A 200 year old former Midland Bank building has been beautifully renovated into stunning, contemporary rooms with a large and popular restaurant in the heart of Tarporley, a pretty village and former market town in Cheshire in the north west of England.
I found this by chance, and whilst Cheshire was not necessarily on the itinerary, I am very glad I stumbled across it.
The rooms are quite large, for England, and very luxe. Crisp quality linen, huge bath towels and white glove test clean, it is a very comfortable place to call home if you are exploring in this area of the world. There are a choice of suites and for the time I was there, mine proved to be larger than what I needed. The hotel uses bathroom amenities from the White Company London, and those who are less mobile probably need to know there is no lift.
Chef Matt Cox, who has been an executive chef in five star hotels, has created a menu heavily focused on local produce, of which there is a lot. Cheshire is a very pretty place, and the village is just 30 minutes from the Welsh border and the larger city of Chester, featuring ancient ruins. Sadly, the restaurant was closed on the night of our stay, so we did the next best thing and asked the locals their thoughts. All but one said it was the best in the village, and based on what we ate elsewhere, it is high praise indeed. They certainly know how to do food in this town, with some pubs offering above standard fare.
Chester itself was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D. It's known for its extensive Roman walls made of local red sandstone. In the old city, head to the Rows, a shopping district distinguished by multi level covered arcades and Tudor-style half-timber buildings. A Roman amphitheatre, with ongoing excavations, lies just outside the old city's walls. Chester Cathedral is built on the site of a much older church dating from AD 958 and a later Benedictine abbey.
But back to 32 in Tarporley. As far as recommendations go, it's high on our list. Very personal service, thanks to Michelle who ensures the very high standards set at No 32 are met. She is also a great chat and a local, so is a great source of information and advice. We'd also suggest Ginger and Pickles next door for breakfast.
No 32 is on High Street, Tarporley, Cheshire.
Rooms from £115 (AUD$215)