The Horse and Jockey, Chorlton
Chorlton’s Horse and Jockey pub is a Chorlton village landmark, set in the heart of the conservation area overlooking the village green. It’s now a year since a major remodelling and renovation project transformed the Horse and Jockey from tired local boozer into laid-back ‘pub for the noughties’. In its new incarnation, the pub offers freshly -cooked food plus award-winning home-brewed beer from a new on-site micro-brewery. Art exhibitions from local artists and regular live music nights provide even more good reasons to visit.
The Horse and Jockey has a grand mock-Tudor facade, which conceals its genuine Tudor origins. Step inside, and you find low ceilings, original wooden beams and impressive brick chimney breasts. These features now underpin a clean, modern design scheme, where pale walls and polished floors reflect natural light as it floods in through the windows. Rejecting the trend for large open plan spaces in pubs, the owners have reverted to a cosier multi-room layout with a tap room, a snug, a lounge bar, and a split-level upstairs dining room that includes an intimate private dining area. In front of the pub,facing the village green, there’s an attractive terrace offering al fresco dining under a stunning heated and lit steel and glass canopy.
Determined not to be labelled as a gastro pub but to offer good food at fair prices, the Horse and Jockey serves a diverse range of dishes with an emphasis on fresh local produce. Most menu choices are also offered in child-sized portions – a welcome find for families looking for more than the typical cheap burger and fish finger style of kids’ menu.
Interesting starters include Mr Holden’s Manchester Egg (£4) – a variation on the Scotch egg theme, featuring a pickled egg in breadcrumbs with Bury black pudding and sausagemeat – and a warm salad of Cheshire Smokehouse eel, new potatoes and beetroot (£7.00).
Main course classics include 100% beef burgers with salad and fries (£9.00), and battered haddock with fat chips and minty peas (£5.95). If you’re after something slightly more adventurous, you could try the sweet potato and chickpea curry with coriander rice (£9.50), or perhaps the cider and walnut risotto with Smelly Apeth blue cheese (£10.00). There are succulent grills of 28-day matured Aberdeen Angus beef from Lake District farmers, and the pub’s platters – carnivore or vegetarian – are perfect for those who can’t decide on a single dish.
In the daytime, you can also choose from a range of delicious sandwiches and substantial brunch dishes. On Sundays, the main focus is on the beautifully-cooked traditional roast dinner.
To finish, there’s a small but irresistible desert menu, a perfect combination of the traditional – think warm chocolate and hazelnut brownies, treacle tart – and the unexpected – a refreshing dish of mango and pineapple with peppercorn syrup and tangerine ice.
The Horse and Jockey’s stated aim is to be a great pub for the local community. The signs are the team has already achieved that and more, making this a destination worth travelling to from well beyond the village borders.
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