Nestled between Knutsford and Alderley, on the outskirts of Wilmslow sits The Oakwood. Over the years this place has been a myriad of different pubs and restaurants, some have lasted and some haven’t. I used to come here in the late 80’s when it was a pub during my A levels! After visiting for a Father’s Day dinner something tells me this place is here to stay. I didn’t tell my family where we were heading for dinner, my husband has been on an FA training course all weekend so was hot, worn out and ready for good food. It’s cosy and welcoming inside, with lots of lovely sofas and quiet corners to sit and just have a drink or a light bite. Lots of dark cosy navy paint colours, with touches of jewelled bright pop of velvets, patterned cushions and lots of chic table, wall and ceiling lights offering soft but good lighting.
We decided to share two starters; Ocean-reared trout gravadlax, dill, Dijon mustard, cucumber julienne, lemon crème fraîche and Potted Cromer crab, avocado, prawn butter, toasted sourdough, both so fresh and full of flavour. The gravadlax was sliced into cute little decent sized sections, not the wafer thin style we are more used to, which worked really well. The sourdough toast was divine, I love sourdough and I think it is so easy to get wrong, but here it was light and chewy and full of flavour.
My 15-year-old son is in Y10 and had two weeks worth of exams starting the following day, so needed a great plate of hearty sustenance to set him up. He chose Steak Frites, a 9 oz rump steak, chips, ‘Café de Paris’ herb & mustard butter. His words after his first mouthful were ‘oh man, this is the boss’ (teenage speak for ‘great’) and we didn’t hear another word until he’d finished. I had Grilled stone bass & cardamom-braised fennel, apple purée, watercress & fennel salad. Stone bass is a fish with which I am unfamiliar, but I loved the sweet, moist flakes of white fish, and with the apple puree and crisp fennel it was just delicious.
My poor sunburnt husband enjoyed a dish of Pork Rack which had been cooked confit, with a touch of sage and dauphinoise potatoes, which was his idea of the perfect plate of food. Our youngest son aged 10, went for the good reliable burger and chips, in this case, Free range Cornish beef burger, brioche bun, chips, with the added bonus of a slice of Comte cheese.
Being in the middle of a UK side heatwave, all the doors and windows were open to ensure a cooling breeze throughout. We also had a couple of glasses or Beaulieu Rose to cool us both down, they were both so cold and hit the spot.
To end with, we shared two desserts a sticky toffee pudding and a lemon posset with cats tongue biscuits; I’d never heard of this type of biscuit and our lovely waiter told us it was a classic French recipe. This lemon pudding has us all fighting for the last mouthful, so much so, we nearly forgot about the sticky toffee pudding so we polished that off between us too!
Between Knutsford, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow, you are spoilt for choice on places to eat, but this is the place you should definitely head for. I am with my Mum for lunch next week and I can’t wait to go back. This is the sort of place that becomes a no-brainer place to choose to eat, you get a great varied menu with fresh seasonal produce and what else do you need when you want to eat out? The staff were lovely, knowledgeable
The White Brasserie Company is a family of British pubs with a French brasserie twist. With 15 different places to try, mainly in the south, The Oakwood being there first in Cheshire, in fact, we have been to The Cricketer in Cobham Surrey several times as it is round the corner from my sister in law.
From chef Raymond Blanc, who sits on the board of the White Brasserie, said that while these new pubs will be high-end gastropubs, they will eschew the white table cloth dining concept. “I’m not talking about three-star Michelin,” he said. “I’m talking about fresh, good, cooked food and that’s what Great Britain needs.” And I couldn’t agree more.
£139.21 for four including drinks and wine.