Staffordshires Food and Drink Scene.

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Beer Central Festival comes to the Midlands

We Are Beer are putting on a stellar food and beer line up for their first Midlands festival in Birmingham this July. Beer Central Festival will take place on Friday…

We Are Beer are putting on a stellar food and beer line up for their first Midlands festival in Birmingham this July.

Beer Central Festival will take place on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July at 119 Floodgate Street in Digbeth. Brad Carter, Original Patty Men, Baked in Brick and Purecraft Bar & Kitchen are heading the food line-up which aims to gather together the best in beer, food and music. It promises to be a packed day out and it’s right on the doorstep for hungry (and thirsty) Staffordshire foodies.

The ‘all-in’ ticket means all beer is covered during the event, with attendees able to choose from a vast selection of beers from more than 25 local and international breweries. It’s a line up that will get any craft beer fan drooling, with the likes of Northern Monk, Purity, Siren, Cloudwater, Verdant, Wild Beer all in attendance. The ticket price includes beer and a selection of cider, wine, gin, whisky, and soft drinks as well as a glass and festival magazine. Food isn’t included.

Chef Brad CarterOn Friday and Saturday night, Brad (whose restaurant Carters of Moseley earned a Michelin star in 2016) will be grilling and smoking a variety of meat, seafood and other seasonal ingredients using two specially created grills. The ingredient-led menu has been carefully designed to pair perfectly with beers from two of his favourite breweries, The Kernel and Braybrooke.

Award-winning burger purveyors Original Patty Men, who opened their restaurant in Digbeth in 2015 after starting out in street food, will be there, as will Baked in Brick, winner of Best Street Food Trader at the British and European Street Food Awards

In terms of music, revellers can expect a Kaiser Chiefs DJ set and a session from hip-hop turntablist DJ Yoda. Hip Hop Karaoke will be inviting people to sing some of their favourite hip hop tracks in front of a live audience. Also joining the line up are Ultimate Power, who run club nights across the UK playing hit after hit of the world’s greatest ballads.

Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, says: “We’re super excited to present a Michelin-starred chef as part of the food line-up for Beer Central. We’re super proud to host Brad and ‘Best Street Food Trader in Europe’ Lee DeSanges from Baked in Brick at the first Beer Central Festival. They along with street food kings Original Patty Men means we’ll be showcasing the breadth and best of what Birmingham’s food scene has to offer.”

You can buy tickets for Beer Central here.

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Have a foodie Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, leave the annual-new-pair-of-socks tradition in 2018 and get your dad something he really wants: good food and drink! We’ve been scouting some of the best foodie gift…

This Father’s Day, leave the annual-new-pair-of-socks tradition in 2018 and get your dad something he really wants: good food and drink! We’ve been scouting some of the best foodie gift ideas from across Staffordshire to really impress your dad this weekend.

DIY – Bradbury’s Farm Shop, Lichfield

Fancy flexing your culinary skills this Father’s Day? Nothing says ‘I love you, Dad’ quite like a home cooked meal, and if you really want to impress him, shopping local is the way to go. The family run farm shop is tucked away on the outskirts of Lichfield, and is a delightful little hidden gem for local produce. Bradbury’s Farm Shop only supply locally sourced meat from around Staffordshire and also from their own family farm which is located just a couple of miles from the farm shop. All of their traditional breed cattle and sheep are grass fed and naturally reared by father and son duo, Peter and Jake, so you are guaranteed ethical and tasty produce every time.

And what’s a Father’s Day Sunday lunch without crisp, fresh veg? Bradbury’s Farm Shop have an abundance of delicious, seasonal veggies which will perfectly complement your meat.

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea & Canal Cruise – Georgie’s Canal Cruises, Penkridge 

Treat your Dad to a gentle two hour cruise along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal with Georgie’s Canal Cruises at Penkridge. Not only can you enjoy the sights together and meander the Sunday afternoon away through the Staffordshire countryside, but they also offer a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, featuring home-cooked savoury delights. The Gentleman’s Afternoon tea features the sweet treats of the traditional Afternoon tea, but has some sumptuous savoury additions. Expect homemade onion marmalade sausage rolls, mini Cornish pasties, cheesy nachos, and to top to it all off a bottle of beer or ale. The Gentleman’s Afternoon tea is priced at £27.50 per person inclusive of the two hour cruise, and is available from 12:00-14:00 or 15:00-17:00. All aboard!

Father’s Day Sunday Lunch – The Dog & Doublet Inn, Sandon

Get the whole family together and make some memories this Father’s Day with a traditional Sunday lunch. Set in the picturesque village of Sandon, The Dog & Doublet Inn are offering a delectable three course Sunday for lunch for just £20.00 per person. The vast menu offers dishes such as poached pear and Wrekin Blue salad with candied walnuts to start, slow roast loin pork with crispy crackling and sage and onion stuffing, and to finish, rhubarb creme brûlée with shortbread fingers. Yes, please! Table reservations are filling up quickly, so get booked in now to avoid disappointment.

