We went crazy for Alfresco Chester in that glorious sunshine! But lets face it, the weather ain’t been that great recently, so the return of indoor hospitality this week has been a very welcome step forwards on the UK roadmap. But nothing can dampen our spirits as Chester and Cheshire open their doors after such a long time – carefully and cautiously – and welcome us back in groups of six or less. We’ll take it!
I totally understand the temptation to go-large right now – and if you’re anything like me you can’t wait to celebrate with those that you have missed so much – but with just a little reserve we can all enjoy the next stage of The Great Chester Comeback safely, and therefore permanently.
Here are my Top Picks of those fabulous venues who are now back in business. Just don’t be forgetting your face mask and hand sanitiser just yet!
Hypha, Koji & Native
Well haven’t these guys been busy while they’ve been locked down?! Nik and the team continued fermenting their plant-based delicacies in Koji for delivery and collection – and wining themselves a brand new Michelin Green Star for Hypha. But thats not all … they’ve also been planning something very special in Rufus Court with a gorgeous brand new bar serving delicious nibbles and natural wines. Native is on the way very soon …
Craft & Company
Beers, banter, great live music at weekends and DJ’s til late. Thank the lord for the gift of Craft & Company. There may be some new faces behind the bar but our favourite chaps and chapesses are back in action from 5pm Monday to Sunday. And breathe …
Liquor & Co
The boys are back! And with some fabulous new friends too – so if you’ve missed Mouse, Martyn and the team as much as I have – you’ll have been dreaming of sitting on the best seat in the city where you sip, chat s**t and put the whole wide world to rights. This bar is a very special place to me – with delicious drinks and very good times!
Everyone’s favourite neighbourhood bar! These guys rocked lockdown with their epic takeaway service including those wonderful cocktails and incredible Sunday roasts – and they reopen with a brand-new menu including some seriously delicious dishes (check out the WLGT food porn movie above). It’s all good-to-go at The Suburbs!
The Ship Inn
If you love a bit of traditional hospitality perfectly accompanied by great beer and great, locally produced food – then this is the place for you. The Good Ship Handbridge is setting sail again on the river front just over the Old Dee Bridge – and personally I can’t wait to jump on board! See you there Shipmates!
Exotic Booze Club
Booze Clubbers! Tiki Tastic is back with a bang! This bar is kitsch-kool and ready-to-go with James, Kate and the team bursting with the buzz of serving us lovely lot some fabulous drinks with a cheeky grin and a whole loada love, maybe from a bit of a safe distance just for the time being.
I absolutely love this restaurant for so many reasons. Firstly, I adore Chef Carl Noller. He’s a proper Chef of the old school variety but cooks with a super-modern vibe – and his new reopening menu is just superb (once again you can check out the new dishes in my video above), Secondly I love the team – genuine hospitality comes first with these guys. And thirdly – it just has a great feel! Cosy booths, a buzzing atmosphere, great service plus fabulous food and wine is my idea of restaurant-heaven!
This wonderful and totally unique venue from expert brewery and pub group JW Lees is much more a refined restaurant and bar than a traditional hostelry. A gorgeous refurb in January 2020 was swiftly covered back up with the arrival of the pandemic. We may have had a few glimpses between lockdown, but I am really looking forward to reacquainting myself with this stunning city centre venue with one of the very best brunch menus in town! And lets not forget the location on the prettiest street in the city.
A newcomer to WLGT – and I am so pleased to be working with Mathew, Justin and Chef Danny with their fabulous foodie comeback gig. This is beautiful, fresh Mediterranean cooking with lots of love and local produce – and I am especially looking forward to their menu of the day, which will be great value and great quality too, served mid week.
Olive Tree Brasserie
Located on Chester’s historic rows – you’ll find this stunning Watergate Street restaurant in an idyllic city centre location. Boasting gorgeous views and stylish interior, this lovely restaurant launched back in July 2016, making it the second addition to the Olive Tree Brasserie network. It has one of the best Private Dine rooms in the city plus lots of vegan friendly dishes – and a very good lunch from £7.95. What’s not to love?
9 Elephants Thai Drink & Dine
Everyone loves 9 Elephants – and me included! Providing authentic Thai taste and breathing new life into Thai dining with a harmonious partnership of vintage, rustic and traditional Thai decor, 9 Elephants promises to deliver a jazzed-up Thai dining experience. With a decluttered, concise menu including kid’s menu for the youngest of diners, your Thai favourite dishes have been quirky new names without losing the authentic taste. How about ‘Prawn on French’ and ‘Massamun Madness’ for your starters and main? Yes please!
The Brewery Tap
Another newbie to the WLGT family, I am absolutely delighted to welcome The Brewery Tap as another top-quality independent Chester venue – well known for superb local beer courtesy of their sister-business Spitting Feathers in Waverton. I am so excited to bring you all of their fabulous food love stories including farm-to-fork favourites and oodles of great ingredients from right on their doorstep. And the Medieval Hall they call home is pretty epic too. Its time to get reacquainted with The Tap!