Cheshire Life Luncheon - Mottram Hall Hotel

Pan fried, line caught, Cornish Seabass with Peperonta

Pan fried, line caught, Cornish Seabass with Peperonta - Credit: Archant

Mottram Hall welcomed Cheshire Life guests into their very elegant refurbished hotel for an exceptional lunch with a dramatic twist

Mottram Hall's Meeting and Events Manager, Mark Spanton with Ray King, Louise Taylor and Managing D

Mottram Hall's Meeting and Events Manager, Mark Spanton with Ray King, Louise Taylor and Managing Director, James Stewart - Credit: Archant

When William Wright built a graceful country home for his son around 1750, it was dubbed ‘Mottram New’ Hall to distinguish the splendid classical mansion from what then became known as Mottram Old Hall, a partly Mediaeval house just a quarter of a mile down the drive.

Today ‘new’ isn’t a term we’d usually apply to a building that’s more than 260 years old, but the word was tripping off the tongue with great regularity when guests gathered at De Vere’s Mottram Hall Hotel for Cheshire Life’s January luncheon.

For we were welcomed to ‘new Mottram’ by managing director James Stewart, determined that this hotel, spa and championship-standard golf resort resumes its ‘glory days’ following a massive refurbishment. The investment of close to £6m has provided a new restaurant in the contemporary elegance of the Carrington Grill; the opening of the Claret Jug bar and brasserie in the new golf club house; the creation of a ‘Half Way House’ on the course itself; the refurbishment of all bedrooms and suites; a new gym in the spa and dedicated conference suites fitted with the latest technology.

In short the entire hotel has been given a new lease of luxury life and in Mr Stewart, accomplished executive chef Ross Bootland, resident manager Matt Townley and their respective teams, the key people are in place to drive an ambitious project.

Guests were greeted in racy style: welcoming flutes of Champagne de Nauroy Brut poured at the hotel’s splendid portico entrance after the corks had been despatched by the expert sweep of a sabre. Once inside the sumptuously decorated reception area for the service of lovely canapés - croutons of smoked salmon and crab terrine and exquisite truffle mousse-filled choux pastries - the extent of the refurbishment became obvious; tasteful modern decor combining beautifully with the original building’s Georgian features.

Luncheon was served in the delightful Garden Room with its expansive views over Mottram Hall’s wooded grounds. The room, stunningly decorated by Timperley-based venue dressers Alison of Lasting Memories, carries its own special lasting memories for Mrs King and I - for it was here, in July 1976, that we staged our wedding reception. The Cheshire Life luncheon was the penultimate event in the room before its designation as a residents’ lounge. What a place for afternoon tea!

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We started with a smooth duck liver parfait topped with apple and lime jelly and served in a preserving jar alongside croutons; the citrus notes of the jelly providing a perfect counterpointing foil for the richness of the parfait. The wine was ‘The Wine-Farer Series’ made by Willie Mostert in South Africa’s Paarl region, a big, white peach and honey blend of chenin blanc, clairette, grenache blanc and roussanne, which somehow delivered the texture and elegance of a classy burgundy.

The main course was a simple but outstanding pairing of pan-fried wild seabass, caught by line from a Cornish boat and sweet peperonata. The fish, generously proportioned, combined soft and creamy flesh with fresh seafoody flavour and a crisp skin. The South African white was an outstanding match, but so too was the chilled red: a bright and fruity Beaujolais from the renowned village of Fleurie.

Dessert, a rich chocolate pavé, was superb. Then our other senses came in for a treat. Soprano Helen England and tenor Alexander Anderson-Hall - Divas Disguised - who had been clandestinely mingling with the waiters, burst into voice with, appropriately, The Drinking Song from La Traviata: it was a superb finale to ‘new Mottram’s’ outstanding hospitality.

Cheshire Life Luncheon Menu

To start

Duck Liver Parfait with Apple & Lime Jelly

The Wine Farer Series Willie Mostert 2011, Paarl, South Africa

To continue

Pan Fried Line Caught Cornish Seabass with Peperonata

Fleurie Millisme, Cave de Fleurie, Beaujolais, France

To finish

Chocolate Pavé

Coffee & Scottish Tablet

Fact file

Mottram Hall Hotel, Wilmslow Road, Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire SK10 4QT. Tel: 0871 222 4686.

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