[Macclesfield, Cheshire] Sutton Hall

Even by the standards of Brunning & Price pubs, Sutton Hall is packed with history. There’s a Bronze Age cremation barrow in the grounds. There’s evidence of a building here prior to 1399 – the present hall dating to the 16th century. In later years, it was owned by the Earls of Lucan, including the notorious 7th Earl, generally believed to have murdered the family nanny in 1974. The interior will be familiar to anyone who has been in one of the company’s pubs (although “restaurant” would be a better description these days). There’s the mismatch of old chairs and tables, with lots of space between them, so you don’t feel crowded in. Walls decorated with old prints and posters. And a daily menu that accurately reflects modern pub dining – which means there’s a lot of items that you really want to eat and most of them work.

One that nearly worked perfectly was a roast tomato and red pepper soup. A powerful tomato flavour with the peppers giving it a savoury sweetness (if you see what I mean). The “nearly worked” description comes from them not leaving it there but adding more than a pinch of chilli which, had it been more restrained, would have added, rather than detracted. The other starter tasted fine, although the four cubes of belly pork was not the most generous portion you’re likely to come across. The cubes had been crisped and came accompanied with a sweet soy and ginger dipping sauce.

A main course of game suet pudding was autumn on a plate. Thickish (but not overly so) suet pastry encased a well seasoned and long cooked mix of venison, pheasant and rabbit. There’s non sloppy mashed potato, mixed greens and a little gravy. From the “light bites” menu came a Black Bomber Cheddar and red onion quiche. This North Wales cheese always packs a kick – the original, as used here, is a belter but some of their flavoured cheeses just don’t work for us. It’s a well made quiche with properly crisp pastry and a well seasoned filling. It comes with a crème fraiche potato salad and a little rocket salad.

Only one of us had dessert – autumn Eton mess. Served in a glass, there were slices of poached pear, blackcurrant puree, lemon curd and a scattering of meringue, all topped with two halves of just warm cooked fig. Lovely.

As always with B & P pubs, service was spot on.


Sounds wonderful!