After our latest visit I felt I had to share this gem of a place.
The Bear's Paw isn't your run-of-the-mill country pub. Yes, there's a good bar with a regularly changing supply of cask ales to accompany the usual on-tap selection, there's leather sofas by a warming fire to welcome you on colder days - but that's far from all that the place has to offer.
The pub is deceptively large, but decorated with a comfortable, relaxed but decidedly stylish sensibility. Despite it's sprawling rooms they are separated into a variety of sizes, so it's entirely possible to have an intimate meal with your special someone or have a boisterous gathering without feeling that you are inhibiting someone else's meal. The staff are knowledgable, pleasant and happy to meet your demands with a smile without being over-bearing.
There's a well-sized, quality menu. The changing seasonal dishes tell you that they cook what is in season and your first mouthful will tell you that they cook it well. Whilst not cheap it's fairly priced and very few will find themselves arguing with the size of the bill. On the whole it's quality ingredients cooked well and served with a nice dash of flair. The latest example of this that I tried was their steak burger. I normally run a mile from this kind of dish, but the accompanying onion rings, relish and salad that you can add as you desire it becomes a classy, tummy filling dish.
They also have some beautiful rooms that, again whilst not cheap are worth the money charged. They are tastefully appointed and have some nice mod cons that add to the charm of the room rather than overpower it.
Is it perfect? No, but the faults are more niggles than anything. With the quality of the food it mystifies me why they would serve what are quite clearly frozen chips. Charge me an extra few £'s but give me decent chips and no crunchy little bottom-of-the-bag odds and ends. But the main weakness are their offering of desserts. Apart from their cheese plate, which is well put together and generous - the rest are mainly a disappointment. On our latest visit they offered a sticky toffee bread and butter pudding with custard. Sadly, the thought of the dessert was far more appetising than the actual dish. The pudding was stodgy but without the hinted at sweetness or stickiness. The custard was more a Crème anglaise, bland and missing the dash of sweetness so desperately needed. They also offer sundaes which are in need of a bit more thought and imagination.
With that said I never have a seconds pause when booking. I know I will enjoy my time there as would family and friends.
One thing not to miss - the Bailey's Hot Chocolate, especially on a winters eve!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 19th century character inn situated in the picturesque village of Warmingham. Accessible from the M6 and strategically placed between three market towns; Sandbach, Middlewich and Crewe. The luxurious boutique style bedrooms with exquisite decor and furnishings are the ideal haven for a peaceful nights rest. This charming, yet stylish, gastro inn uses only the freshest and most seasonal produce which is locally sourced wherever possible and features six real ales from local micro breweries. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Bear`s Paw Hotel Sandbach