Oddfellows

ChesterEating Out

Oddfellows

offbeat interiors stand out at city hotel...

A lovely little city, Chester. The Romans founded it when they built a fort here, and the city walls that remain are some of the finest surviving examples in Britain. After that, a succession of important historical dynasties left their unmistakeable mark here, not least in the Gothic cathedral and the two-tiered black and white Jacobean shop fronts of the city centre’s shopping areas (albeit often Victorian restorations).

To that distinguished lineage of influence we must now add the Cheshire Set and the sub-species the Professional Footballer, whose lasting contribution to the history of the city will probably be in the huge deposits of hair wax future archaeologists will unearth with beard-scratching bafflement.

Oddfellows, right on the edge of the city centre, is perfectly pitched to net such glamorous clientèle. The décor is off-the-wall, with no opportunity to mount an object incongruously passed by. Check out the table and chairs stuck to the dining room ceiling à la Mary Poppins, or the garden shears and pitchforks similarly secured above the outdoor bar. Waiter, there’s a tree in my soup! Kerrrazy! Joking aside, it’s nice to see somewhere that isn’t taking itself too seriously. I just hope the designers allowed enough parking space for all the Range Rovers that are going to be pulling up…

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