The Bells of Peover, Knutsford

The Bells of Peover, Knutsford

The Bells of Peover, Knutsford - Credit: Archant

Janet Reeder finds herself rubbing shoulders with George Osborne (well, nearly) at The Bells of Peover

I interviewed Chancellor and Tatton MP George Osborne once and asked him where he liked to dine. He mentioned a place in the centre of town which his children enjoyed. However, I suspect that high on his list is The Bells of Peover...well, that’s where he was on the day we ventured over for lunch.

Is there something he’s not telling us? After all in the early months of 1944, when American soldiers were billeted at nearby Peover Hall, their commanders, General Eisenhower and General Patton, made plans for the D-Day invasion of Normandy over lunch here!

Osborne’s visit had caused much excitement among a party of ladies out celebrating a friend’s milestone birthday in a private area of the pub. We met one of them outside, taking in some fresh air and admiring the pretty church which is the Bells of Peover’s nearest neighbour. Although she told us she is no stranger to celebrity there are few places that can juxtapose a fairly remote old inn and a Chancellor of the Exchequer, hence the frisson of excitement!

Being at The Bells of Peover feels like an occasion, with or without a member of the Cabinet. It’s intimate and cosy with a real fire and masses of charm and it’s busy.

The pub used to be something of a fine dining place but we enjoyed a more informal experience. Artisan breads and sharing platters suit the rustic charms and there’s a menu du jour from £13.95 for two courses.

We went for the day’s main menu and started things off with a gamey rabbit roulade from the specials board (£8.95) and halloumi and vegetable kebabs and bulgur wheat salad with tagise sauce (£5.75) - the best bit, a densely flavoured spicy tomato concoction that took the dish to another level.

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A main of slow cooked champ of mutton, puy lentils and pan fried lentils, (£16.95) was heaped with praise - total deliciousness on a plate, while the vegetable bean burger, spiced tomato salsa, mozzarella, brioche bun and skinny fries (£11.95) was also judged excellent...especially the enormous spicy clearly homemade burger.

The only disappointing thing was a rhum baba pudding which had little of the rum-soaked decadence that makes it such a retro classic.

We finished off the rest of our house white wine and agreed, that this was a delicious lunch in the most cosily enjoyable environment we have been in for a long time. Pity we had to leave. n

The Bells of Peover, Lower Peover, Knutsford WA16 9PZ 01565 722269