M56, Junction 14; 4 minutes
Tues-Sat 10am-4pm (6pm-11pm some eves, check ahead)
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
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 planned to relocate her furniture restoration business from Frodsham to a larger space in Helsby’s old bank building, including somewhere to offer tea and cake. Such was its popularity that the furniture was quickly replaced by a full tea-room serving crumpets, homemade soup, panini, scones and generous slices of locally baked cakes. It is licensed, too, with a small selection of wine, lager, beer and cider.
There are vintage light fittings and tables dressed with country-chic table cloths; the room rings with chatter. A range of heritage gifts, cards and local art and crafts are for sale on the shelves and dressers. The large, covered garden is decorated with the same thoughtful panache. If you’re feeling sprightly, earn some extra cake space with a hike up the iron age hill fort at nearby Helsby Hill.
Buy The Extra Mile Guide
The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).