The golden tri­an­gle

Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury

Cheshire Life - - Inside - WORDS: Janet Reeder PHO­TOS: Kirsty Thomp­son

So how of­ten does the WAG come in?’ That isn’t the kind of ques­tion asked in most restau­rants but then they are not all owned by the wife of a fa­mous foot­baller.

Chantelle Heskey, wife of Emile Heskey, is co-owner of Alderley Edge’s new­est eaterie, Parea, a glam­orous hang-out that boasts Lau­rent Per­rier brand­ing on chairs and hosts celebrity par­ties.

But con­trary to what you might think she doesn’t just drop in for a cock­tail and a chat. Chantelle, along with co-owner James Golden, has been work­ing around the clock to make it a suc­cess.

‘The other day James told me “Some­one just asked me how of­ten does the WAG come in?” and James said “The WAG just served you.”

Adds James: ‘Peo­ple think Chantelle’s go­ing to turn up in a dia­manté cov­ered Rolls Royce and waft in and out, but we come from very hard work­ing class back­grounds and we know that when you do some­thing you have to work hard to make it a suc­cess.’

Ahhh, but this is Alderley Edge, the epi­cen­tre of Cheshire’s golden tri­an­gle, and an area that to­day is even more the fo­cus of me­dia ob­ses­sion, thanks to TV’S Real Housewives of Cheshire. It seems peo­ple just can’t get enough of the glam.

Chantelle and James go way back. She set up a char­ity af­ter go­ing over to South Africa for a World Cup doc­u­men­tary in 2010 called Wags, Kids and World Cup Dreams. See­ing the poverty there she be­gan fundrais­ing to help the or­phan­ages and they both worked to­gether on events and par­ties.

‘And from that we got a restau­rant,’ laughs Chantelle.

‘It wasn’t quite as sim­ple as that,’ says James.

‘We looked in Wilmslow orig­i­nally but that site didn’t hap­pen but Alderley was great as a lot of our friends are lo­cated in this tri­an­gle. It worked well for our con­tact list.’

Chantelle agrees: ‘ And there’s a lot more go­ing on in this high street. As more restau­rants come here there are more peo­ple so it’s per­fect.’

The pair ad­mit that what they wanted was a fun lo­cal restau­rant and bar and so they called it Parea, which is a Greek term mean­ing the com­ing to­gether of like-minded peo­ple.

‘It just suited our con­cept so well,’ ex­plains James.

‘We wanted a fun, lo­cal eaterie and bar. We wanted great cock­tails be­cause that’s what we per­son­ally like and then we have ve­gan dishes, as Chantelle’s hus­band is ve­gan, and our head chef has a real fo­cus on healthy eat­ing.’

There’s also the so­cial as­pect of hav­ing a place right in the heart of Cheshire’s three liveli­est towns.

Says Chantelle : ‘You find your­self com­ing in on your days off be­cause it’s such a nice place to be. I love it.’

‘Ev­ery­one in the vil­lage and the cus­tomers be­come your friends. It’s nice get­ting to know the lo­cals here and it’s great hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions, know­ing their name.’

With live mu­sic and DJS at the week­end, the venue has won a var­ied of clien­tele, from peo­ple who want to drink cock­tails at the bar to those who want to dine in style up­stairs, or those who drop in for brunch.

An­other bonus is that the pair now have their own space in which to hold events. Col­lab­o­ra­tions with big names such a Sel­fridges are al­ready on the cards.

The one thing that has sur­prised them, has been the re­sponse to the pretty silk flow­ers which dec­o­rate the ex­te­rior of the build­ing.

‘There has been a real fuss over the flow­ers,’ ad­mits James.

‘Peo­ple have asked the lo­cal coun­cil if we have had plan­ning per­mis­sion, while other peo­ple adore them. The Alderley in Bloom com­pe­ti­tion peo­ple loved them but one of the ladies hated them be­cause they aren’t real It’s a con­ver­sa­tion point. They’re very vivid but the idea was to sug­gest that we’re colour­ful and fun.

‘We want Parea to be the hub of the vil­lage. We’re in­de­pen­dent, so when you come in you can be sit­ting with us. Peo­ple like those lit­tle per­sonal touches. It’s a lit­tle bit old school. That’s what I like about this lo­ca­tion.’

Out­siders might be for­given for think­ing that the area is all glitz and glam nights out but like any sought-af­ter res­i­den­tial area it’s the schools, the trans­port links and the di­ver­sity of ac­tiv­i­ties which are part of the at­trac­tion.

Wilmslow, for ex­am­ple, has its very own sym­phony or­ches­tra which gives mu­sic-lov­ing lo­cals the chance to play to­gether and ev­ery­one else the op­por­tu­nity to hear clas­si­cal mu­sic lo­cally and at a very af­ford­able price.

Vi­o­lin­ist Pat Quirk says:‘the or­ches­tra has been go­ing since 1949 and it is still very pop­u­lar with a min­i­mum of 60 mem­bers and many oth­ers who come along for spe­cific con­certs.

‘We’ve all got other jobs. Some are mu­si­cal jobs but we have lawyers, doc­tors, uni­ver­sity lec­tur­ers and more. It’s a hobby for peo­ple. I’ve been in the or­ches­tra a long time now, around 28 years and I joined be­cause I love mu­sic. Life with­out mu­sic is not worth liv­ing. Fam­ily and mu­sic are the two things that mat­ter to me.’

