We Found The Perfect Christmas Escape In Cheshire

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Mi casa es su casa

Absolutely Cheshire finds out why ABode Chester is the perfect escape this Christmas

It’s far to say not everyone embraces cooking at Christmas. From underdone turkey to burnt to a crisp roast potatoes, we are not all Michelin-starred chefs who take everything in our stride. Yes it’s great going to someone else’s house and watching them struggle through the process, but there’s always that nagging guilt about helping with the washing up. So it’s no surprise that many are deciding to stay at a hotel for the festivities – and is there a better place to start than a venue with home in the name?

ABode Chester is part of a larger family of hotels dotted around the UK, but is very much Cheshire at heart. With unparalleled views of England’s oldest working racecourse, the contemporary ABode Chester offers a warm welcome in the heart of the city, complemented by exceptional brasserie-style dining and a relaxed, sophisticated design.

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Incorporating the ABode collection’s trademark Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable and Fabulous room categories, each of the 85 guestrooms offers a distinct style with quality and comfort at their core and a luxurious bed, and the clean lines of a contemporary en-suite bathroom as standard.

Often on these pages we focus on a talented head chef who oversees the entire food operation at a restaurant, but at ABode Chester it’s very much about the collective. A talented team of chefs makes the best use of the finest local and regional produce and ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual dinner, a glass or two of something good in the Brasserie Abode Bar, or a delicious meal at Brasserie Abode, ABode Chester offers something for everyone.

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Absolutely Cheshire pulled up a pew, ordered a tipple and spent time with ABode Chester’s Andy Turner to find out a little more about what they offer, day to day and over the festivities too.

Can you give us a brief overview of the history of ABode Chester?

Overlooking England’s oldest working racecourse, ABode Chester was originally home to Cheshire’s police quarters, then the building was lovingly restored to create our elegant boutique hotel which also houses four multi-purpose meeting and event spaces, 85 bedrooms, bars, our restaurant and an onsite gym for our guests.

Why is the location of the hotel perfect?

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We are walking distance to the town and we have unparalleled views of England’s oldest working racecourse, not to mention our amazing views from the bar and restaurant. 

What dining options do you offer?

We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at Brasserie ABode. Breakfast is obviously available for overnight guests, but we also welcome a lot of outside visitors for morning meetings over breakfast or simply to enjoy an indulgent start to the day. 

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Our lunch and dinner menu feature something to suit all – sharing plates, starters, snacks and our plats du jour. Generosity and value are at the heart of what we do; our classic dishes features plentiful sides and every cocktail comes with something to nibble on.

Join us for brunch, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails and some of the best views in the city.

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Who oversees the cooking side of the hotel’s operation?

We have a great team in our kitchen who work together to ensure dishes are changed to suit the seasonal ingredients and as we head into the festive season, our menus will reflect this.

What typically would we find on menus?

Well there is such a great selection as I mentioned, but some of the favourites are the TRUFFLE MAC & CHEESE BITES and the CRISPY DUCK FRITTERS to share over drinks. Our seafood sharing board is also lovely and a favourite is the Brasserie Burger of course.

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Are there a couple of dishes that you particularly love at the moment and why?

Hard to choose – but I do like the ROASTED CAULIFLOWER STEAK or the SLOW ROASTED PORK BELLY.

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Do you aim to use local produce where possible?

We do and we work closely with our suppliers to ensure we are getting the very best, seasonal produce and our team have good relationships with our local farms and suppliers.

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How soon do you start planning for Christmas?

Christmas was in the planning in July and we have our festive menus online and have some great bookings for Christmas parties and gatherings. Our festive dinner menus are really popular as well as our festive afternoon tea – this is a really nice treat for those who are doing some shopping and then come to relax with our lovely tea. We also have some special gin evenings, one at the end of November and then early in the New Year – these are always popular and get booked up quickly.

What menus can we expect over the festive period?

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We have a menu that includes three courses and a seasonal cocktail and our afternoon tea menu includes Champagne. We will have a selection of starters that include soup, parfait and of course the main course will have turkey as well as other suggestions such as fillet of salmon, baked aubergine and delicious deserts – my favourite is the white chocolate and clementine cheesecake.

Are you holding any special events too?

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Well I mentioned our gin evening, but also we have some Sunday lunch dates that we offer a festive menu with wine and also carol singers join us for some festive songs – this is a really lovely afternoon and definitely gets people in the spirit.

Why should our readers consider a stay at ABode Chester over the Christmas season?

Our location is wonderful, our restaurant and bar has the best views and an extensive menu for food and drinks and the choice has something to suit everyone. Also our rooms are lovely – many with views over the racecourse; all have wonderful bathrooms and the most comfortable beds – perfect after a busy day shopping and a lovely dinner!

Will you have much time off over Christmas?

As it is such a busy time, we are all working hard over the coming months, but we do manage to have time off to enjoy some time too. But the atmosphere here at work is always good, especially when people are coming here to celebrate the festivities, so coming to work is great fun, even though it is busy! 

Where else in Chester do you love spending time over the festive season?

Chester is such a lovely city to explore – I really enjoy the Christmas market when it arrives so I look forward to having a good wander around the stalls.


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