HERE is the inside of the new Lymm bistro with English, French and Spanish influences that would not have happened if it wasn’t for coronavirus.

And it is now open.

M’agrada in Lymm village are easing themselves in taking walk-ins today, Thursday, and bookings from tomorrow, Froday.

Owner Alan Darling, a Lymm resident of around 25 years, is a fan of having a plethora of options for residents and visitors to continue to bring more people into the village.

“I’m not in this to be a millionaire, I’m in it to enjoy what we do, to have all my staff enjoy what we do, have fun and make enough money so that everyone can have a reasonable living," he said.

“I don’t really see the rest of the businesses as competition, in the village centre itself, what has lacked over the last few years is having that vibe, that circuit of places that people go to.

“But now we’ve got lots of different businesses. It’s about complementing each other so that we attract and draw in more people, and now I think Lymm’s starting to get a really good buzz again which I think it has lacked for a while.

Warrington Guardian: Alan Darling, owner of M'agrada, wants his bistro to add to the appeal of the villageAlan Darling, owner of M'agrada, wants his bistro to add to the appeal of the village

“If the Wine’s Kitchen’s full, that’s great because there are a lot of people in Lymm enjoying Lymm. It’s all about bringing more people in. If ultimately no more people come into Lymm, then all you’re doing is sharing the amount of customers among more businesses.

“The whole point is to be able to put things together that drive more people into the village who wouldn’t necessarily have come in in the past.”

They will be open on Monday and Tuesday for breakfast and lunch and Wednesday – Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“There is nowhere else in the village centre that does good quality, British food at reasonable price,” Alan, from Carlisle originally, continued.

“The pubs do their version but it’s different version for a certain market and they do pretty well. But we’re hopefully offering something that’s a little bit better quality, it will be a little bit more expensive but it’s a different market.

“We have our core menu and then our specials board. The idea with the specials is that it’s daily fresh stuff and we want to go quite big on fish because around here there’s nowhere really that does really good fish.

“The board also lends itself very nicely to vegan and vegetarian food so you can change it around a lot.

“There are three or four areas I want to get really known for.”

Warrington Guardian: The rear of M'agrada with Lymm artists work featuring on the left, overlooking the seatingThe rear of M'agrada with Lymm artists work featuring on the left, overlooking the seating

Alan welcomes upcoming artists to showcase their work in his bistro, which is a win-win for both parties.

“The restaurant at the back lends itself quite well to art. I was thinking it could be a great forum for an arts student to show their work off. If they want to sell it, they can put a little sign on with their number on,” Alan said.

“The idea is that it becomes a bit of a thing and we will rotate the artwork. If it helps the artists out, fantastic and it gives us some nice artwork in the dining room as well.”

Alan started off in a pub kitchen and worked at the front of house. Following time as a recruitment consultant, which was hindered by an oil price crash, he used the pandemic to alter his career.

He got back into working in kitchens which re-ignited a spark and in lockdown two he started an online food business.

He added: “I thought ‘I really like this environment, how come I never saw my career through?’ It was a similar menu to what we have here, just here is more extensive. Good British food, cooked well at a good value.

“I’d always wanted to have a bistro. It’s about trying to create an environment where if you want to come in and have a glass of wine, that’s cool. If you want to have a glass of wine and some small plates that’s great. If you want to come here for a three-course meal that’s great as well.

“We’re trying to do a British concept of that, with a little bit of Spanish influence,” Alan continued.

“The name M’agrada is Catalan for ‘I like it’. We produce food that I like and I hope that everybody else likes it as well. I love Spain and some of that Spanish influence comes through in some of our foods and drinks.

“You don’t get that many places in Lymm coming available that are existing restaurant businesses. If Covid would have never existed, I certainly wouldn’t be doing this, and we are where we are.”