Lovely hall-house with plenty of drinking and dining space, real ales and imaginative food
The good pub guide review
This wonderful 17th-c manor house is Grade I-listed both for its original half-timbered exterior and its little-altered interior, which, thanks to Brunning & Price's sensitive transformation, makes for a fine public house. The room to the left of the entrance hall is much as it's been for centuries, with a Jacobean fireplace, oak panelling and priest's hole, and it leads into the Oak Room, divided by standing timbers into two dining areas with heavy beams, oak flooring and reclaimed panelling. Other rooms in the original building have hefty beams and oak boards, two open fires and a woodburning stove; the cosy snugs are carpeted. The Garden Room is big and bright, with reclaimed quarry tiling and exposed A-frame oak timbering, and opens on to a suntrap back terrace with teak tables and chairs among flowering tubs. Throughout, the walls are covered with countless interesting prints, there's an appealing collection of antique dining chairs and tables of all sizes, and plenty of rugs, bookcases and plants. From the handsome bar counter, efficient and friendly staff serve regulars including Phoenix Brunning & Price Original alongside a changing and seasonal roster of guests, such as Hawkshead Mosaic and Mobberley Pancake (for Shrove Tuesday), some 20 good wines by the glass, plentiful malt whiskies and gins; background music, board games. There are picnic-sets in front of the building beside rose bushes and clipped box hedging.
The good pub guide food review
Highly enjoyable food comes on several menus, including 'Elevenses', brunch and afternoon tea. Starters might include halloumi fries with tomato salsa, crispy baby squid and sweet chilli sauce and barbecue chicken wings, while typical mains are steak burger with grilled bacon, cheddar, spiced tomato mayonnaise and coleslaw, roast duck breast with crispy leg croquettes, celeriac purée and cherry jus and sweet potato, aubergine and spinach Malaysian curry, followed by puddings such as chocolate and orange tart with passion-fruit sorbet and crème brûlée with shortbread biscuits.
Old Hall, High Street, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 1AL
Pub Group: Brunning & Price