Staffordshires Food and Drink Scene.

Category: Reviews

Sunday stroll: National Memorial Arboretum

In the autumn/winter edition of Sauce, our Sunday stroll takes us to the National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s year-round centre of remembrance at Alrewas. Situated at the heart of the…

In the autumn/winter edition of Sauce, our Sunday stroll takes us to the National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s year-round centre of remembrance at Alrewas.

Situated at the heart of the UK in the lush Staffordshire countryside, it represents a growing, living and lasting tribute to those who have served and continue to serve their country. Trees seem a fitting means of remembrance, signifying growth and renewal, changing as they do through the seasons and over the years. 2018 is especially significant at the Arboretum as we mark 100 years since the end of the First World War and 100 years since the founding of the Royal Air Force.

Under, between and around the 30,000 maturing native and specimen trees of the Arboretum there are plaques, benches and wreaths in memory of those who have died in conflict, served their country or have another special reason for being remembered. There are more than 350 memorials to take in as you walk the 150 acres of this humbling and peaceful site, as well as a series of wooden huts providing shelter from the elements and information about the groups and individuals remembered here.

The impressive visitor centre houses a gift shop and exhibition spaces as well as a restaurant, while on the opposite side of the beautiful Heroes’ Square you’ll find a café and the Millennium Chapel, where an open service of remembrance is held every day at 11am. For families with children there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the work and sacrifice of those commemorated here, and play areas to expend some energy.

The restaurant area, flooded with light from the glass wall looking out onto the courtyard, has plenty of seating and operates on a self-serve system. Breakfast is available until 11.30am if you need to fuel up before exploring the grounds, while lunch options change daily and start from £6.95.  The deli serves cold meats, quiche and Staffordshire cheeses accompanied by seasonal salads, and sandwiches are also on offer.

On a chilly Sunday afternoon the roast dinner calls out, with a choice of two meats and a vegetarian dish along with roast and boiled potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal green and root vegetables and gravy for less than £10.  There are plenty of attractive scones and cakes to choose from if you want to bump this up to two courses, like wildflower honey and lavender or rose and pistachio. Using the best local and seasonal produce available, this is a delicious and hearty meal that will set you up for further exploring.

There’s a dedicated route for dogs and their owners which leads around most of the Arboretum perimeter, through the Royal British Legion Poppy Field and all the way to Watersmeet, where the River Trent and the River Tame intersect. While dogs are not permitted in the restaurant, they are allowed in the café where tea and coffee, sandwiches and cakes are served on local Dudson crockery.

There is a £3 charge to park all day and entrance to the site is free, with a suggested donation of £5. All proceeds go to support the work of the Arboretum.

National Memorial Arboretum
Croxall Rd, Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent DE13 7AR
www.thenma.org.uk

No Comments on Sunday stroll: National Memorial Arboretum

New era for The Viceroy

Wednesday 25 July saw the launch of a new menu at The Viceroy Restaurant in Milford, on the edge of Cannock Chase, and Sauce were lucky enough to be invited…

Wednesday 25 July saw the launch of a new menu at The Viceroy Restaurant in Milford, on the edge of Cannock Chase, and Sauce were lucky enough to be invited along.

At this fine dining Indian restaurant near Stafford chef-director Ain Ullah creates imaginative dishes using the finest local produce, with reference to a rich Indian and Bangladeshi culinary heritage.

A six-course taster menu allowed guests to savour the flavours of a number of dishes from the new selection, all cooked to order using seasonal, locally sourced fresh ingredients. Proceeds from the night were generously donated to Katharine House Hospice.

House of Townend, the Yorkshire-based family-owned wine merchants, have hand selected the finest wines from across the world to complement each dish on The Viceroy’s new menu, and there’s also a comprehensive gin menu for pre-dinner drinks.

The launch of the new menu is the first step in an exciting new era for The Viceroy, where the team is hoping to be awarded an AA Rosette and to feature in the 2019 Michelin Guide.

In order to meet the exacting standards of the AA, the management have invested in a new state of the art Unox Oven and new crockery and cutlery, the like of which is found in Michelin starred restaurants across the world, from Schott Zwiesel wine glasses to Fortessa tableware.

There are also plans afoot to build a 20-cover private dining room to the rear of the restaurant. This room, featuring a wall of handpicked wines from around the globe, will allow guests to book a taster menu dinner attended by their own personal butler. As well, The Viceroy plans to hold exclusive cookery demonstrations with chef-director Ullah.

The Viceroy Restaurant
8 Brocton Rd, Milford, Stafford ST17 0UH
www.viceroyrestaurant.co.uk

No Comments on New era for The Viceroy

Spout Brew House

Spout Brew House, 70 St Edward St, Leek, ST13 5DL www.spoutbrewhouse.co.uk It’s a bright afternoon when we take a stroll down to the bottom of Edward Street in Leek. Looking…

Spout Brew House, 70 St Edward St, Leek, ST13 5DL
www.spoutbrewhouse.co.uk

It’s a bright afternoon when we take a stroll down to the bottom of Edward Street in Leek. Looking welcoming and cosy, Spout Brew House is nestled between Odeon Antiques and what we can only assume is its namesake, Spout Hall.

With eye-catching signage by traditional canal boat painter Phil Speight and a tungsten glow through the big old windows, this cafe-bar-gallery is certainly not lacking in kerb appeal.

The first thing that draws your attention when you enter is the fantastic array of home-baked cakes under glass on the counter top. Victoria sponge, chocolate pizza slices and blood orange sponge were just a few of the options, all of which come from the upstairs kitchen.

Busy but not rushed

People-watchers will covet the stools in the window and there are some appealing nooks and crannies if you prefer a bit more privacy, but you have to be quick off the mark to catch either, especially of a weekend. Grabbing one of the smaller tables in the hallway, we watched more than a few people come and go for lack of seating. Footfall in this passageway wasn’t a bother, though.

It’s an informal set-up; you order at the counter, where the staff were very busy but always helpful and friendly. We were warned that food orders were taking a little while, and only waited around 20 minutes – not unreasonable at lunchtime on a Saturday.

The cinnamon latte smelled like heaven. Atkinson’s Teas and Has Bean Coffee are also on offer, plus a range of alcoholic drinks including four guest ales on tap. There’s artwork for sale by local artists and a wall dedicated to craft beer and spirit sales, known as The Bottle Lab.

Satisfy your palate and pocket

Although tempted by the beetroot falafel Buddha bowl special, we went for the avocado toast. Mashed with white beans and basil, the Spout take was tastier than the plain avocado you find elsewhere. Topped with a perfectly poached, golden yolked egg and a slice of halloumi for an extra pound and a hint of saltiness, the Skandi rye bread toast was delicious. A sprinkle of sesame seeds and sunflower hearts added some texture and a nice finishing touch. While the beetroot in the side salad was a little dry, the grated carrot dusted with poppy seeds was simple and really satisfying.

Spout’s eclectic decor features a modern palette of dark grey and aqua blue with bright, quirky accessories and mismatched furniture. The scheme stays sympathetic to the lovely old building, with the original black and white tiles, quarry tiles and stained glass window in the toilet upstairs.

Overall, this friendly cafe provides great value for money, wholesome freshly cooked food and a welcoming spot to relax in a thriving market town.

Coffee and cake from £3.50
Lunch from £3.95-£6.95
Dog friendly
Garden seating area

No Comments on Spout Brew House

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search