Chester is a superb location for great quality, British seasonal food – and some of our most loved restaurants and chefs are true champions of local produce and great quality British Ingredients. Check out the following venues which are totally committed to keeping it local all year long and watch our socials from 18th September to join in with the Great British food festivities on your doorstep.
The Chester Fields – winning awards for their use of local produce for years!
I can’t believe it is ten years since I helped veteran restauranteur Mark Jarvis open The Chester Fields in Great Barrow, just four miles from the city centre. This is a very special place for me for many reasons, one of them being Mark’s unwavering commitment to using the best local produce for his fabulous menus over all those years. Autumn is definitely my favourite foodie time of the year – and The Chester Fields always delivers some epic dishes which show off the changing season perfectly. Chef Helder is a true champion of great quality, seasonal ingredients – and there is nothing I like better than a sneak-peak-preview of his menu ideas for the next season’s delicious dishes. One dish which I am so looking forward to ordering during September is very Autumnal indeed!
Braised pulled beef shin, with a beef Cornish pasty, clotted cream mash and confit carrot – oh my word, how amazing does that sound? The beef is sourced from the butchery at Hayrack Church Farm just down the road in Thornton-Le-Moors, where they fully understand the importance of provenance – everything sold is fully traceable back to the farm of origin.
The thought of enjoying this amazing dish with a great big glass of red, right by one of The Chester Field’s roaring fires, makes me very happy indeed. Bring on the beef!
Restaurant 1539 – a stunning setting for the best of British produce
Chester Racecourse dominates the landscape of Chester, a stunning and hugely historic site that has long been a focal point of local life. Dining at Restaurant 1539 at the racecourse is a wonderful experience with a very special view of Chester’s final furlong – and with their brand-new tropical roof terrace, you are totally spoilt for both food and vista!
Using the freshest of local ingredients from local food heroes, including the Growing Field, David Joinson’s Quality Meats, Ribble Farm Fayre and ‘My fish Company’, head chef Richard Bruce’s varied menus offer twists on British Classics and dishes inspired by flavours from across the globe. The chefs often head out to growing fields themselves to pick the freshest herbs & salad leaves to garnish their ever-changing, seasonal menus.
For local British produce, presented beautifully in a uniquely Chester setting – it has to be Restaurant 1539.
The White Horse at Chester racecourse – a Great British dining experience the whole family will enjoy
We British folk love a good pub, and The White Horse at Chester racecourse is one of the best examples we can think of for a truly great British dining-pub experience! This is an award-winning gastro pub, serving generous helpings of seasonal comfort food, alongside an ever-changing selection of traditional beers, real ales & wines. The White Horse’s fabulous British fayre pairs perfectly with their fantastic family-friendly offering (the kids’ menus are always a winner!), the garden is dominated by a pirate ship play area, and their regular child-friendly events make this the perfect place to celebrate British Food Fortnight with the whole family. Plus, all White Horse guests enjoy free parking at the racecourse – ideal if you’re making a day of it.
Christleton Orchard Range Eggs
Christleton Orchard Range – where the hens rule the roost!
Based on their family-run farm near Chester, Christleton Orchard Range supplies the best independent restaurants, hotels, cafés and shops of Chester, with deliciously fresh, local, free-range eggs – and the great news is that everyone is welcome to buy directly from Manor Farm and meet the hens too (and that includes you and me!).
Buying locally sourced, fresh produce just makes sense on every level, as when you buy local, you support local farmers. Christleton Orchard Range is proud to be a fully sustainable Chester producer. This is a fourth-generation of farmers running a family business, that started with The Yard saying they would use them if they could match their demand. The rest is history! They now have around 1000 free-range birds roaming the fields and orchard of the farm, in the village of Christleton. They are delighted to support lots of fantastic local businesses with their superb produce – all of whom want to ensure they offer their customers the very best of what’s on the doorstep, with eggs very often being served the day they are laid! Sarah (or The Egglady!) also delivers in Chester every day to the shops, restaurants and cafes in addition to a local house delivery service, ensuring everyone can enjoy freshly laid local free-range eggs.
They also sell seasonal honey, and watch this space for the Cheshire Cheese…coming soon!
Picnic Chester – a Mediterranean-style menu using superb British produce for winning dishes!
This much-loved, local independent restaurant upgraded from bistro to bar-restaurant just before lockdown, and it’s lovely to have it fully reopened and intending to continue.
Picnic Chester is yet another glowing example of how a great deal of passion and continually striving for excellence is the perfect recipe for a super-successful venue. I was lucky enough to dine here just a couple of months ago, and came away so impressed with the uncomplicated elegance of the food, attentive (but not over-the-top) service and laid back, Mediterranean vibe. The dishes we chose were so good, and my own main course dish of Chalk Valley Trout with chorizo, gnocchi and spinach needs a special mention all of its own. Like most of our independent restaurants, local produce is key to the quality of every dish – and once again My Fish Company are responsible for the star ingredient here.
I absolutely love Picnic, and the incredible midweek ‘Menu of the Day’ is such good value at 2 / 3 courses plus a glass of wine or beer for £15 / £18 – available all day and night Wednesday & Thursday, Fridays until 6:30, Saturday lunch 12-3:30.
The Green House – a stunning menu with global influences created with the best of British, local produce
I love it when a new, independent restaurant opens in the city centre – and I can only imagine the challenges of trying to open something of such quality, slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic! But that’s exactly what April and Max have done so successfully, and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of dining at The Greenhouse on Godstall Lane, then now is definitely the time. April and Max are joined by a dedicated and impassioned team to deliver their menu of the most stunning small plates. Head chef Adam clearly has a great deal of fun with beautifully bold flavours.
Their menu may be full of global influences, but the produce arrives from local suppliers who provide the very best of British ingredients. Hoole Food Market delivers seasonal fruit and vegetables, which make up so much of the chef’s innovative offering – and David Joinson supplies his usual top-grade produce, as he does to so many of our best quality venues. My Fish Company sources the stunning seafood which we enjoyed so much on our recent dining review – the Gambas Con Ajo were definitely one of the highlights, and The Cheese Shop provide their award-winning produce too. This is such a fabulous all-round dining experience – and the cocktails are fantastic as well!
The Sandbar Seafood Shack – best of British seafood makes for one epic, local dining experience
Everyone loves Chester Market – and I for one was pretty overjoyed when Martin Taylor opened The Sandbar Seafood Shack there recently. I don’t remember Chester ever having a dedicated seafood restaurant (please correct me if I’m wrong), so Martin’s arrival to our fabulous market and local food and drink scene has been a very welcome one.
I asked him about his core values when it comes to locally-sourced produce, and this is what he had to say; ‘I think it’s so important to source the best produce from nearby independent suppliers. For example we partner amazing artisan sourdough from the Bear Bakery with our potted crab, smoked mackerel pate, steamed mussels, and crab rarebit.
We buy all our local cheeses and eggs from The Cheese Wedge plus fruit and veg from Ian’s-5-a-day, both of which are located in Chester Market. Most importantly, all our fresh fish is provided by Bricklands in Hoole. We’ve built an excellent relationship with them and discuss daily what seasonal seafood is available and its provenance. It’s the importance of these partnerships that enable us to consistently provide seafood dishes of the very best quality and taste’. And I totally agree. This is hands-down one of the best dining experiences in the city.