[West Didsbury, Manchester] Lime Tree

The Lime Tree has always been a particularly hospitable restaurant and we were a bit concerned some of that might have been lost with the post-lockdown restrictions. We needn’t have worried. Essentially, things were no different. Yes, there were changes. A couple fewer tables to allow for social distancing. Staff wearing masks or visors – they seemed to have this right with the two staff who had most engagement with customers wearing the more “people friendly” visors. Menus now in a plastic holder, taken away after use and immediately sanitised. But, more than anything, we had a sense that the staff knew customers might be nervous about returning to restaurants and they did everything to put us at ease. We ordered a bottle of water. The server opened it and then apologised, saying she should have just left it on the table for us to open, so took it away and replaced it. It was gone before we could say to leave it. And, for a midweek evening, it seemed as busy as usual. So, it was about to be an evening of faultless service. And faultless food.

One of us started with pigeon breast from the Capesthorne estate just down the road past Alderley Edge. Perfectly cooked to pink and sat on some shredded greens. Also on the plate, crispy bonbons made from black pudding, give a rich earthy contrast. I reckon they could serve this all year round, tweaking the ingredients for seasonality, such as the beetroot and cherry compote that came with it and worked perfectly. The other starter of grilled scallops, including the roe, came in a slightly fusiony preparation of sweet chilli sauce, crème fraiche and rocket. It worked

For mains, there was sea bass, again perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. Served with crushed Jersey Royals and a fresh tasting salad of rocket, fennel, orange segments and olives. A bang-on midsummer plate of food. As was Cheshire lamb – loin served pink and long cooked breast – with the same spuds, peas with braised Little Gem and a pea puree.

Only one of us wanted dessert. Summer fruit crumble with custard, served separately in a jug. Nice and sweet, but not overly so. Custard was excellent – I’d have happily eaten a bowl of it. We finished with decent espresso.

After months of home cooking and Deliveroo, it was really nice to be back in a proper restaurant with staff who just wanted you to have a nice time.


Sounds wonderful John.

It’s probably where Jan & I would take you for lunch or dinner if ever you pass this way. It’s everything that’s good about modern British restaurant food. I think you’d love it.

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