Pat chose to join Wilmslow Sym­phony Or­ches­tra sim­ply be­cause it fit­ted in with her hec­tic sched­ule as a young mother.

‘Play­ers tend to pick their or­ches­tras for sev­eral rea­sons, one be­ing how good a stan­dard it is, so you de­cide how ex­pe­ri­enced you are as a player and then con­sider which or­ches­tra might suit you. It’s also about when it re­hearses. Wilmslow re­hearses on Fri­day nights and I’m a re­tired teacher so Wilmslow suited me.’

Choi Le­ung moved to Wilmslow from North Wales ten years ago and loves all that the area has to of­fer.

‘As soon as I came here I just felt re­ally at home,’ she says.

‘The peo­ple are lovely and There’s lots to do. When I first ar­rived I didn’t know any­body but I got in with a lo­cal fit­ness group and ev­ery­one was just so friendly. Now I have friends for life and it’s re­ally great.’

With Hoop­ers depart­ment store and great shop­ping and din­ing on the doorstep, Wilmslow town cen­tre has ev­ery­thing you might need.

‘I love Hoop­ers they have lots of great brands there and Rum­pus Re­sort is a good place to go,’ she says. ‘For me it’s per­fect I get all my work­out wear from Sweaty Betty and Rum­pus Re­sort.’

With Manch­ester just half an hour away by train, Choi doesn’t feel cut off.

‘I love to go into Manch­ester, it’s a re­ally good base,’ she says.

‘But some­times when you get home from work you can just pop out for din­ner at the lo­cal In­dian or there’s a re­ally good Thai restau­rant, Chilli Ba­nana, as well, which is a good place to go.’

It was work which brought Ian Sankey back to the north

west re­gion af­ter years of liv­ing in Lon­don. The chef has a high pro­file client who lives in Rome and so he finds that Alderley Edge is the ideal jet­ting off spot.

‘I’m only 15 min­utes away from the air­port which is great,’ says Ian, who trained in Lon­don at renowned restau­rants in­clud­ing Le Gavroche.

‘I worked on pri­vate jets for about 15 years for A-lis­ters from Robert De Niro to An­thony Hop­kins, UB 40, Kaiser Chiefs, loads of peo­ple.’

For­tu­nately, there are plenty of lo­cal restau­rants which have Ian’s seal of ap­proval.

‘I’ll go to Sotto or Cibo in Wilmslow which is nice in the high street... there are lots, but my favourite is Yara in Alderley Edge. Fan­tas­tic food.’

He en­joys the laid-back am­bi­ence of the area but is con­cerned about some of the re­cent changes ev­i­dent from the for sale signs spring­ing up in Wilmslow.

‘There are nice peo­ple and you can def­i­nitely have a com­fort­able life here,’ he says.

‘But the high street has changed be­cause of the rates. There are too many shops clos­ing and that needs sort­ing out.’

REX RES­UR­REC­TION

Wilmslow is about to wow movie fans as Louis and So­phie Mundin open the Art Deco Rex Cin­ema on Alderley Road.

The fam­ily has al­ready ren­o­vated sev­eral old screens, no­tably the Savoy in Heaton Moor and have now lov­ingly re­stored the 1930s land­mark Rex, trans­form­ing it into a bou­tique cin­ema with two screens and an up­per foyer where movie-lovers can loaf on so­fas and en­joy cof­fee and cake.

PARK­ING CLAMP DOWN

Cheshire East Coun­cil is to take steps to clamp down on nui­sance park­ing, with Wilmslow tar­geted first fol­low­ing a high num­ber of com­plaints.

Ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­con­sid­er­ate park­ing in the town is caus­ing dif­fi­cul­ties for res­i­dents, pedes­tri­ans, peo­ple with prams, the dis­abled and other road users as well as busi­nesses. Some peo­ple have com­plained of find­ing their drive­way blocked, leav­ing them un­able to get in or out of their own home.

Cheshire East is now work­ing with the po­lice, town and parish coun­cils, stake­hold­ers and busi­nesses to assess needs and po­ten­tial so­lu­tions. It will also look at the pos­si­bil­ity of en­hanced en­force­ment mea­sures to clamp down on il­le­gal or ir­re­spon­si­ble park­ing, such as on pave­ments or block­ing drive­ways.

They also want lo­cals to talk to them about these is­sues and help them to reach a so­lu­tion and plan pub­lic meet­ings and events over the next few weeks so peo­ple can have their say.

Visit: cheshireeast.gov.uk

HIS­TORIC HOUSE FOR SALE

In­ter­est is al­ready build­ing in a stun­ning 16th cen­tury land­mark build­ing in Prestbury – and it has yet to go on the mar­ket.

The 1535 pri­est house which un­til re­cently was a bank, was bought a year ago by James Smith. He has trans­formed the in­te­rior with the help of the My Fa­ther’s Heart kitchen in­stal­la­tion com­pany into a fan­tas­tic fam­ily home.

James has al­ready had in­ter­est in the house from as far afield as the USA and Asia and be­lieves it is so unique that the £895,000 ask­ing price makes it a re­ally ex­cit­ing prospect.

‘It is Grade II* listed and is a real piece of English his­tory,’ says James.

‘It was built by the Legh fam­ily for the church and was a pri­est house and more re­cently a bank. Turn­ing it back into a house has been quite a pro­ject as there was a lot of plan­ning per­mis­sions needed but be­ing able to con­vert it back to its orig­i­nal pur­pose has been a unique and won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.’

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