Restaurant review - Oddfellows on the Park, Bruntwood Park, Cheadle

CHE Apr18 Oddfellows on the Park

CHE Apr18 Oddfellows on the Park - Credit: Archant

If you want a taste of mansion life, then Oddfellows on the Park in Cheadle is the place to be as Janet Reeder discovers.

The Galloping Major at Oddfellows on the Park

The Galloping Major at Oddfellows on the Park - Credit: Archant

Ahhh, getting away to a country house hotel even if only for a few hours is one of life’s pleasures – even more so when your destination is on the doorstep.

If we’re talking location, location, location then Oddfellows on the Park is it. So close to Cheadle, Wilmslow, Manchester Airport, it is the perfect place for a gathering of friends or colleagues.

Not only that but Bruntwood Hall, the former home of the Douglas family, has been so lovingly restored that it’s worth visiting as a museum piece, but then you may wish to stay for a glass of wine on the terrace and a spot of lunch, lured in by all its quirky elegance.

Bruntwood has a rich history dating back to 1861 when it was the home of merchant John Douglas, it became Town Hall, one of the greatest equestrian studs in the north and home to a film company. Now it has been taken over by the people who have the design-led boutique hotel Oddfellows in Chester as a hotel and restaurant. There’s a bar too, The Stud Room, where you can have light meals and drinks but I took one of my oldest friends along to the charmingly named Galloping Major for a long lunch.

Brilliant sunshine set off the stunningly restored interior of the restaurant in all its magnificence. The ceiling in greeny blue with an elaborate white design like piped icing is the focal point, the walls are painted white, the comfortably upholstered seating is cornflower blue. It’s a lovely dining space, overlooking lush parkland.

We were led to our seats by our courteous and attentive blue-suited waiter who took our orders for water (tap) and wine – a Picpoul de Pinet Vignobles Canet, Languedoc, 2016, £28, and while the a la carte looked good, we decided that as most of the dishes we wanted to eat were actually on the daily set menu (£25 for three courses, including a glass of fizz).

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Now I am the first to admit my friend isn’t the easiest of dining companions. Her pet hates are mashed potatoes and cream, so she refused to eat the squid ‘risotto’ which had substituted cauliflower for rice, served with an almond veloute, even though our waiter insisted there was no cream in the dish. There wasn’t much squid for her to get her teeth into, more a squid garnish, so she contented herself with the freshly baked bread which had started things off so well.

I must admit, our waiter dealt with this admirably, quite prepared to take an order for something else but as I was half way through my velvety, rich Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle foam, my friend decided to forgo her starter and wait for her main.

Concerned that the spiced prawn chowder which accompanied a wedge of perfectly fried hake would contain cream, she requested it was served on the side (even though this was the main part of the meal) and they graciously complied. Luckily, this was pronounced delicious. I guess it wasn’t just me breathing a sigh of relief.

My main was a deliciously buttery gnocchi served with chargrilled leeks, bearing a hint of caramelisation and cooked until meltingy soft and sweet.

The cheese board was ordered to compensate for my friend’s surrender of a starter, while I had a red velvet cake served with blood orange jelly which was freshly baked and suitably indulgent. It gave me some idea of what might be on offer for the Oddfellows afternoon tea which people were actually ordering for lunch (when did that become a ‘thing’?).

In fact wouldn’t need much persuading to return for the afternoon tea but maybe when I do, it will be with someone who likes cream.

Oddfellows on the Park, Bruntwood Park, Cheadle SK8 1HX

0161 697 3066