Cheshire Life Business Women’s luncheon - Peckforton Castle

Carved best end and slow cooked scrag of Welsh Texel lamb, celeriacs, mint and peas

Carved best end and slow cooked scrag of Welsh Texel lamb, celeriacs, mint and peas - Credit: Archant

Magical Peckforton Castle, near Tarporley, was the venue for a Cheshire Life business women’s luncheon

Twins, Michelle and Hayley Atack

Twins, Michelle and Hayley Atack - Credit: Archant

When Tony Naylor‘s eldest son decided to get married little did he know that this would set off a train of events leading to a fairytale ending at Peckforton Castle.

The castle was built in the middle of the 19th century by John Tollemache, a wealthy Cheshire landowner and MP. It was designed by the architect Anthony Salvin and at the time was acclaimed as one of the largest and most carefully executed Gothic mansions.

Steeped in history, its allure became too much for the Naylor family and following the wedding they bought the grand premises in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. They have transformed the castle into an enchanting venue where elegant weddings dovetail perfectly with business and leisure guests.

Peckforton is also establishing an excellent reputation for fine dining, as guests at a Cheshire Life ladies’ luncheon discovered.

Matthew Naylor, Sales and Marketing Director, said: ‘Dining at the Castle truly is a special occasion and we welcome both public and hotel guests. Our 1851 formal restaurant was awarded three Rosettes in January and has also received a Taste of Cheshire Award.’

The restaurant features classical French and modern British cuisine with menus brimming with fine dining options, some classic with a modern twist and others full of imagination.

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Diners here enjoy a gastronomic extravaganza featuring carefully chosen locally grown and reared produce selected by Head Chef, Mark Ellis. Apart from the formal restaurant the Castle also boasts a popular Brasserie.

Matthew said: ‘The more informal and cosmopolitan 2010 Brasserie, located in the former scullery has many of the amazing features of the original kitchen including two cast iron cooking ranges dating back to the 1840’s.’

Mark Ellis has trained in some of the finest five star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants, working for some big names including Gordon Ramsay. He was also a sous chef at the 5 star Grosvenor Hotel in Chester city centre.

As the county’s business and professional women arrived for the exclusively female event, they were greeted with a delightful Spanish Cava – Rabetllat 1 Vidal from Penedes, a blend of Chardonnay and Xarel-lo. A selection of canapés including goats’ cheese on brochette, mini burgers in buns and spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce was also served.

The drinks’ reception was held in the impressive long hall with high ceilings and walls hung with beautiful tapestries. The luncheon was served in the drawing room which boasts several chandeliers and a truly medieval atmosphere.

The first course was presented in a dainty coffee cup: a delicate soup containing locally sourced mushrooms with a hint of garlic. It was well seasoned and had a delicious rich flavour. The accompanying wine was 3 Amigos – from Margaret River – Australia- supplied and described by Oliver Haussel from C & O Wines, Timperley. This was crisp with a tang which went perfectly with the meal.

The second course featured duck, compressed and extremely tender, topped with a small piece of liver and this too was an ideal accompaniment. The summer cherry added a tart but refreshing taste. A lovely Beaujolais from France was quite dry with a hint of fruit.

The main course was a lamb lover’s delight with two succulent cutlets served with a confit neck. The meat just melted in the mouth and a potato fondant and celeriac vegetable were ideal partners. A juicy Chilean wine went well with the lamb.

Dessert was a zesty lemon and lime tart, and judging by the clean plates on every table it was thoroughly enjoyed. Light and tasty, it was served with a tart refreshing sorbet with a raspberry press and interesting wafer. An Australian Semillon dessert wine with intense citrus flavours accompanied the tart.

And so the fairytale continues at Peckforton Castle...

Cheshire Life luncheon menu


Artisan breads from the Castle’s bakery, with fine butter


Foraged mushroom and black garlic velouté, powdered cepes

Wine: 3 Amigos (white ) – McHenry Hohnen – Margaret River – Australia


Compression of Goosnargh duckling, soft livers, pain d’epices, summer cherry

Wine to accompany course: Morgon – “Les Charmes”– Pascal Chatelus -Beaujolais – France


Best end of Salt Marsh lamb and confit neck, spearmint emulsion, celeriacs

Wine to accompany course: Grande Reserve – Los Vascos – Lafite Rothschild – Chile


Lemon and lime tart, first season raspberry press, wafer and sorbet

Wine to accompany course: Botrytis Semillon – Wellwood Est – Orange – Australia

Coffee & Mints

Wines presented by Oliver Haussels from C&O wines, Timperley, Cheshire


Peckforton Castle

Stone House Lane, Peckforton, Tarporley,CW6 9TN

T: 01829 260

1851 Restaurant

3 courses, £45.00; 2 courses, £38. Available every day 6pm – 8.45pm. Sunday lunch 12.30pm – 8.45pm

2010 Brasserie

Starters from £5.40. Mains from £9.50. Desserts from £5.50. Available from 12pm -9.30pm daily

Lighter bites from £5.95. Available 12pm – 6pm daily

Afternoon tea

Classic: £14.95 per person or to share £23.95

Both available 1pm – 5pm.

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