Food: Barristers at The Courtyard Knutsford Review

I mentioned on a recent post that I’m currently loving heading to Knutsford lately for food, drink and general wandering around this Winter. It’s just so pretty: the little streets, Tatton Park, the country-esque pubs, the premium beauty salons, and the most important thing, the food venues.

I honestly think it’s easy to get a little spoilt for choice for food and drink around this area, and my latest discovery just makes the list even longer. Introducing Barristers at The Courthouse, a superbly renovated former Crown Court situated in the heart of the town.

If you enjoy drinking and dining at a place which simply oozes history and tells a story, then this is more than ideal. It’s part of the Flat Cap Hotel group, which opened up its renovated doors in June 201. Although it has only been open for five months, it’s already bustling and charming, decorated to the highest standard, and seeps professionalism from the minute you walk through the door and are greeted by the waiter, to paying the bill and exiting.

When you first arrive, it’s almost like stepping back in time. I admired the huge stone building and stand-out columns upon my arrival, and then once inside, continued to admire what appears to be as much of original fittings as possible.

Once the old courts, it was fascinating to see that parts of the lovely wooden paneling and seating had been remained in the design. You can visualise the original seating area where people would have sat in the court room, and the dock area for the person on trial, and where the judges would have all sat together.

Once I took in all the history, I also noticed the striking wall galleries surrounding the place, with art reflecting celebrities all linked to jail, and other interesting prints. It looks like the Barristers Restaurant and Bar serves everything from main courses to sandwiches, desserts to afternoon tea, smoothies and cocktails, but on this particular Saturday lunch time, so many people were there for Afternoon Tea.

They have actually just launched a brand new festive Afternoon Tea, which has a Christmas inspired twist on the traditional Afternoon Tea. I haven’t got round to trying it yet (it’s on my list!) but it includes mouth-watering Christmas favourites such as roasted turkey and cranberry sandwiches, winter spiced sultana scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, eggnog panna cotta, chocolate and orange profiteroles and mince pie macarons with brandy butter cream. My mouth is watering!

The traditional afternoon tea costs £15.90 per person, which I find a very good price when you consider what other places can charge up to. However, we opted for lunch from the main menu, in which we started off with a meat sharing platter, filled with olives, gherkins, cheeses, breads, and all your main meat selections. It was definitely the perfect starter for sharing, and even if you’re not huge on meat, there’s enough picky bits to fill you up!

The main lunch menu covers an extensive range of food choices, whether you’re looking for a healthy, delicious main course, or a fully stacked burger or filled ciabatta. I went for the Seabass, which came with sautéed potatoes, samphire, onions, brown shrimp butter (with actual mini tasty shrimps) and blush tomatoes. It was so yummy, the fish was perfectly cooked and went really well with the potatoes and samphire.

My boyfriend went for the Courthouse Burger, which was a pile up of all the tasty items you want to see from a bulging burger! Ground beef, grilled mushrooms, fried onions, Monterrey jack cheese, Alsace bacon, fries, dill pickle remoulade all packed into a brioche bun.

The ciabatta menu was also pretty enticing, with options such as golden brie and cranberry, Chicken and Chorizo, Prawn and Avocado. It was nice to see a range of small plates too, in case you want that small tapas style starter feel. They offer creamed mushrooms toasted on bloomers, spiced minced lamb koftas, tomato and caramelised tarts and even a savoury panna cotta.

In terms of price, main lunch courses sit around the mid-price range of £12 – £14, which reflect in the good portion size, presentation, quality ingredients and of the food. Main meals for dinner start around £14 and go up to around £25.

I was lucky enough to have a little tour of the place upon my visit too, as I was overly interested about the future up-coming developments with the hotel plans, and also that it’s home to a fantastic venue space for events. When the hotel rooms open later on next year, it’s looking to me like it will be a gorgeous, grand place to visit for any Cheshire weekend away.

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