You know those bank holiday weekends where you plan to do one thing and end up doing something else entirely? Well, that was my bank holiday Monday.

My fiancé, my mother-in-law and I took my daughter on a day out to Cheshire in an attempt to find a reclamation yard we’d heard good things about. It was shut. But a quick Google search of pubs near Wilmslow turned up the charmingly-named The Honey Bee. T’interweb said the pies were designed by celebrity chef James Martin. Job done.

The Honey Bee turned out to be a beautiful building with ample car parking – everything looked promising. Inside it was well presented and spacious.

Greeting us on our way in was a specials’ board which included the Sunday roast menu. It was Monday but that didn’t stop The Honey Bee – Sunday roasts were on offer.

The menu looked simple enough – classic pub food with some nice looking dishes and three pies designed for the company by Martin. I quite fancied the wild boar and chorizo burger but decided to have the braised belly pork option from the Sunday menu. My partner, Rachael (a committed vegetarian), went for the mushroom leek and cashew nut roly poly, another choice from the Sunday lunch specials board. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law opted for haddock and chips (the burger was unavailable).

The mushroom roly poly was delicious apparently but not enough gravy was provided, the deep fried parsnips were flavourless and the vegetables were cold. My belly pork fared no better – it was rather bland and lacked heat.

Surely a classic battered haddock and chips could do no wrong? Ah, turns out it could. The dish consisted of unbelievably thick batter, barely-cooked chips and cold mushy peas.

Maybe they’d spent the most time cooking for my daughter as we didn’t have to cool anything down to feed her. But, in a lacklustre selection of meals, this was possibly the only bonus about eating here.

Moving onto the desserts: this is where The Honey Bee earned its stripes. Trios of chocolate helped bump the rating to two out of five, thanks to tasty cinnamon churros with a warm chocolate dip and a tasty chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. This was only let down by the chocolate pot, which needed something to dip into it. The apple granny was overly thick on pastry but wasn’t bad. Oh well, maybe a filling dessert is a good way to top off a distinctly unfilling meal.

Review by Chef Tony

Rating (out of five): Chef's Knife Chef's Knife


What: The Honey Bee, Wilmslow, Cheshire

More info: