Always on the go

Cheshire based mum of 3 sharing our favourite family adventures

Bluebell 1494 Restaurant

(Ad: Meal gifted, but this review expresses my own genuine opinion)

I don’t know about you, but we always seem to default to the same fast food places when we eat out with the kids, so when Rachel and Mick, owners of Chester’s Bluebell 1494 restaurant reached out and asked if we’d like to review the restaurant we thought it would be a good opportunity to try something a little different with the kids.

The restaurant is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Chester, with parts dating from the 12th century! The bell in its name comes from the building’s bell yard where a bell used to ring to warn strangers to leave the city before the gates were closed at 8pm (imagine that now!). In its long history it’s been an inn, stagecoach ticket office, a Civil War storage facility, a shop and a barbers!

You definitely get a sense of it’s character from the inside with its low ceilings and beams. We sat in a room in the back, which with it’s old fireplace and wooden floors felt very homely.

The children have their very own menu which cleverley has a colouring picture on the back so as soon as we sat down the kids were given the menu and some crayons to occupy them whilst we decided what to eat.

Rachel and Mick, the owners, have young children themselves so have really tried to tailor the children’s menu to cater for fussy eaters. My youngest in particular definitely falls into that category so we were really pleased to see the menu included the usual child friendly dishes such as fries, garlic bread and pasta. My older two though went for more tapas style dishes including some lovely meatballs (Albondigas), Butter Milk Chicken & Pan Catalan. You can view the Los Ninos (childrens) menu here.

Myself and hubby ordered a variety of tapas - Pollo con Paprika, Chorizo frito picanto, Gambas Pil Pil, Coliflor de sesamo, Padron peppers and it wouldn’t of course be tapas without Patas Bravas. When I was in my 20’s I lived in Spain for a year and pretty much survived on Patatas Bravas, so I was delighted to have them here, bar reluctantly having to share them!

We had 6 dishes between us as well as some lovely bread with oil and balsamic vinegar. For a lunch time meal that was plenty and we left with very full, happy stomachs! If I was pushed to pick a favourite I would say try the Coliflor de sesamo (deep fried sesame cauliflower) and the Chorizo frito picanto. I’m still thinking about them now!

One of the best things we enjoyed about the meal is that it gave my older two a chance to try new things because we’d ordered such a selection of tapas. So they shared our Chorizo, padron peppers and paprika chicken. Those were a step too far for the little one though who was very content eating his fries!

In between the mains and desserts we told the children about the restaurant’s resident ghost, Henrietta! The story goes that Henrietta waved off her lover from the window who was going to fight in the famous battle of Rowton Moor during the Civil War. When he didn’t return, presumably dead, she took her own life and now haunts the upstairs restaurant at the window where she awaited his return. You might want to edit the story a bit for the kids, but it’s a good bit of fun if you think it won’t scare them!

For desserts the boys had churros (spanish doughnuts with chocolate dip, what’s not to love?!) and my daughter had good old Cheshire Farm Ice Cream! Us grown ups shared a lovely crema catalana with homemade shortbread.

The restaurant also has it’s own bar where you can sit on stools and have some food and drink, which would be nice if you’re visiting without the kids.

For the warmer months there’s a great little patio area which I’m told is a sun trap so we’ll definitely be returning with the kids to try that out.

If you’re looking for something to do afterwards then I’ve got two good suggestions for you. If you turn right out of the restaurant then you’ll find Chester’s brilliant Storyhouse so you could spend some time in the library there, where at weekends there’s usually crafts on.

Or if you want something more active then you could take the kids to play in Water Tower Gardens where you’ll find a brilliant playground. Turn left out of the restaurant and get on the walls by going up the steps at the bridge and follow the path all the way to Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower, where you can come off down to park.


February 2022
With Baby Changing Facilities