The Dysart Arms,

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A birthday celebration for your editor was the excuse for a trip to the magnificent Dysart Arms in Bunbury. Set opposite the impressive red sandstone church in a very picturesque village, the Dysart is named after a local family. Formerly a police station, the somewhat plain brick exterior conceals a Grade II listed interior which extends into former outbuildings at the rear. The remodelling has been carried out with consummate taste and respect: an object lesson for many less-skilled designers. The interior is open but takes the form of separate areas clustered round the central bar and thus maintains intimacy. Heavily timbered, with old wooden furniture and pot plants, it is furnished in a rustic style with a multitude of interesting wall prints, display cases and old books. Ancient beams adorned with dried flowers run throughout and there is a lovely brick inglenook fireplace, in front of which we dined.

A former Cheshire Life Pub of the Year, the Dysart is a wonderful spot for a meal,with a very high standard of food to complement the range of well-kept cask ales. Four real ales were available on our visit. Aside from the ubiquitous Boddingtons for the less adventurous, there was the ever-excellent Taylorís Landlord, a beer that keeps on winning the Champion Beer of Britain Award. A special treat from a hand pumpwas a local beer, Weetwood Cask Bitter. This is produced by one of Cheshireís treasured microbreweries, in nearby Tarporley, and a tasty drop it is! The fourth ale was a guest from the Derwent Brewery, Parsonís Pledge.
A more recent visit showed the beer range aside: Landlord complemented by Robinson's Young Tom, Drover's Pale from Hanby and Thwaites Cask Bitter.

The menu, which includes local cheese from Beeston, and the wine list are extensive, although many just pop in for a quiet pint.My wife chose the Sweet Potato Rosti. This was served with roasted leeks, shallots and peppers in a delicious grain mustard cream sauce. She found it delicious: one of the best pub meals she has had. I elected to attack a Shoulder of Lamb. This was a huge chunk of tender meat, cooked in a red wine and rosemary sauce, and it took all my powers of persistence to do it justice.

After that, we felt unable to take on the sweets menu, although I would have loved to take on the cheese board, featuring as it did a Scottish blue, an Irish Camembert, an English Smoked and a Welsh cheese. We very much enjoyed our evening at the Dysart Arms: an inspired choice for a special occasion. I just wish I lived closer!

Meals, whether main meals, sandwiches or ploughmanís lunches are served from 12 to 2.15 and 6 to 9.30 on weekdays, and all day at weekend (to 9pm on Sunday). They do a special Sunday Lunch and childrenís portions.

The Dysart is opposite the big church, on Bowes Gate Road in Bunbury. Telephone 01829-260183. Have a great time, and tell them CAMRA sent you!
This is a link to their website

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