Nestled in the Cheshire countryside, just half an hour from Manchester, it’s the perfect weekend treat
There’s nothing quite like a top notch Sunday lunch, followed by a walk in the countryside - and there’s little better place for it than The Stanneylands.
Surrounded by four leafy acres of woodland and landscaped gardens, this Wilmslow country house hotel is just 30 minutes from central Manchester yet feels like another world altogether. And the food is pretty special too.
At just two courses for £19.95 or three courses £22.95, Sunday lunch can be enjoyed in either the relaxed Tap & Pantry or the elegant Grill Room. Plumping for the latter, we recently visited one crisp winter afternoon, when sunlight poured in through the alcove window. Wood-panelled and stylish, with quirky artwork and accents of gold and turquoise, it’s a stunning blend of classic and contemporary - much like The Stanneylands itself - and overlooks a tranquil outdoor terrace.
Overseen by head chef Mike Malbon, formerly Mere Court’s AA Rosette restaurant, The Stanneylands serves up refined British classics using the best seasonal produce. The Sunday lunch menu changes weekly but you’ll always find traditional roast mains and a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian.
It just happened that we’d had a filling bowl of porridge for breakfast on this occasion; otherwise, we’d have taken our pick from starters like roasted pumpkin soup and the iconic prawn cocktail. As it was, we went straight for mains…and weren’t disappointed.
Beef came with with savoy cabbage, green beans, mangetout and broccoli; as well as roast carrots, parsnips and potatoes. A 28-day sirloin cut from Williams Of Flint, it was drizzled in red wine jus and topped off with a fluffy handmade Yorkshire pudding.
Pan-fried sea bass also came with seasonal greens, along with new potatoes. Crisped just so, it was accompanied by a herb and butter sauce similar to hollandaise, and made for a meal both healthy and hearty.
Finally, the veggie amongst us went for homemade pumpkin ravioli garlanded with pea shoots and crunchy chestnut pieces. Served in a creamy sauce - made with shallots, garlic, thyme and veg stock - it was the perfect winter warmer.
Talking of which, desserts included the ultimate hot pudding: rhubarb crumble (made with British rhubarb) and a pot of custard sauce. The Stanneylands did it proud.
Banana and butterscotch cheesecake was also gobbled with relish, white chocolate shavings and all. Accompanied by raspberry coulis to undercut the sweetness, it was like a lighter version of banoffee pie: ideal for someone who’s just consumed a roast beef main with all the trimmings.
Finally, mango panna cotta was a refreshing revelation that came with a surprise passion fruit sorbet and a dusting of desiccated coconut. With a hint of cinnamon and star anise, it was prime Stanneylands: a classic dish with a fresh slant.
Yet another advantage to The Stanneylands? It’s owned by local brewer J W Lees, making for a great selection of real ale. Win win all round.
It being a lovely day, we rounded off our trip with a walk by the River Bollin; one of the many country walks Wilmslow has to offer, from Lindow Common to Lacy Green. We can’t promise you the same good weather, but we can promise you’ll find one of the most satisfying Sunday lunches in the region.