CHEF Mark Birchall’s ambitious new restaurant project was never going to be an easy turnaround, but a spokesperson has now confirmed that Moor Hall will finally open to the public on Wednesday 1 March, following an 18-month renovation.
The restaurant will offer menus between £30 and £90
The former Grade II listed gentry house, in Aughton, is being transformed into a contemporary 50-cover restaurant and small hotel with seven bedrooms, as revealed by Liverpool Confidential in March, 2015.
The first stage, which includes the restaurant, The Argonne private dining room, bar, lounge area and accommodation, will launch in March 2017. Later in the year, an informal dining space will open on the site of a large former barn, complete with a charcuterie and curing room, a small dairy, and a meat-ageing room.
Moor Hall aims to provide an idyllic rural destination for guests from throughout the North West, being a mere 25 minutes drive from Liverpool, and 45 minutes from Manchester. The venue is set within five acres of formal and growing gardens with views to the south over a lake.
The site was acquired by Andy and Tracey Bell in 2015 who tasked interior designer Martin Nealon with the job of retaining the traditional aesthetics of the 16th century Jacobean manor house while introducing a number of contemporary features.
Mark Birchall was previously executive chef at Simon Rogan's L’Enclume
The Bell’s friend and business partner, Mark Birchall, previously executive chef at Simon Rogan’s two Michelin-starred L’Enclume, will showcase his style of modern British cuisine using seasonal produce grown on the estate itself or sourced from local suppliers.
Chorley-born Birchall began his career at The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny with Franco Taruschio, before moving on to Northcote Manor with Nigel Haworth. He then spent nine years in the kitchens of L’Enclume, during which time he was awarded the Roux Scholarship in 2011. This won him a stage working at celebrated three Michelin starred El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice voted the world’s best restaurant.
Typical dishes will include crab with almond, turnip broth, celeriac and anise; grilled scallop with cauliflower, grains and sorrel; roast venison with preserved elderberry and blood pudding, rosemary, russet and beetroot; Herdwick lamb with Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and ale; ewes milk with fennel and rhubarb; sea buckthorn with quince and cultured cream; and gingerbread ice cream, caramel and pear.
The restaurant will offer two menus during lunch and dinner – six courses at £65, or eight courses at £95. Two shorter menus will also be offered at lunch with three courses at £30, or four courses £45.
More from Moor Hall at moorhall.com
More reading: Revealed: L'Enclume head chef to open on our manor