden floors. The place has been extended with a sort of conservatory large windows so the place was nice and light. The ceilings were wooden and beamed with twigs and branches with small lights decorating it and it looked really welcoming and cosy.
We were shown to our table next to a window so we were looking out onto the car park but fields and trees beyond that so very pleasant. The barman brought our drinks to the table and then shortly after that he brought us the menus. They were quite large, not large in choice necessarily but physically large. We were also brought an extra paper menu with the day's specials on it.
After the right sort of length of time the young lady came to ask if we were ready to order. We had deliberated about a few dishes but we were all happy to order so explained our order and then sat back to wait and enjoy our drinks.
These varied in price from about £5 for soup to about £10 for pan fried scallops with pea puree and air dried ham and lemon oil. Also on offer were crispy duck with chicory and orange salad, beetroot and goat cheese risotto, black pudding with poached egg, crispy bacon salad with confit tomatoes and jus vinaigrette, a ham terraine and a smoked salmon salad.
As well as these starters they also offered as election of sharing platters for starter and these took my eye. There was a mezze which included herbed bread, olive oil and balsamic, olives and feta, rocket and parmesan salad and houmous (£5.00). Another choice was a fish board with potted prawn and brown shrimp, natural smoked haddock pate, crostini and salad (£11.50) and this was what initially tempted me but then I saw the Baked brie with herbed crostini, salad and a trio of chutneys ( £11.50) which is what I chose and instead of sharing it I had this as my main course. The final sharing option was a house baked bread with home made hoummous, chilli jam, tapenade, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and rocket salad (£5)
These varied in rice from £11.50 for Mushroom Wellington with spinache and ricotta filling and tomato, red onion and basil salad through to £18.95 for Rib eye steak with grilled tomatoes and mushroom served with fries served with brandy and peppercorn sauce. In between you could choose from a seabass dish, pan roasted duck breast, crispy belly pork, pan roasted chicken supreme or slow roasted blade of beef or the dish that both men chose which was natural smoked haddock, mash potato and spinach topped with a poached egg and a light mustard sauce.
There was another section of main meals that were more casual dining or lunch style and these varied from haddock and chips for £10.95 to the rest of the choices at around £10 and these included a pork and leek sausage and mash, home made beef burger with chips red onion marmalade and melted mozzarella. This last dish was ordered by someone on the table next to us and the chips came in a wire cutlery basket and the burger was open, it looked really good. The other choices included gammon, a veggie curry and a veggie lasagne as well as a chilli con carne.
Beside all these choices there was also a selection of sandwiches ,salads and side dishes so there was plenty of choice for both veggies and carnivores on the menu.
As I said the two men went for the smoked haddock dish and judging by the noises made it was to their satisfaction. My husband commented a couple of times on the way home as to how much he had enjoyed the dish but as it was topped with a poached egg it didn't tempt me.
I finally chose the oven baked brie with salad and trio of chutneys with herby crostini and was really pleased with it. I would have liked a bit more salad as the baked cheese it quite rich. The chutneys were really yummy, one was a chilli jam, another was a red cabbage and onion one and the last a more normal sweet chutney. I felt pretty full after it was was so pleased that I hadn't gone for something more normal as a main course.
My sister in law was inspired by my choice and she went for the special soup which was parsnip and apple followed by the mezze starter plate so two starters instead of a main. She said the soup was delicious and really you can't go wrong with any of the items on the mezze plate.
The desserts ranged from ice cream at £2 per scoop, the special of an Expresso crème brulee at £5 through to cheese board at £7.95. In between was another crème brulee, a lemon and lime cheese cake, a chocolate brownie pud and a couple of others.
I was the only piglet there and chose the special Expresso crème brulee thinking I would get a small ramekin sort of dessert instead I got this huge bread and butter plate sized bowl of crème brulee. It was far too big and came with two mini shortbreads which my brother in law ate, I them passed half of my pud over to my husband as I really couldn't manage to eat it all. It was tasty but I think I do actually prefer my crème brulee plain rather than flavoured given the choice.
My husband and brother in law had a pint and a half of a low alcohol bitter, I had a white wine spritzers and my sister in law a shandy. The entire bill including the drinks came to £67 which we felt was pretty good considering the food we had enjoyed which was beautifully presented and really tasty.
I paid by card, they don't take America Express but most others are accepted and we left a tip as we felt the service was worthy of reward.
Would we return?
Yes we were most impressed with both the food and the service and by the time we had ordered our food the place was actually getting busier so we hadn't had to eat in glorious isolation as we had on a few occasions in Scotland recently.
The Inn has five individually decorated and named room if you fancy stying in the area. They do look pretty special in the brochure and each is named after one of the pubs in the area with historicallinks to the Hughes family. The price includes a cooked breakfast. They include two premier king sized rooms, one double and one twin as well as a special luxury suite. All rooms are ensuite and look as though they have been renovated and done up tastefully as well as individually.
The Badger Inn, Cross Lane, Church Minshull, Nantwich, Cheshire, W5 6DY Tel: 01270 522348
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