The Hesketh in Cheadle Hulme is more than just a local – it’s practically a landmark, cited whenever anyone asks for directions. Near the Hesketh… Up Hulme Hall Road, past the Hesketh… Under Hesketh Bridge… You get the picture. Even the little park on Swann Lane is called Hesketh Park these days. The Hesketh has been standing proudly on the corner of Hulme Hall Road and Swann Lane since 1864. Originally a Coaching Inn, it’s one of the oldest hostelries in Cheadle Hulme. Only the Church Inn is older.
The Hesketh was ‘established in 1864, reinvented in 2017’ – although the first improvements came when James Almond and family took over. That was 12 years ago and it’s fair to say that the pre-Almond family Hesketh was somewhat tired. Dated rather than traditional and shabby rather than chic, with deep yellow ceilings from generations of smokers.
Doug Almond held half-a-dozen pubs, from 1973 onwards. In 2003, Almond Family Pubs was formed when son James and Daughter Vicki joined Doug at the Fletchers Arms in Denton. The Hesketh became the second of the Almond family’s pubs and all have followed a similar, successful pattern. The Almond family specialise in realising the potential in unloved pubs, reinvigorating and reawakening them. So it was with the Hesketh. The beer garden became THE place to spend a Summer afternoon, and the addition of the play area was a stroke of genius. Even now, the Hesketh has the only pub play area in Cheadle Hulme. The interior has also been taken to the next level with the 2017 facelift.
It was important to retain that traditional pub feel, reflecting the Hesketh’s values and regulars. Little tweaks and the addition of some stylish and contemporary touches have brought one of Cheadle Hulme’s favourite locals bang up-to-date while retaining its core values. One of those core values was the consistent fabulousness of the Hesketh’s famous carvery. That carvery is still a big draw, food-wise, but the menu has been extended to cater for everyone. This has proved equally popular.
The Hesketh is very much about family and those family values ensure a lovely environment for everyone. That family and community ethos extends through the team, too. There are around thirty staff, most of whom are local. Many are Cheadle Hulme’s students and school leavers embarking on their first part time job or rung on the career ladder. Once such was Chloe, now General Manager. Chloe – a past Lane End and CHHS pupil – started out washing pots and worked hard to progress. Her loyalty, dedication and talent have been rewarded. The Hesketh are always happy to hear from talented chefs and hospitality staff – it could be worth dropping them a CV for future reference.
Although not a restaurant, the food is every bit as important as the extensive range of lagers, craft beers, gins and wines. The food is freshly prepared and cooked by a talented team, with quality ingredients sourced as locally as possible. The balance of food and drink reflects the balance of the clientele – couples enjoying a quiet drink, ladies who lunch, groups of gentlemen, the Friday night crowd and of course the families. The introduction of Friday night acoustic sessions has gone down a storm – so much so that a special one is planned for Christmas Eve. Other regular events in the Hesketh’s calendar are:
This is an amazing annual event in memory of popular Cheadle Hulme lad Dave. His friends and family work tirelessly to put on a fantastic night of entertainment and fund-raising for a local family affected by cancer. This year, they’re supporting Heidi Greenwood, whose family hope to fund a ground-breaking treatment in Germany which could buy Heidi some time.
Always an eagerly-awaited evening, this year’s light-up will be on 23 November. There will be hot food and mulled wine as well as a guest appearance from Santa in his Grotto, stalls, kids’ entertainment and a silver band playing carols. Christmas starts here!
This July, for the fifth year, friends and regulars completed a 12.5 mile scenic walk from the Fletchers Arms in Denton to The Hesketh in Cheadle Hulme, with a pit stop at the Spread Eagle, lunch at the Puss in Boots and a refuel at the Three Bears in between. A party at the Hesketh wrapped up the day perfectly. 2018’s walk raised funds for the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research UK (FPWR UK), a charity close to the Almond family’s heart. Over the five years, the Hesketh and the other Almond family pubs have raised over £70,000 for charity.
All in all, The Hesketh is the perfect local. Family oriented and community spirited, welcoming regulars and new guests alike with a quick drink or a satisfying carvery. Rain or shine, winter or summer, the Hesketh has it covered and has had since 1864.