Impressive is the first word that springs to mind when attempting to describe The Courthouse restaurant in Knutsford, Cheshire. In all fairness though, such an adjective does not even come close to how amazing the building actually is!
What used to be the old courthouse has been turned into a very lavish restaurant, hotel and event space, all very in-keeping with the building and what it represents. The bar is situated in the middle of the restaurant and used to be the dock. My friend and I sat at our table and tried to work out where everyone would have sat in the room when it was used as the courtroom… we were totally wrong!
As you can see, The Courthouse and Barrister’s restaurant is stunning and impeccably decorated, totally encompassing the whole courthouse theme.
After being seated, with the server bringing us a bottle of cold water which was poured for us (lovely touch!), we were given recommendations whilst perusing the wonderful lunch menu. In-keeping with the a court theme, there really is something for every taste available.
What we ate:
Cured Meat Platter (£8) – This is such a great starter to prepare you for the main event and excluding the bread, is Keto friendly. The pate was divine, especially when slathered on a gherkin. The bread, as tested by my companion was freshly baked and the bread twists were a novel accompaniment. The chorizo, parma ham and pastrami were full of taste and this is a perfect starter for a meat lover!
Steak Frites (£14.90)– This meal does actually come with fries, however nothing was too much trouble and our lovely waiter was very thorough, running through food items that could accompany the steak. He even went to the trouble of double checking that the gorgeous saffron mayonnaise was definitely Keto friendly. The steak itself was mouthwatering and perfectly cooked, I had asked for it to be more on the well done side and still my knife cut through it effortlessly. I actually found the price very reasonable, it was a very nice piece of steak and I would certainly recommend this from the lunch menu.
Burger (£12.90) – What can I say about my friend’s lunch? The burger was like a doorstop! With plenty of melted cheese, the burger also came with Buttercross smoked bacon, grilled mushrooms, fried onions and salad inbetween a brioche bun. The burger was very fresh and homemade with ground beef – I was actually very jealous of this meal! A basket of fries and a dill pickle remoulade accompanied the burger which was very filling and a slight struggle in the end. There was no way we could manage a dessert after our hearty lunch!
After our meal, the general manager took us on a tour of the building, explaining what will has happened and will be happening during the renovations to the building. This was the absolute highlight and I could have listened to him telling us stories about the courthouse and surrounding area all day. There really is so much nostalgia in the building and my friend and I were riveted. The image below is my absolute favourite, the contrast in colours is striking in the grand hallway and the story behind the hats fascinating. Despite the old prison being located next door, which is now long gone, there were actually seven people hung in the actual courthouse and the hats represent each person to lose their life.
With several hotel rooms almost ready, it was interesting to listen to plans for an extension to build more. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to stay there and if you are a fan of history and crime, then this would be a perfect retreat. Later in the year, The Courthouse will be holding a Murder Mystery evening which will no doubt be very atmospheric and a memorable evening!
I can only imagine the discussions that were held in the judge’s chambers pictured below, where they deliberated sentences to be given.
The building is steeped in so much history and was the main topic of conversation for our journey back to North Manchester. We shall certainly be returning, it’s almost as if the amazing food is a simple bonus! If you do get the chance to visit the intimate restaurant, make sure you ask for a tour, the building will amaze you. I am hoping the next time I return, the cells area will be refurbished and we can have a nosy. There are some fabulous plans afoot for the building and it will be great to see it when finished.