Ticking boxes for all you brides-to-be out there, today we’re sharing details of absolute gem of a Cheshire venue that may well appeal to those of you on the search for your dream big day setting, but also those craving a romantic minibreak; be it a pre-wed getaway or a loved-up minimoon.
Introducing The Bridge, a Grade II listed country pub, restaurant and hotel situated in the wonderfully charming village of Prestbury, which I was lucky enough to experience first-hand during a complimentary overnight stay last month.
Images supplied by The Bridge.
First opened as a hotel in 1952, the much-loved venue has more recently become part of the Flat Cap Hotels group, a family of local third generation hoteliers who have put a modern twist on its stunning interiors whilst retaining its individual character. Furthermore, they have enhanced its wedding offering, providing a choice of three differing backdrops, indoors and out, with The Bridge available to hire exclusively for celebrations of up to 150 guests.
Having heard great things about the group, including their other two Cheshire venues, The Courthouse in Knutsford and The Vicarage in Holmes Chapel, I was super excited for the overnight stay at The Bridge, which I attended with my husband Andy.
Visiting the second weekend September, we arrived early on the Friday evening and received a warm welcome before being shown to our room. In total, The Bridge has 23 bedrooms located within the older half-timbered part of the hotel and the newer Whiteside Wing. We were in a large Junior Suite in the original building, dating back to 1626, which was comforting and charismatic with exposed beams, huge French antique style bed and the bathroom of dreams, complete with walk-in shower and roll-top bath!
Keen to fully relax and indulge ahead of dinner, Andy retrieved two glasses of prosecco from the bar, and while he settled on the bed to watch the cricket *yawn* I enjoyed by glass of fizz in the tub whilst reading my book. Pure heaven!
Reluctantly leaving the bath, we got ready and headed down to the bar, which had a bustling and warm ambience, clearly popular with locals (always a good sign) as well as those from further afield. Ordering a glass of wine, we sat listening to a live acoustic set by a talented female signer whilst perusing the menu until it was time to be seated for dinner.
While the hotel is thoughtfully styled throughout, the newly refurbished restaurant has to be the most impressive space where country charm has been combined with contemporary touches resulting in a truly spectacular setting.
As a “family of foodies” Flat Cap Hotels pride themselves on their dining experience, serving up locally sourced British seasonal dishes, which we were eager to taste. To start I had salt and pepper crispy squid with Asian slaw and Andy had “Ham & Egg”; braised ham hock terrine, fried hen’s egg, new potatoes and mustard dressing. Both were beautifully presented and packed a punch in flavour, as did the following two courses. Pan seared hake fillet with charred Mediterranean vegetables, sautéed potatoes and basil and balsamic dressing for me, and (of course) 8 oz sirloin steak served with flat cap mushroom, plum tomato, rocket salad, fat cut chips and cracked black and green peppercorn sauce for him. Again, both absolutely divine and ample portions, not leaving us too much room for dessert, though we each managed an affogato with a rather generous measure of Amaretto to finish.
Utterly content we retired to our room for a blissful night’s sleep in our extra-large bed!
The following morning we were treated to more of The Bridge’s culinary delights at breakfast, again served in the restaurant which was filled with light as the morning rays poured in through its many windows.
We enjoyed leisurely tea and coffee before Andy tucked into a Full English (did I mention he’s predictable) and I devoured the crushed avocado on toast with poached eggs, tomato, mushroom, chilli and lemon.
Before departing to explore more of the hotel’s surroundings, we wondered into The Bridge’s grounds. Set back and secluded from the roadside, they provide an idyllic wedding, drinks reception and photography backdrop positioned on the picturesque banks of the River Bollin. The quaint St Peter’s Church is ideally located next door for those wanting a traditional service and as well as its stunning restaurant space, the hotel also houses a light and airy function room for larger celebrations.
Given its location, The Bridge is not only a fabulous choice of wedding venue complete with luxurious accommodation, attentive staff and delicious food, but it’s also ideal, as I previously mentioned, for a romantic getaway (and perhaps a break from the wedding planning) or alternatively an indulgent way to kick off your honeymoon as its just a 20 minute drive from Manchester airport.
The group’s stunning Courthouse venue also offers unique big day setting and is certainly worth a visit whilst in the area for those of you yet to find the perfect location for your celebrations – trust me, it will be worth calling in for one of their eccentric cocktails alone!
For more information on Flat Cap Hotels’ gorgeous independent venues, visit the website.