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Review: Chester

City/Town/Region/Island

Chester, United Kingdom

Enchanting Chester

  • By SilverTraveller soopernan

    35 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • Oct 2011
  • Wife

23 people found this review helpful

Living on the south coast, we don’t often venture a long way North, and so it was quite a decision to take a short break further away from home. Neither of us had ever been to Cheshire previously, so we decided to explore the area over three days. There was so much to see that we now appreciate that we will have to return for a longer break to take in just a small part that the area has to offer. It’s not until you undertake a journey of 300 miles that you begin to appreciate just how efficient our motorway system is, while being so fragile. Circumnavigate London and Birmingham, stop for comfort and refreshment breaks, and keep fingers crossed that there will be no major crashes – or minor ones. Six hours later, we arrived at the little village of Pulford, right on the border with Wales. We were booked into the Pulford Grosvenor Hotel and Spa, recommended by a friend, who transpired to be a good judge. It’s a strange little foible of mine, but I like to take quite a lot of photos of where I am staying, and also ask the staff questions, with hopefully a guided tour. No problems here, as Maurice the manager saw me with camera in hand, then showing us the facilities. 73 bedrooms, lots of weddings every year – incredible gardens for these, any bride would remember the positive experience for the rest of her life, husband wouldn’t require much reminding – and they spend £35,000 annually on Christmas decorations with six trees. Maurice has been known to count them as exuberant guests leave, with a tree almost disappearing at one a.m. clutched in a visitors grip. The tree stayed, the man didn’t. Part of the tour incorporated the spa, and even though we were going directly into Chester the next morning after breakfast we decided to delay so we could indulge in a treatment. It looked that good, and Pam knows these things, having experienced a spa weekend with our daughter some years ago. Our room was overlooking the rear landscaped gardens, so before dinner we enjoyed a couple of cocktails each. Very reasonably priced With Chef overseeing three kitchens we were not disappointed in our decision to eat in Ciro’s Brasserie, as opposed to the bar. I had simply the best asparagus soup that I have ever had. It was superb. Home made of course, not much salt, small strips of the vegetable, good sized bowl, days later I can still see and taste it. Not expensive, so I had to turn my spoon round so Pam could appreciate. But not too much though. She offered to share her potted shrimps on toasted brioche, but I declined as I didn’t want to detract. We both had duck, mine was well done as ordered, Pam’s medium rare, both tender with delicious flavour, and then along came sweet, home made tiramisu for me, huge cheese board for madam. I helped her out, washed down with a reasonably priced large glass of port. It is obvious that a lot of money has been and is being spent on the Grosvenor Pulford, and the toilet suite is by Villeroy and Boch, a company that I perceive to be of quality. Very modern, no base support as it comes out from the wall, so be warned that you make an involuntary rude noise when changing position, especially off-putting if it occurs during the night. Next morning after an early buffet breakfast – one of the better ones – we allowed our food to go down reading papers in the room, before walking down to Spa by Kasia. In my 60s, I have never had a treatment before, so a full body massage had been booked for me, with a head neck and facial for Pam. We were together in the couple’s VIP suite on adjacent tables. The next hour went so fast, with my masseur leaving my sensitive feet alone. Tickle the soles of my feet, and I am helpless. It was quite dark, very tasteful, with only the one lady on each of us, though a lot of the time it seemed as if there were four. I have some neck stiffness caused by minor arthritis, an age thing really, but it has been considerably eased since. The bus service into Chester is every ten minutes during the day, so we used our passes for the fifteen minute journey. Not too sure if we could have used them in the opposite direction, as we would have immediately crossed the border into Wales. Chester is a fascinating city, with old shops on two levels. The main streets have the old fashioned façade going back many centuries, and then you look up to see that there is another level on top, with a separate walk way to access the upper shops. These are mainly the individual outlets, with the main chain and department stores being represented the closer you walk into the city centre. There are many opportunities to spend your money, and we even discovered a couple of charity shops, albeit selling expensive items. We walked round the city centre quite a bit, and then had a platter lunch. Back on the bus to Pulford, we had already previously checked out, so went on our way to night number two, again recommended by our friend. This revue will be entered under Cheshire breaks.

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