Cheshire Cat are smiling again!

From left to right Cholmondeley deputy manager Leigh, Cholmondeley manager Helen, Cheshire Cat owner Tim, Fitzherbert Arms head chef Connor, Cheshire Cat owner Mary and Fitzherbert Manager Rebecca!

Our pub company Cheshire Cat Pubs and Inns, owned by Tim and Mary, is celebrating again after two of their pubs achieved great accolades at the Pub and Bar Magazine Awards in London on Wednesday 26th June 2024. The Cholmondeley Arms and the Fitzherbert Arms made the journey to the awards having been chosen as County winners of Cheshire and Staffordshire respectively.

Cholmondeley Arms Manager Helen and Deputy manager Leigh arrived in London to see if the Cholmondeley Arms Team could go one further and win the Northwest region. Great news! The Chum won it! We now have the honour of ‘Best in the Northwest’ back within our Company Cheshire Cat. We held the honour previously with our sister pub the Church Inn back in 2021. Owners Tim and Mary were at the awards to help the teams celebrate!

The Fitzherbert Arms meanwhile had already won ‘Best Pub in Staffordshire’ for the third year running. The Fitz Manager Rebecca and Head Chef Connor headed to London to see if the Fitzherbert Arms Team could go one further and win the West Midlands region. To their complete surprise they went one better and won the honour of the National ‘Best Taste’ Award sponsored by Tyrells Crisps, which recognised most notably the great food performance under the stewardship of Head Chef Connor and his kitchen team and of course the effort of the entire team who make the Fitz the great pub it is today.

Please check out the photo of the entire team at the awards and you’ll notice the enormous bag of Tyrells crisps which has a photo of the Fitzherbert Arms across the front! It was fun carrying that around London after the awards! All in all, it was a great night in London, and we are all very proud of Rebecca, Connor and the entire Fitz team and Helen and Leigh and the entire Cholmondeley Arms team.

Cholmondeley Arms is the Best in the Northwest.

A great night at the Pub and Bar Magazine Awards in London! The Cholmondeley Arms had already won the County of Cheshire in the Awards a month or so ago. Manager Helen and Deputy manager Leigh headed to London to see if the Cholmondeley Arms Team could go one further and win the Northwest region. Great news! The Chum won it! We now have the honour of ‘Best in the Northwest’ back within our Company Cheshire Cat. We held the honour previously with our sister pub the Church Inn back in 2021. Owners Tim and Mary were at the awards too along with Rebecca and Connor from our Fitzherbert Arms who had been chosen as Best in Staffordshire for the third year running! The Fitzherbert won a special ‘Best Taste Award’ reflecting their pubs amazing food and drinks act.

All in all it was a great nght in London and we are all very proud of Helen and the team at the Cholmondeley Arms….another great accolade after winning ‘Pub of the Year’ at the Great British Pub Awards for 2023/24.

The 9th Cholmondeley Arms Car Treasure has a record turnout!


A mixed weather day greeted our keen competitors for the Cholmondeley Arms 9th Car Treasure Hunt. We had a record turnout of 15 cars!!

The teams were sent off into the Cheshire countryside heading out Peckfortan way and back via Bunbury picking up clues and answering challenging quiz questions along the route!

All arrived back safely after a couple of hours and enjoyed a much-needed drink and complimentary nibbles while Tim and Rebecca set about marking the papers.

There was a draw for third between ‘The Crumpets’ and Team ‘Octopus Prime’ and to separate the teams, we chose the highest individual Treasure Hunt score, and the ‘Octopus Prime’ team came out in third place overall and picked up a £30 gift card and a bottle of sparkling Picpoul. In second place were Team Crofts who picked up a £50.00 gift card and a bottle of fizz . In first place were last year’s second placed team, the treasure hunt veterans the ‘Smithy Smart Arses’ who collected the first prize of a Porsche for the day, the treasure hunt cup and were confirmed as the Cholmondeley Arms Treasure Hunt Champions of 2023!

Well done to all the teams who took part, you all did very well indeed. We hope to see you all again soon. We raised £160.00 for the Air Ambulance charity.

Thank you for competing and making it another great day at the Cholmondeley Arms.

The Cholmondeley Arms is named Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards 2023!

