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The Cooper Arms

The Cooper Arms, Woore, Cheshire

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01630 647261
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As a birthday treat my parents paid for a meal for me, my boyfriend and themselves to eat out, leaving it up to me to choose where to go. Round this neck of the woods, with the added difficultly of one fussy eater, one coeliac/gluten intolerant and one with a rare allergy which causes anaphalaxia it isn't easy to pick somewhere, however after driving past this place a few times with their massive "we do gluten free signs" outside and checking the menu online we decided there was something for everyone.

The Cooper Arms sits in the small village of Woore, somewhere between Shropshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire (I get confused and never know what to class it as!), for me its only a village I drive through occasionally but the gluten free signs do stand out and I have had this pub in mind to try for a while but never had the opportunity.

Before we went we checked the menu online, everything apart from the desserts are listed on there and clearly marked with GF, at least half of the menu is marked with GF and there is a very large variety of food available, from curries to vegetarian dishes to mixed grills, there is something for pretty much everyone.

We booked in advance and made them aware I was Coeliac, however you can just walk in most days without having to make them aware of your Coeliac. The night we went was fairly quiet, always a bonus in a pub I think, and we were quickly seated in our reserved table and given menus.

After some deliberation I decided to be different and opted for a Lamb Tagine with half rice and half chips. When the waitress returned I asked if the chips where gluten free (before fully deciding on half and half) and cooked seperate as the menu stated the meal was gluten free with rice but I wasn't 100% certain of the chips, she nodded and smiled and my mum proceded to tell her about the effects gluten had on me to which the waitress reassured us that they are always careful of cross contamination. After I asked for the Lamb Tagine she said the Naan bread wasn't gluten free (menu stated it may or may not be, so I presume sometimes they have gluten free ones) so she said she would give me an extra poppadom instead.

The food did take a while but my fussy eater boyfriend did ask for plain chicken breast which wasn't on the menu, all the chicken had some kind of topping even if it was just herbs, so presumably this was taking longer as it wouldn't have been prepared in advance, and everything else was cooked fresh and was hot when it came, so even though it took longer than normal it was evident it was all fresh and care was taken with preparation.

As mentioned before the food was hot and fresh, my tagine came with a large heaping of rice and some chips as I asked for, 2 poppadoms and mango chutney, all gluten free. My Dad's meal was also gluten free, he opted for Bumblebee pork which was pork in a honey based sauced served with a choice of potatos, jacket or chips and vegetables or salad. I must say, the portions were not sparing for the cost of them, very much worth every penny.

We all decided we would have desserts, a different waitress came over with the dessert menu and was quick to point out to me that the sponge pudding wasn't gluten free at the moment even though the menu said it was, but the chocolate cake and ice cream were and also the special of raspberry roulade was gluten free too. I opted for the roulade for a change even though it contained a little cream, hoping that my moderate lactose intolerance would be able to tolerate that (it did). The puddings all came with the option of being served with cream or ice cream, I chose to have neither, no need to overload the lactose now!

Everything was absolutely delicious, I couldn't fault a thing about them, even the price, for all 4 of us for drinks, mains and dessert the cost was only a little over £65, which I thought was excellent considering the amount we ate! This place is worth every penny, it's got an excellent selection of food most of which is gluten free and staff are friendly and knowledgable. If if you have to drive out to it, it would be worth it, for me it's not far away for guaranteed I will be back soon.

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