I had heard so many good things about the Mill Pool at Little Budworth I actually wondered if it was possible for it to live up to its reputation for quality and value. I needn’t have worried.
My visit there at the weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts. Tucked away in the Cheshire countryside near Cotebrook, my sat nav wasn’t up to the task of getting me to the front door. Heavy rain and a missed turning meant we ended up at the back door, completely missing the wonderful front aspect overlooking the eponymous mill pool.
However, while the weather may have been cold and wet, the greeting we received was warm and friendly and we were immediately shown to our table in the bustling ‘upstairs’ dining room.
When I phoned to book the table, I was asked if I preferred to eat upstairs or downstairs. I had elected upstairs after being told it had more of a bistro atmosphere with downstairs having a more formal, restaurant feel to it.
The Mill Pool has a staggeringly simple pricing structure. On a Saturday night, you get two courses for a truly remarkable £13.50 and three courses for £16.50 from the fixed price menu.
How it rated
Quality of service impeccable
Value for money absolutely outstanding
Quality of food excellent
Speed of service perfect
I understand it’s cheaper to dine there at other times so it would be worth checking beforehand and if my experience is anything to go by, it’s probably a good idea to book as well as the place was packed and lively.
As well as the fixed price menu, there is also a range of specials at a small supplement. On the night we were there, steak was available for an extra £6.
y partner chose a spicy prawn and noodles starter from the fixed price menu while I chose homemade meatballs in a cheese and tomato sauce (£1.50 extra) from the specials menu.
For my main course, I elected to have the Indonesian lamb – shoulder of lamb in a subtle honey, garlic, ginger, turmeric and onion sauce served with rice – while my partner went for the vegetarian option of stuffed pancakes in a very cheesy sauce. All meals come with a selection of seasonal vegetables.
We both cleared our plates.
Unusually for me, I finished off the meal with a pudding. I chose the cheesecake smothered in blueberries while my partner, not unusually for her, went for the apple and caramel crème.
The food was freshly cooked and faultless throughout. The portion sizes were just about right for a three-course meal while the service was prompt and friendly without being overbearing.
And I think you will go a long, long way before finding better value for money.
The question I ask myself after visiting a restaurant for the first time is: Will I go back again? In the case of the Mill Pool, the answer is a resounding yes.