Food for the famished

We’ve discovered on our rides that Cheshire is furnished with facilities to suit the hungriest and thirstiest (and sometimes the muddiest) of cyclists.

The competition keeps prices down and good value up, and in this part of the world, portions aren’t stinted.

There’s a profusion of pubs, most of which serve meals, tea and coffee, with the more isolated ones almost guaranteed to offer food (although there may be a non-food day when the kitchen staff are off).

There’s usually at least one cafe in each town, in the larger supermarkets, and at most of the houses and gardens open to the public. And in such a well-heeled county there are garden centres galore, many with tea-rooms boasting a menu to rival restaurants. (See the Cycleway map for more information).

If it’s take away fast food you want, then fish and chip shops are ubiquitous in towns and larger villages, or you may come across a mobile unit. Just follow your nose, or ask a local.

Even petrol stations often have a mini supermarket, or at least sell sweets, sandwiches and drinks, if you don’t mind a detour onto a main road.

For self-caterers, most supermarkets have extended opening hours, so you should be able to shop daily between 8am and 8pm, although Sunday opening times may be 10am-4pm. Many supermarkets (including the Co-op) are open on bank holidays (i.e. public holidays), except for the Christmas period.

Generally villages only support one shop/post office that stocks a small range of supplies that locals might need between supermarket runs. The post office section may be open at different times to the shop. If early closing days (i.e. closing from around 12 to 1pm) are observed, these are usually Saturday and a mid-week day. Most small shops are closed on Sundays.

The only place we have found to fall short of the usual Cheshire standards is Malpas – a small town with very little on offer to keep body and soul together. If it changes, let us know!