An Inspector Calls… at Oddfellows On The Park in Greater Manchester where someone needs to ‘crack the whip’
On the outskirts of Greater Manchester, we see a sign for Alderley Edge. What a thrill to check out one of the big hitters in Cheshire’s ‘golden triangle’, where Wayne and Coleen and other footballers and their wives do their shopping. It’s just one main street, and I can’t see the attraction — especially when we spot a couple of young photographers hanging out on a street corner looking for celebrity prey.
Oddfellows On The Park (which bills itself as ‘a hotel with character, charm and a little bit of Odd!’) is only 15 minutes north of Alderley Edge and so we expect glitz, glamour and suntans. Instead, the wi-fi has packed up, there’s a noisy party on the ground floor and the barman assigned to guests staying the night can’t cope.
We’ve booked one of the Kendall Suites on the first floor, overlooking Bruntwood Park — except a huge TV in front of the window blocks most of the view. The bed is in the middle of the room and everything is neat and tidy in a plastic sort of way. Best things are the freestanding bath by a second window and a huge gold mirror.
Oddfellows On The Park bills itself as ‘a hotel with character, charm and a little bit of Odd!’
A life-size fibreglass horse with a light protruding from its head stands on the passage outside the room, with a sign that reads: ‘Do not attempt to mount him as he may kick you!!!’ All the way down the stairs are hideous faux portraits of people with animals for heads — there’s a man with a duck’s head, a woman with the head of a hare, and so on.
Getting a drink at the bar takes an age. One couple have been waiting even longer than us and are not happy.
I go to the messy reception desk and tell the duty manager to get a grip — politely.
The Inspector stayed in one of the Kendall Suites with a freestanding bath
The restaurant is called The Galloping Major (so-named after a keen racehorse man who used to own Bruntwood Hall) and is an attractive room, albeit overly-lit. The service is friendly and prices nothing like (presumably) they are in Alderley Edge.
My wife says her steak is tough and overdone, while her chips are under-cooked. No complaints about my lamb rump, or about breakfast the next morning — although I don’t expect Coleen and her mates would tolerate our waitress forgetting to bring a pot of tea.
‘Someone needs to crack the whip at Oddfellows,’ as the Galloping Major might put it.
Oddfellows On The Park, Bruntwood Park, Cheadle, Greater Manchester. Doubles from £109. For more information visit oddfellowsonthepark.com or call 0161 697 3066.