M56, Junction 14; 4 minutes
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Filled with a steady stream of visitors, it’s hard to believe that the Old Bank Tea Rooms came about by happy accident. Owner Diane Ormrod planned to relocate her furniture restoration business from Frodsham to a larger space in Helsby’s old bank building, including a small space where customers could enjoy tea and cake. But such was its popularity that the furniture was quickly replaced by a full tea room serving crumpets, homemade soup, panini and generous slices of cake baked by women in the village. ‘It was bonkers from day one,’ says Diane.
Vintage light fittings hang over the counter and tables are dressed with country-chic table cloths; the room rings with chatter. You can find a range of heritage items and gifts for sale on the shelves and dressers. Out back there’s a large covered garden decorated with the same thoughtful panache. If you’re feeling energetic, earn some extra space for cake with a hike up the iron age hill fort just over the road at Helsby Hill.