THE owners of a Cheshire country pub that has been nominated for a national award say it is reward for their rural pubs’ post-Covid recovery.

The Cholmondeley Arms, in Wrenbury Road, has received a nomination for best country/rural pub by the Great British Pub Awards, which celebrates the best in the industry.

Tim Bird and partner Mary say the pub’s nomination is a reward for the hard work they and their staff have put in to establish it as one of the best pubs in the county.

Tim said: “Mary and I are delighted – it’s come on the back of being recognised in more local awards which was a mark in the sand.

“To be nominated for the Great British Pub awards is worth of the Cholmondeley Arms because rural pubs went into a pandemic that was tougher for them.


“It’s not the easiest place to recruit to – Cholmondeley has never been the easiest place to recruit, even in its heady days.

“To me, this is recognition of a strong recovery and I would be the first to say we had difficult times during Covid because they way had to keep closing and reopening, and then the restrictions.

“To come through that, we invested a little bit in the bedrooms in the headmaster’s house that sits by the pub.

“For the team, for the chefs, for Helen and Rebecca who operate the pub – it’s the recognition for them.”

Tim explained the pub still needs to pass more stringent judging with personal visits and online testing still to come.

But he admitted that winning it for the area would be a great honour for the area.

He added: “The most important part of promotion is word of mouth from your own customers and that’s how we want it.

“The key for this award is it’s a marker for rural pubs.

“We’re in the final because the food is cooked fresh with three farms, at least, supplying us and it’s a great reflection on the food we’re cooking and serving.

“At the same time, we’ve got a drinks menus that is dominated by gin – 12 years ago we thought G&T would be perfect for Cholmondeley without knowing that two years later, the whole renaissance would kick off.

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“We were fortunate with that – in those days one supplier would have 40 gins but now they have 300.

“All that with local ales, and a good wine list – all that plays a part with the service and bedrooms on top, and all the bits of details and individuality in-between.

“That’s why we’ve been supported.

“We love all and serve all – we’ve got a good customer base, young and old, with farmers to jockeys and trainers with a good mix.”