A VILLAGE pub saved from closure has been named the best in the north west.
The Church Inn, Mobberley, has been crowned one of 15 regional winners in the annual National Pub and Bar Awards for the second time.
The 18th century Grade II listed inn won the national award in 2019 and is the only pub in Cheshire featured in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2021.
Owner Tim Bird and wife Mary McLoughlin are exceptionally proud of their team.
Tim said: “We rescued the pub from closure back in 2012, restored it from a near derelict state and re-opened it in June 2013.
“We always wanted the Church Inn to cook fresh modern British dishes using as many local suppliers as we could.
“Our chefs have cooked with consistent intensity and style for years. To win this award again is testimony to a consistency in service and dish quality of which we are very proud.”
The recipe for success, he believes, is that everyone works together as a team.
“We have no big names and no snobbery around the cooking,” said Tim.
“We have a great team of chefs who work brilliantly with front of house and that harmony is what makes it special.
“It is about coming up with dishes that intrigue on one hand and delight on the other. The flavour of the food must stand out, it’s about precise cooking not smears on plates.
“Certain chefs chase a Michelin star but we are not in that market, we don’t want that fuss.
“We are happy to be in the Michelin Guide and Good Beer Guide, those two go hand in hand.”
The awards have given staff a boost after the difficulties posed by the pandemic.
“They came back three times and had to constantly adjust to the curveballs of restrictions,” said Tim. “It has been immensely challenging but we have all worked hard.
Staff at The Church Inn have returned three times during the pandemic and constantly adjusted to the changing restrictions
“We are chuffed, our team have performed amazingly.”
The couple now own six pubs, including The Bulls Head and Roebuck Inn in Mobberley.
“They’ve all got their own individual history and their own personality,” said Tim.
“They are close together but it’s good to be able to offer different things for the village. They all have their own distinct history.”