We had been on a pleasant stroll around Chester Zoo on a winter’s afternoon when, as usual, I was starving. So we considered a-scoffing in many of its overpriced eateries, I can’t remember the exact names of them but I think they’re called The Highwayman, The Tea-Leaf and The Robbing Bastard. Anyway in the end we attempted the Bembe restaurant near the exit/entrance.

If you want to have the experience of the cafeteria at any Ikea store during the school holidays without going there (you don’t like getting lost or are allergic to flat-pack furniture) then go in here at lunchtime. Plagues of noisy sugar-fueled children run amok whilst bad-tempered idle parents and sleepy staff try not to knock the little snot-dripping bawlers under a table. Mind you there’s no room down there as it’s knee deep in chips, fish fingers and all sorts of crap dropped onto the floor which was last swept during the Boer War.

So wishing to escape this level of Hades toot sweet, we left the zoo and drove to Tarporley. Thank the baby Jesus we did though it was still busy (it was in Betwixmas) but we got a table near the door.

I have cheated a bit a I know this place is good as I’ve been here before and prefer it to the yummy-mummy, sausage-burning, madhouse of a sister restaurant in Nantwich.

Staff here are always friendly and chatty even today when it was clear that they were rushed off their pinkies and secretly wanted to tell everyone to bog-off home and let them put their feet up.

Food is always spot-on too with a few specials (often soup or quiche) and there are some imaginatively-named oatcakes on the menu as well as fry-ups, sandwiches and afternoon tea if you fancy. Home-made cakes are available and always decent too. In fact I had to be shackled to the wall to not go and buy one. 🙂

Decor is nothing too exciting so you won’t get wet or giddy over the wooden tables but oddly there are lots of dried hops hanging from the ceiling, refurbished weighing scales and some stuffed humanoid dogs for sale. So you may be whispering a few ‘WTFs’ whilst slurping your darjeeling.

Oh and I had a great Spanish Latte (very sweet but I like that) and a good baked potato. And the wifi works well too since you ask.

So what is wrong with it? It’s a bit cramped and er what else? Well I can’t afford to live in Tarporley. Oh why can’t I afford to live in fucking Tarporley? My life is shit. 😦

Verdict: 4/5

Good: Everything

Bad: Jack Hall.