Chef and restaurateur Mike Robinson is bringing his enthusiasm for British food and drink to Chester, with the opening of a new 70-seater restaurant, cocktail bar and private dining room, The Forge on May 19th. The Forge continues Robinson’s passion for British food, using only British ingredients, with an emphasis on wild produce and sustainability. The open kitchen cooks over wood and charcoal, using amazing wild and locally reared meat, that is all aged on the premises.
Oak, Ash and Beech from local forests will provide the fuel, imparting extraordinary flavour into the beef, lamb, game and venison on the menu. British fish will be used, as Mike and his team believe that all restaurateurs have an obligation to support our fishermen and women. The beef, lamb and pork will be sourced from farmers in the immediate area and will be aged to a minimum of 45 days in the dry ageing cabinets.
Wild Fallow and Muntjac venison will come from Mike’s herds on estates whose deer he manages, helping actively to control the damaging effects of over population. All the venison is processed at Owl Barn Larder – Mike’s FSA accredited deer larder in the Cotswolds. Their venison distribution business – Deer Box – will ensure The Forge gets all the venison needed.
This is latest collaboration with Castlebridge Hospitality, and The Forge will be set alongside the Hotel Indigo Chester, on Grosvenor Park Road. The Forge is Robinson’s fourth restaurant, and his third within a Hotel Indigo building. His other restaurants include The Harwood Arms in Fulham, (the only pub in London with a Michelin star) the Woodsman in Stratford upon Avon, (the Good Food Guide 2020 best new restaurant in the UK) and the Elder in Bath, which has achieved great critical acclaim since it opened in 2020.
Head Chef Curtis Tonge, a Chester local and huge young talent is heading up the kitchen team. With an enormous enthusiasm and passion for sustainable wild food he’s looking forward to welcoming Chester’s local foodies to The Forge.
“Sustainability is so important to me in everything that I do. Here at The Forge, cooking, preparing and eating beautifully and consciously sourced free range and wild meat is as sustainable as it gets. It fits into my ethos entirely and I can’t wait to show the public what it is we do here that makes us so special.” Says Curtis.
Roux Scholarship 2020 finalist Curtis has been working in kitchens since he was a young boy and has spent his career working with some of the greatest chefs in the UK, with a particular passion for sticking to his Northern roots. Curtis has worked alongside Liam McCay at Chefs Table as well as Simon Radley at The Grosvenor Hotel. As well as this, Curtis has trained under Lisa Allen Goodwin of Northcote, and had the opportunity to cook at Obsession working alongside 17 of this country’s greatest chefs with a collective 22 stars between them.
Robinson is a great believer in offering value for money to his guests, so the average price of dining at The Forge will be on a par with going to a gastropub – about £45 for 3 courses, with an amazing lunch menu offer.
There is a stunning cocktail bar too, serving signature drinks designed for the bar by Robinson’s head mixologist Olly Hornby-Smith alongside delicious bar snacks.
The opening demonstrates Mike’s belief in the resilience of the hospitality industry post Covid: “I truly believe that hospitality will bounce back, and that quality, great service and value for money will be as important post Covid as before.
“Being in such a beautiful city, like our other restaurants in Stratford on Avon and Bath, there is no doubt The Forge in Chester will have great appeal for those choosing to holiday in the UK this year, and eventually for overseas tourists, as well as our most important guests, the local business community and residents.”
Monday to Thursday
(Monday Tuesday lunch closed)
Friday and Saturday
Grosvenor Park Road