Cornichon at The Gunnery, Tarvin

Cornichon at The Gunnery is a family run bar and restaurant in the village of Tarvin, Cheshire. 

It is set in a grade II listed building which was once home to George Gunnery & Co, a grocery shop and corn merchants dating back to the Victorian times.

The old shop fittings still feature with many original pieces dotted around like weighing scales and vintage storage jars, a lovely reflection of what was once there previously.

The restaurant opened a few months ago having been completely refurbished by the Green family. There are four partners who own the restaurant, Ben Green and his wife Lisa, and Ben’s brother Edward and his wife Georgina. Ben is Chef and Lisa is General Manager. 

You enter Cornichon via the bar area which has the feel of stepping into an old French bistro. Pickled cornichons are stacked on wooden shelving, cornichon being minuscule French cucumbers. 

The decor is beautiful, dark colours have been used which give the rooms a lovely warmth.

Upstairs is a bit more quirky with paintings of actors such as Robin Williams, Tom Selleck and Christopher Walken on the walls as well as mismatched furniture.

You can tell that the owners have really put their hearts and souls into this place, it’s full of character. 

The quirkiest of all has to the the old “post room”, a small bar area just off from the main restaurant, complete with its own antique wooden post sorting cabinet. 

The French bistro theme spills over into the menu with Ben having over ten years experience of creating classic French dishes. The menu changes frequently making the most of what’s in season. 

Huge juicy marinated olives.

Chicken wings with hot sauce, pickled celery and blue cheese dip.

Cauliflower & stilton soup with chargrilled sourdough.

Mac & Cheese - this was actually a side dish that we shared. We all agreed it was the best Mac and cheese we’d ever had so I’d definitely recommend ordering this.

Deep fried Brie with raspberries and peaches - absolutely gorgeous and a perfect starter for summer!

Homemade pasta, grilled courgettes, heritage tomato salsa and basil pangritata (to save you googling like I did, pangritata is just like breadcrumbs)

Steak which came with garlic butter, crispy onion rings and a side of mac and cheese. 

Pan fried sea bass with chorizo, broad beans, spring greens and barley. 

Crème brûlée with homemade shortbread

Chocolate Brownie with miso ice cream and chocolate sauce

Chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream and fudge 

White chocolate parfait with toasted marshmallows and berries. 

Cornichon is a real find. We were fortunate when we went on Saturday that it was relatively quiet but it’s only a matter of time before people flock to this little gem. 

Quite often when you find an eatery which has had so much effort and focus on the decor, the food falls short. Not here. Our meals were beautiful, the dishes are unique but comforting and hearty at the same time. The desserts were absolutely delicious and, above all else, guaranteed a return visit.