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Cromwell's Cottage still makes the Grade; Taste Test Indian meal forTina Miles sees her follow in Oliver's footsteps.

Byline: Tina Miles

IT WAS more than 360 years ago when a victorious Oliver Cromwell stayed in this Tudor cottage in Warrington. Cromwell and his Parliamentarians had chased a Scottish army of Royalists from Preston down to Warrington bridge, were they finally surrendered.

Fast forward to today and the place in Church Street where Cromwell lodged for the night is now a fine Indian restaurant.

So when we set off in search of a tasty curry we ended up at one of Warrington's oldest and most recognised buildings, now home to The Cottage Restaurant.

For years the Tudor cottage was left in ruins and disrepair, but the owners set out to bring life back into it.

The building, made famous by Cromwell staying in it in 1648, was renovated but retains much of its original character and fittings.

As the Cheshire town's Grade II listed building all the work carried out on it had to be approved by the National Heritage.

And from the outside it is every inch the perfect black and white cottage, complete with plaque commemorating Cromwell's visit.

Inside there is a clever mix of historic and contemporary which does not disappoint.

The reception and bar areas of the restaurant were tastefully restored to resemble as much of its former beauty as possible, with magnificent roof beams and traditional oak panelling.

The large main restaurant is strikingly different, with modern decor, contemporary lighting and brown leather booths.

Being a Friday night the restaurant was packed and we were glad we had booked in advance.

After a few minutes waiting in the lounge area we were taken through to our table for two in a smaller adjoining dining area.

Over a half pint of Cobra for me (pounds 1.80) and a full pint for my husband (pounds 3.20) we studied the menu.

I love Indian food and while my husband likes a good curry he always sticks to the safe option, a Chicken Kor ma.

But I found it difficult to decide between the dozens of dishes on The Cottage's menu.

To start we ordered four poppadoms (75p each) to share with a pickles platter (pounds 2.30) to take the edge off our hunger.

Next came our piping hot starters. I chose the massala tiger prawns (pounds 4.95), which were delicious, while my husband stuck to another tried and tested option, onion bhajees (pounds 3.95).

The portions weren't massive but they were enough for us. And we weren't too full by the time our mains arrived.

My husband tucked into his chicken korma (pounds 8.50) with pilau rice (pounds 2.85) and garlic nan (pounds 2.95) and said it was excellent.

My chicken tikka karahi (pounds 8.95) was just as tasty and was well spiced. Although I was glad we had ordered another nan bread to really fill me up.

The live music from the pianist enhanced our evening.

And, unlike Cromwell, we will be returning to The Cottage.


INTERESTING MIX: The Cottage restaurant, Warrington, part Tudor house, part 21st century eaterie
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 24, 2011
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