The Church Inn, Mobberley

Susie Stubbs

It’s a picturesque kind of a pub that serves up good seasonal food. But all is not quite so lovely as would first appear…

Everything looks pretty in the snow. A coating of white turns the world winter wonderland-lovely. And so it was that, driving through the narrow lanes of Knutsford, we came across a pub so prettily dusted with miniature drifts we just had to stop. This was the Church Inn at Mobberley, a historic little boozer just outside Manchester that supplies, if you ask nicely, the map for a four-mile country walk that starts and ends at its doors.

We began our walk in the traditional way: by stopping for lunch. Out of the car we piled, and into the pub we went. Inside we found a roaring fire, notices welcoming dogs, a place to hang coats and a bar liberally stocked with local brews (such as Dunham Massey’s Mobberley Best). The Church Inn dates back to the 18th century and its air of history is liberally milked today: candles on tables, low lighting, the furniture a mix of patched and worn tables, dangling pheasants and church paraphernalia reworked as menu boards.

A historic little boozer just outside Manchester that supplies the map for a four-mile country walk

The weekend menu is a mix of brunch, sharing platters, mains and “country tavern favourites”. Now, choosing the vegetarian option on this kind of menu can be a gamble. For some chefs, the idea that you won’t eat half a cow is equivalent to saying something unforgiveable about their mother and then expecting them not to spit in your soup. And, as a plate of roast beef processed past our table, dripping in gravy, topped by a Yorkshire pudding as big as a comet, I wavered.

But the baked baby pumpkin called to me – and happily, it happened to be rather good. A handful of seared chicory leaves added smoky depth, the accompanying wild rice was nicely spiced, the pumpkin’s sweetness slapped around the chops by a soured cream dressing that told it to stop being so cute and grow up. Whoever said tough love doesn’t work? And whoever is cheffing it out in the kitchen at the Church Inn likes vegetables. Heck, he or she might even like vegetarians.

Pork and leek sausages with bubble and squeak were a winner, too; their accompanying in-season vegetables part of a local/seasonal approach that The Church Inn is keen to stress. Less successful was the fish. Massive portions of fish and chips clunked their way onto plates and although the menu reckoned the batter was “Apple County Cider”, it lost favour as it cooled, ending up tasting of little other than vinegar. The grilled cod, served with buttered veg, mash and salsa verde, was a bit on the bland side, too.

But with flickering candles, snow falling outside and staff so nice I wondered if they’d shipped them in from a parallel universe (you know, the one where there are no wars, poverty, Tories or feral toddlers) – well, it was hard to say anything other than, “this is lovely” when asked how my food was. The fish may well have been an aberration; everyone I know who has been to The Church Inn has nothing bad to say about the place.

After lunch, we tackled a bit of a walk. We made a teeny, tiny snowman. We had a snowball fight. As it turns out, cowpats turn bright white when it snows, the white stuff settling on them in such a way that they stand out, irresistible, looking for all the world like clumps of pristine snow. It was inevitable, of course, that eager, grabbing hands should reach for such snowy pats, and thus we spent the best part of twenty minutes not having a snowball fight so much as hurling lumps of shit at each other – before I wondered why my gloved hands were so grubby. Ah, the sweet joys of the countryside in winter. Told you everything looks pretty in the snow.

Church Lane, Mobberley, KnutsfordCheshireWA16 7RD View map
Telephone: 01565 873178

Children and Families

Welcome

Opening Hours

  • MondayOpen 24 hours
  • TuesdayOpen 24 hours
  • WednesdayOpen 24 hours
  • ThursdayOpen 24 hours
  • FridayOpen 24 hours
  • SaturdayOpen 24 hours
  • SundayOpen 24 hours

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near The Church Inn, Mobberley

MusicManchester
New Order at Wythenshawe Park

New Order play an all-day outdoor concert at Wythenshawe Park alongside Manchester’s own Johnny Marr and adopted Manc Róisin Murphy.

from £61.60
Stock Party
FestivalsStockport
Stock Party

A fun-packed, free entry block party in the heart of Stockport this summer. Expect beer, food and a stellar soundtrack.

free entry
OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Until
ChildrensManchester
Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry

Where to go near The Church Inn, Mobberley

Cheshire House Bar and Grill
Cheshire
Restaurant
Cheshire House Bar and Grill

Based in the heart of Knutsford, Cheshire House Bar and Grill combines a beautiful location with top-level cuisine and a superb range of drinks.

Cheshire
Hotel
The Courthouse Cheshire

A one-of-a-kind hotel experience in Knutsford, this beautiful dog-friendly venue is – as you may have already guessed – a renovated court house, with plenty of original fixtures and fittings.

Cheshire
Restaurant
Barristers Restaurant & Bar

The in-house restaurant for The Courthouse in Knutsford, serves high-end but pleasingly traditional food with a fantastic range of drinks for the thirsty traveller.

Percy the Park Keeper - The Secret Path in the Gardens, Tatton Park
Park
Tatton Park

An historical estate with a neo-classical mansion, 50 acres of landscaped gardens, 1000 acres of deer park, a rare breed farm and medieval Old Hall.

Tatton Estate
Altrincham
Tourist Attraction
Tatton Estate

Cheshire’s renowned Tatton Estate is a beautiful patch of Cheshire countryside, playing host to Ashley Hall, which features many family-friendly events and happenings.

Cheshire
Event venue
Quarry Bank

A visit to Quarry Bank in Cheshire is a must for anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the North West.

Alderley Edge
Restaurant
Les Deux Pizza Bar

Charming independent pizza and cocktail bar in Alderley Edge, that prides itself on only using the freshest ingredients.

Yu Alderley Edge

High-end Chinese restaurant that combines traditional Cantonese cooking and modern ideas. Based in Alderley Edge.

Cheshire
Tourist Attraction
Nether Alderley Mill

Eateries, shops and toilet facilities can be found at nearby National Trust site Quarry Bank, located approximately 7 miles away. Alternatively, Nether Alderley Mill is also approximately 1.4 miles from the high street of Alderley Edge which has a range of cafes, restaurants and shops.

The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham
Altrincham
Event venue
The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham

Boasting stunning Edwardian architecture with Art Deco influences, The Bowdon Rooms is a highly sought after wedding venue, conference centre and events hub located in the picturesque village of Bowden, Altrincham.

Manchester
Library
Wythenshawe Forum

Wythenshawe Forum comprises co-located services and a hub for community and business. The venue has leisure facilities as well as a performance space and complete library services.

Culture Guides