FAYRE WITH FLAIR

Why a Cheshire Life lunch made us fall in love with Cot­tons Ho­tel and Spa in Knutsford all over again Cheshire Life: Jan­uary 2019 Cheshire Life: Jan­uary 2019 205

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Og­den ex­plains: ‘The main aim of the lunch is to show­case Cot­tons to peo­ple who haven’t been for a while and show them what we’ve done.

‘In the time I’ve been here we’ve built 30 suites and bed­rooms and re­fur­bished 95 per cent of rooms and we’ve prob­a­bly spent an­other £1m on pub­lic ar­eas.’

Head chef Joe Lip­trot, who was re­cruited as a se­nior sous chef three years ago at the ten­der age of 24, honed his skills at the Fox and Hounds in Mid­dlewich and Marco Pierre White in Ch­ester .

Joe, from Cud­ding­ton, says he rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to work in a big­ger team with greater chal­lenges.

‘We do a lot of ban­quet­ing, con­fer­enc­ing and wed­dings, ma­jor events like that. I love pri­vate events and do­ing the menus for those, so for the Cheshire Life lunch what I’ve tried to do with the menu is to do some­thing dif­fer­ent by us­ing dif­fer­ent cuts of meat, Ox cheek and ox tails,’ he ex­plains.

‘I like do­ing things that are dif­fer­ent, things that you couldn’t recre­ate at home as they are the ones you go away and re­mem­ber.’

Among the many mem­o­rable high­lights of the lunch were bread muffins flavoured with pancetta and onion and olives and thyme, which emerged freshly baked from the kitchen ac­com­pa­nied by smoked but­ter. They were fol­lowed by a starter of an Assi­ette of Fish that in­cluded lan­goustines, scal­lops, sea­weed spaghetti and shell­fish bisque, com­pli­mented by a fresh, flinty M Char­poutier la Combe Pi­late Voignier.

The main course, A Cel­e­bra­tion of Beef, com­bined an unc­tu­ous braised ox cheek and ox tail bone mar­row with a char­grilled fil­let of beef that was cut through with the sweet­ness of car­rot purée and con­fit smoked gar­lic.

‘It was per­fectly matched with a Bordeaux-style An­wilka Stel­len­bosch Pe­tit Frere 2014 red wine with plenty of punchy flavour.

Both wines with lunch were pro­vided by fine wine importer, Mentzen­dorff.

Fi­nally, a vanilla and Greek yo­ghurt pana­cotta was fresh, light and creamy... and the per­fect in­dul­gent plate to end a de­light­ful din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The main aim of the lunch is to show­case Cot­tons to peo­ple who haven’t been for a while” eatcheshire

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