The Cholmondeley Arms, on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate in Cheshire has been declared Pub of the Year at the Great British Pub Awards 2023. The pub was named the overall winner having won the ‘Rural Pub of the Year’ category at the awards held at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on Tuesday night.

The awards, presented by Edith Bowman, are a showcase of the country’s best pubs, shining a light on the pub hospitality sector and those who work within it.

Cheshire Cat Pubs and Inns, owned by Tim Bird and Mary Mclaughlin, operates seven pubs and inns across Cheshire and Staffordshire, including the recently opened Mainwaring Arms on the Whitmore Estate in North Staffordshire and the award winning Church Inn in Mobberley, Cheshire.

Owner Tim Bird said of the win: “We will be a beacon of hope for rural pubs, with so many being forced to close due to ongoing economic headwinds. For the team, this is just amazing. Helen Mosford, our manager, has worked at the Cholmondeley for 12 years, taking on the role of manager earlier this year. Helen is the epitome of what makes a pub special, and we are so incredibly proud of her and every member of the team.”

Tim and Mary took on the Cholmondeley Arms in 2011, transforming the former schoolhouse through a significant restoration and refurbishment. The menu, created by Executive Chef Richard Williams and Head Chef Pawel Samczynski, offers locally-sourced produce, and the drinks offering includes a collection of 366 gins. The pub has its own gins too, the award winning Cholmondeley Arms Gin and Pink Gin. Adjacent to the Cholmondeley Arms is the ‘Old Headmaster’s House’ with its six newly refurbished bedrooms, perfect for an overnight stay in the country.

Join us in congratulating Helen, Richard and the whole team at the Cholmondeley Arms with their amazing double-win!

The Cholmondeley Arms is a finalist again!

Having come runners-up in the Cheshire Life Magazine’s Cheshire Dining Pub of the Year final at the end of July, we are now proud to announce that the Cholmondeley Arms (The Chum) is a finalist again. This time in the National Great British Pub Awards 2023. The Chum has come through vigorous judging to make it to the final of Best Country/Rural Pub 2023 category. Judges are still to visit, with final interviews in late August. It is very tense, but we believe we can lift the trophy come 19th September and celebrate on behalf of the many rural pubs that support communities across Cheshire.

Helen and the team have done a great job after the Chum, like many pubs, had to come back from the numerous  pandemic closures and its severe aftermath that affected staffing and of course the challenges of increased costs since. The Chum has sailed through many storms and is doing very well again now, we are pleased to say. Having had investment in the guest bedrooms in the Headmaster’s house adjacent to the pub and decorative work inside the pub itself, it offers a wonderful place to visit when out and about in rural Cheshire. We are very proud of the kitchen team who have cooked their hearts out since things returned to ‘normal’ and to the front of house team who ensure everyone receives a warm welcome! We will keep you posted on our progress, so fingers crossed for the Chum and the Team! Well done for reaching such an important National final!

Porsche Chester guests become treasure hunters at the Chum!

What a great day for a car treasure hunt! Sunny, dry and lovely blue skies greeted the ‘hunters’, for their ‘country roads drive’ around the lanes of Cholmondeley, set up by Porsche Chester, in association with the Cholmondeley Arms team.

Like the Chum’s own annual treasure hunt, the car team pairs were sent off individually to find clues around the estate and beyond. They also had to answer quiz questions, take photos of certain objects and do a little shopping too!

Everyone arrived back safely and presented their completed papers for the marking to commence. Kat, from Porsche Chester, was ‘head adjudicator’ with owner Tim and deputy Alex giving a hand!

While the teams enjoyed refreshments and nibbles, the marking was completed…..drum roll……In joint third place were the ‘Rich Tings’ and the ‘Super Sleuth’s. In second place was ‘Monty’s Best Friend’. Well done to all.

The Porsche Chester Cholmondeley Treasure Hunt Champions 2021 were the 9-9 TWO Team (pictured)! Congratulations to them and indeed all the cars that took part. Everyone made it round and had a great time.

We would like to thank our loyal, longstanding, car event sponsors Porsche Chester, for arranging the event with us and Team Chum for looking after everyone.

See you all again next year!

Great turnout for 7th Chum Treasure Hunt!

The Winners

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the 7th Cholmondeley Arms Car Treasure Hunt. Thank you too for all the kind donations. £135 was raised for the Air Ambulance, as each car team donated towards this great cause.

