On my fourth visit last week, I felt as if I saw Nantwich for the first time last. That can happen; I must have been to Stockport a hundred times and each trip reveals new beauty.
Nantwich must have treasures to discover, it still has a cheery and well-staffed Tourist Office that supplied a compact little map, which you can enjoy today instead of the OS extract.
My mini-tour starts at the Almshouses, apparently stolen from Crewe,
before moving on to an impressively austere St Mary’s,
and a succession of black and white buildings of increasing beauty. Eventually you reach Nantwich Book Shop and then the Crown, a dull recent GBG entry in need of a bit of de-cluttering. But leave the Salopian on, please.
I had a sudden craving for cheese and bacon Oatcakes, in the wrong county but not far from their spiritual home. Until blogs come with a tasting option, you’ll have to take my word for it that Chatwins is your essential lunch stop in Nantwich.
A busy High Street wasn’t obviously packed with day-trippers from Deeside or coach parties from Congleton, so as expected lunch business looked a bit quiet.
A decently pubbed town, but with nothing for my Top 100 emerging over the years, and with Crewe hogging the only interesting pubs round South Cheshire.
Still, a surprise to see just the one Beer Guide pub this year, and not the Joule’s house either. Clearly some quality control at work here.
Even more of a surprise to see a Hyde’s house in the GBG, though the Vine seems to have taken a “count the handpumps !” approach, with six beers I saw on 2 bars.
Before you accuse me of hypocrisy, yes, the glass for the Old Indie was an (elegant) abomination.
But the beer was fabulous, cool and rich and, er, dark. An easy NBSS 4.
And the pub was better than this picture suggests;
A mixed crowd of OAP diners scoffing proper pies, suited drinkers two pints down by 12.30, and lesser ne-e’r do wells gave it a highly pubby atmosphere. And that despite Aretha Franklin competing with Sky Cricket for attention.
That I can recommend a pub with too many beers, thin glasses and a TV/dart board posing table alcove says all you need to know about my inconsistencies.
Some gorgeous pubs that aren’t in the Guide, and a perfect site for a future micropub opposite the Leopard up for sale. I expect I’ll be back in 2018.