GBPA 2023

Meet the winner of the Best Country/Rural Pub 2023 sponsored by Everard Cole

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Gin-tastic offer: the pub has more than 300 gins available
Gin-tastic offer: the pub has more than 300 gins available

Related tags Events Great british pub awards Multi-site pub operators Cheshire

The Cholmondeley Arms is one of England's most unique rural pubs. The building, situated on Lord Cholmondeley's estate in South Cheshire, is an old Victorian schoolhouse that boasts a real wow factor for customers.

Premium food, drink and service are at the heart of this business, which is run by manager Helen Mosford and her dedicated team.

The pub attracts a wide range of customers from locals to destination diners, it hosts the Cholmondeley Arms Car Club with over 400 members and is welcoming to fury friends.  

The building had closed as a school in the early 1980s and was reopened as a pub in 1988.

It was taken over by Cheshire Cat Pubs in 2011 after they were approached by the Estate to take a look at rescuing the 'Chum'.

A year later the restored Chum reopened its doors again with fresh rural dishes on the menu, local ales and a large range of gins.

Drinks range

The building has retained many of its traditional features and has an outside area with extensive gardens. Inside it retains many of the features of the school from a blackboard to school tables.

The pub, which is well-known for its gin offer, has a back bar designed like an old apothecary housing over 300 gins. 

To celebrate 10-years’ operating ‘the Chum’ in lockdown the pub distilled its own Cholmondeley Arms Gin, distilled by local supplier Big Hill Distillery in Mobberley.

This summer it also introduced Cholmondeley Pink Gin, which is the Cholmondeley recipe with the addition of fresh raspberries and vanilla pod in the botanicals.

Local role

Local also has a role on the bar with four cask ales served including Three House ales, Cholmondeley Best Bitter, Headmaster's IPA and Chum Gold.

Both its food menu and wine lists cater for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free needs and its drinks selection also has a great choice of no and low drinks.

The food menu is quintessentially English and includes dishes such as ‘Devilled Kidneys on toast’ and old school favourites including the legendary ‘Hand crafted Steak and Kidney pie’, and ‘Old School jam roly-poly.’

As well as using a local distillery for its gin it sources food from local artisan bakers, farmers, butchers and cheesemakers.

Its latest development, in early 2022, saw a complete refurbishment of an adjacent building which houses six bedrooms called the 'Old Headmaster's House. The bedrooms are named after fictional teachers and one real headmaster Tim's late father, Henry Bird.

Full list of 2023 GBPA winners:

Great British Pub of the Year 2023 – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best City/Urban Pub – the Turks Head, Twickenham, Greater London

Best Country/Rural Pub – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best Pub for Food – the Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, Berkshire

Best Pub for Dogs – the Bellflower, Garstang, Lancashire

Best Pub for Families – the Plough, Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire

Best Pub for Entertainment – the Kings Arms, Bexleyheath, south east London

Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorset

Best Pub to Watch Sport – the Royal Dyche, Burnley, Lancashire

Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Best Pub Chef – Charlotte Vincent, Candlelight Inn, Chard, Somerset

Best Young Pub Chef – Karl Quirante, the Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire

Community Hero – the Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester

Admiral Pub of the Year – Boot & Shoe, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire

Stonegate Pub of the Year – the Woodman, Ruislip, north west London

Greene King Pub of the Year – the Stag, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

Marston’s Pub of the Year – Rose & Crown, Worcester, Worcestershire

Punch Pub of the Year – the Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire

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