15 teams….yes 15….rocked up to the Chum on a bright, dry day, to take on the hunt, set up by owner Tim and the Chum team.

Everyone gave it a good go and got back safely to enjoy a nibble and a drink as Alex and Tim set about the serious task of marking the papers! It was like the Cholmondeley school all over again!
Finally the scores were in!

The third place team were the ‘Shady Ladies’ who picked up a £20 gift voucher! So shady were-they that they had disappeared before their photo could be taken! Ha!
In second place were the veteran team called the ‘Audacious Audi-licious’! Winning a £30 gift card.

Drum roll….in first place, taking the title of 2021 Cholmondeley Arms treasure hunt champions….were the ‘Explorers on the Edge’! Well done to them! Winning a Porsche for a day, kindly provided by our long-standing sponsors Porsche Chester.

Congratulations to the winning team and everyone who took part! A great day indeed!

See you all next Year!

Second placed

Foodie Treble achieved as we get ready for opening (again!)

We are proud to announce we have achieved a ‘Foodie Treble’! In December just before ‘lockdown 3’ the Cholmondeley Arms was chosen by the Good Pub Guide as ‘County Dining Pub of the Year 2021’! This was a really fantastic achievement for the Cholmondeley Arms kitchen team led by Andy. It is the third time the ‘Chum’ has won this award 1996 and 2001 and now 20 years later we’ve achieved the honour again!

In January 2021 the Church Inn was chosen by Michelin for their Pub and Good Food Guides with a Michelin Plate for 2021. This is the sixth year in a row that the Church Inn has collected this distinction and remains the only pub in Cheshire with a Michelin Plate. Richard and his team, like the Cholmondeley Arms team, have worked through a difficult year with great commitment and culinary excellence. We are very proud of this consistent performance.

Now in March 2021 the Roebuck Inn has been chosen in the Estrella Damm Top 100 Gastro Pubs 2021. The Roebuck is the highest ranking Cheshire pub and this award underlines an amazing year, where the Roebuck Inn has remained open through every lock down and made a great name for itself as a ‘Pub Hub’, serving the community with ‘Just Heat’ Meals and great Fish and Chips every Thursday and Friday. Andy and his team have maintained a very high standard of cooking during lockdowns and of course when open too. This award comes on the back of Head Chef Andy’s nomination at this year’s Pub industry ‘Oscars’, for the ‘Outstanding Industry Contribution Award’ recognising Andy’s lockdown efforts at the Roebuck Inn Pub Hub. The Hub Team have already been presented in February 2021 with a ‘Covid Community Hero Award by our MP Esther McVey. Great recognition for a year of great effort keeping the hub open for our local community!

We are very proud of all the teams, for their amazing achievements over the last few months of very challenging times for us all.

Well done everyone! Good luck Andy!


Large Double at The Cholmondeley Arms

We are delighted to announce that the Cholmondeley Arms has landed two prestigious awards; the ‘County Dining Pub of the Year 2021’ and ‘Gin Pub of the Year 2021’ by The Good Pub Guide. This is the third year in a row the ‘Chum’ has won the national title ‘Gin Pub of the Year’ and the second time it has won the title of ‘County Dining Pub of the Year’.

This double celebration comes as we launch our very own ‘Cholmondeley Arms Gin’ in time for Christmas. The new Gin marks our forthcoming tenth anniversary, under the ownership of Tim and Mary, who took on the Cholmondeley Arms way back in 2011. They invested in the pub, restoring and redeveloping it in to the institution it is today.

Our new Cholmondeley Arms Gin has arrived and is receiving excellent reviews with 100 bottles already sold! Having our own Gin has been a dream for some time, but during ‘Lock down 2’, it was finally distilled by award winning producers and good friends, the Big Hill Distillery in Mobberley. The highly acclaimed gin has a traditional juniper base with a nice finish of lemon rind, root ginger and Alderley Edge honey – supplied by our beekeeping customers Mike and Ruth. The gin is served with lemon zest, plenty of ice and Double Dutch Indian tonic water and is fondly regarded as a ‘contemporary dry gin’.

We are all very proud of our achievements and wanted to say a big thank you to all our customers for your support and kind words over the years. These are currently tough times for pubs, so it is particularly welcome for the Cholmondeley team to be recognised with these two significant awards. We look forward to seeing you all soon for a Cholmondeley G&T!