It may only be tiny, but it’s a hive of activity in the pretty Cheshire village of Marton. With the center of the village centered around the main A34 which runs through the village, it has become a popular stopping point for cyclists and supercar enthusiasts traveling from Congleton to Alderley Edge and Manchester.
At the heart of the picturesque village are a collection of old farm barns which have been converted into independent businesses by the local community which attract guests from all over. This includes the famous gourmet restaurant La Popote in the largest of the former barns just off Manchester Road.
Here you’ll find some of Cheshire’s finest fine dining, crafted by the family team who have moved here fresh from experience in some of the best restaurants in France. The venue is also famous for its hearty Sunday roasts and fine wine and champagne list.
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For those looking for a more casual breakfast or lunch, the nearby Old Barn cafe is a popular stop for cyclists with its hearty menu of home-baked breakfasts, lunches and cakes. There is also a well-stocked mirror cabinet.
There is a game store right next to one side, while across the parking lot is the Gus and Bear grooming salon for dogs. Around the corner you will also find the Escape Day Spa and Beauty Salon which offers a multitude of treatments.
Erica Linney is manager of the Old Barn cafe and says Marton’s community spirit is what makes it so special. The businesses work together to help each other – she points to the cafe working with the neighboring spa to offer afternoon teas and drinks to guests.
Erica says, “Marton is an ace, it’s on a main line that goes all over the country, so I think he has energy.” There’s just something about it that you can’t put your finger on.
“People love it here and there’s just a great community spirit with all the businesses working to help each other out.”
Erica says the cafe regularly welcomes cyclists thanks to its presence on such a well-known cycle route through Cheshire. And with huge parking outside, it’s also become a hotspot for supercar enthusiasts stopping in for coffee and cake on their way around the county.
When we visited, an entire convoy of Cobras and kit supercars were parked outside the old barn and La Meals during a pit stop before crossing Cheshire to the Wirral as part of a charity campaign. Erica said: “The owners of the barn here were cyclists stopping here, that’s how they found out.
“As a location it sits between Congleton and Alderley Edge and now that there is the new housing estate in Alderley Park there is so much more happening here.”
Opposite the old Church Farm barns you will also find the village pub, the Davenport Arms. While the pub itself dates back to the 18th century, the current owners have given the venue a stylish makeover inside.
Formerly part of the Capesthorne Hall estate (the hall itself is about 3 miles up the road), the pub also has a huge beer garden out the back.
The gourmet restaurant
La Popote has been part of village life since 2014, but two and a half years ago it was taken over by the current owners, Chef Joseph Rawlins and his partner Gaelle Radigon. They met while working in Paris, but when Covid hit Joseph returned to his hometown of Wilmslow and learned La Popote was for sale, seized the moment to own it.
Since then they have completely renovated the restaurant in the former barn of the church farm. They have also added 55 seats in the beautiful garden next to the historic timber-framed Marton Church which proves popular for breakfasts and wedding events.
Joseph was trained at the prestigious Gordon Ramsay school and worked at the famous restaurant Jadis in Paris under the direction of Guillaume Delage. But, back in the UK, he was familiar with the Marton area and saw the restaurant’s potential there.
They offer a seven course tasting menu for £70 as well as a la carte. And on Sundays they’ve become in high demand for their succulent Sunday Beef Sirloin Roast and all the trimmings for £25 – with simply the biggest and tastiest Yorkshire pudding you’re likely to get your hands on. .
Joseph says: “In this area of Cheshire it can feel like we are out of the way, in the middle of nowhere, but in fact we have it all here. We are so close to towns like Macclesfield, Congleton and Alderley Edge. so it’s a great location for us.
“I always wanted to open a restaurant, and we are able to do something refined here but a little more modern. We are a young team, and our lunch men change every week and the à la carte dishes every four weeks to keep things fresh and new.”
The historic church
Just next to La Popote, up a flight of stairs, you can stroll around and visit the historic village church of St James and St Pauls. The unusual black and white building is believed to be the oldest timber-framed church in Europe – dating back to 1343.
Inside, you can marvel at the extraordinary wooden structures and grim medieval paintings that were discovered under the plaster in 1930 inside, as well as stunning stained glass windows. Church officials try to keep the church open during the day as much as they can to allow people to visit and enjoy the beauty of the building as well as to invite everyone to regular Sunday church services. .
Marton is also making a name for itself with its own golf course – which has just won the award for ‘Cheshire’s Best Family Golf Course’. Marton Meadows Golf Course is owned by a local family who are dedicated to making golf “accessible to everyone”.
Children can play the nine-hole course for as little as £8 a time, while prices for adults are from £10 a week – with the idea that ‘pay and play’ makes it more affordable and accessible than ever. with a members-only system. .
Manager Chad Parker says, “We’re trying to make golf more accessible to everyone. We’re very relaxed with the rules and etiquette so golf evolves with the times.”
The owners are building a new £5million clubhouse on the site which is due to be completed in September, while the purchase of a further 25 acres of farmland will create a further eight holes in the near future.
Chad says it all fits with the community spirit of Marton Village as a whole. He says: “Marton is a lovely place and it’s a rapidly growing place now. All the businesses here are getting stronger and the golf course attracts people from further afield. We have members who come from as far away as Derbyshire to play here. ”
A former potato shed on the site has been transformed into a high-tech golf simulator which also aims to encourage children to try golf. It can be rented for birthday parties and special events.
Chad adds: “Every business she tries to help each other. If you just walk through you might blink and miss it, but Marton has a lot to do now to make people want to stop and to stay a while.”
The rare oak
Marton is also famous for a very, very special tree. One of the oldest oaks in the country, believed to be over 1000 years old.
Marton’s Oak is so old that it now appears to be split into three, but is still considered one tree due to sharing the same root ball. It is recognized as one of the 50 most important heritage trees in the UK.
Unfortunately it is not open to the public as it is on private land, although when we visited Marton a friendly resident allowed us access.
How to get there
Marton is on the main A34 Manchester road between Congleton and Alderley Edge in Cheshire.
The nearest stations are Holmes Chapel or Congleton and the 38 bus service runs between the towns and the village.
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