Brewery Tour with Live Music & Beer – Mart’s Brewhouse, Hanley

Every dad loves a beer on Father’s Day, so why not take it up a notch and get him a Brewery Tour with a Twist at Mart’s Brewhouse & Tap in Hanley’s Cultural Quarter? You and your dad can learn all about the art of local beer brewing, enjoy live music and good food, and of course, sample some of their incredible brews. We love Mart’s Dutch Letters marzipan stout and Mart’s Early Bird pale ale. This special Father’s Day tour will take place on Saturday 15 June at 11:00 for just £21.55 per person. Tickets must be booked in advance, so what are you waiting for?

Father’s Day Hamper – Canalside Farm and Shop, Great Haywood

If your dad can’t resist some good quality farm shop produce, then this is the gift for him. Canalside Farm Shop is offering traditional hampers packed full of delicious food and drink, and you can choose from four different structures. If you know your dad’s fave foodie treats like the back of your hand, call into the farm shop and select your hamper contents from Canalside’s array of quality produce. If you would rather leave it to the experts, the lovely folks at Canalside have been creating hampers for over thirty years and will select the products you. You just need to tell them a little bit about your dad’s tastes and interests, and they will construct the perfect gift. If Father’s Day has completely slipped your mind this year and you need a last minute gift, there are ready made hampers in store which are available to pick up straight away. And finally, if your dad is a real advocate of local Staffordshire produce, Canalside also offer a hamper which showcases the very best of Staffordshire’s food and drink. Give them a call in advance for this hamper, and they will handpick the products the day before you collect.

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Charity dinner with Matt Davies x Sauce Supper Club

Clear your diary on 24 June, because Sauce Supper Club and well-known Staffordshire chef Matt Davies are joining forces to host an exclusive, one-off dining experience at University College Birmingham,…

Clear your diary on 24 June, because Sauce Supper Club and well-known Staffordshire chef Matt Davies are joining forces to host an exclusive, one-off dining experience at University College Birmingham, in order to raise funds for local hospitals and specialist departments.

Matt Davies delighted the people of Staffordshire with his exquisite culinary skills for over thirty years. He began his incredible career in 1984 as a stagiaire at The Savoy in London, after previously spending eight years training under the wing of Michelin starred chef Andreas Antona of Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham.

Prior to a life changing accident, the former Chairman and now Vice President of the British Culinary Federation was responsible for an 80-strong kitchen brigade spread across six Michelin-listed and multi-Rosette fine dining outlets in Staffordshire. Matt managed a thousand daily covers, encompassing everything from fine and modern UK and European cuisine, all the way through to gourmet burgers and classic country cooking.

“After suffering life changing trauma, I would like to thank some very special people and their corresponding charities by holding a Charity Dinner to raise much needed funds to carry on helping other people in the future,” says Matt, whose enlightened outlook on being a chef is that it is not just a profession, but rather a passion and a way of life that has you striving to be the best you can.

“I am humbled to introduce to you some of my dear friends, who have given up their personal time to produce a very special six-course Charity Dinner at the UCB Birmingham.”

This special event on Monday 24 June will bring together some of the most celebrated chefs in the country to raise money for causes that are close to Matt’s heart: Mind, UHNM Charity, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, and Hospitality Action. 

Guests will be treated to six courses from Tom Brown (Cornerstone, Hackney Wick), Glynn Purnell (Purnells Restaurant), Luke Tipping (Simpsons of Edgbaston), Jonathan Howe (Lumiere Restaurant), Aktar Islam (Opheem Restaurant), and Adam Bennett (The Cross at Kenilworth) assisted by Andreas Antona (Simpsons of Edgbaston).

Tickets are available to purchase here from Sauce Supper Club.

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Candid Beer opening Good Friday

Good Friday just got even better, with Candid Beer’s bottle shop and taproom set to open in Woodings Yard at 12 noon on 19 April, just in time for Easter…

Good Friday just got even better, with Candid Beer’s bottle shop and taproom set to open in Woodings Yard at 12 noon on 19 April, just in time for Easter weekend.

Stafford’s latest addition champions craft beer from small independent breweries across the county and beyond, with suppliers selected by owner Mark Bamping to complement Candid’s relaxed and community-focused ethos.

Relax and have a beer with your friends in the new taproom, or purchase your cans and bottles to take away – perfect if you’re planning a cheeky spring barbecue. Some of the names you can expect to see lining the shelves are Loka Polly, Northern Monk, Marble Beers, Cloudwater, Six°North and Pomona Island Brew Co.

If delicious craft beer isn’t your thing, don’t panic. Candid Beer will be serving Staffordshire Gin, local wines from Halfpenny Green Wine Estate, Hasbean and Ethical Addictions coffee, loose leaf tea from Birdhouse, soft drinks and bar snacks. 

Candid Beer also doubles as a creative workspace for those who need to get out of the office, or for those who don’t have an office. ‘Can-Do-Er’ membership, which includes come-and-go-as-you-like access to their shared working space in the taproom or quiet breakout space, unlimited tea and coffee, WiFi and the much needed buzz of co-working company, is available at £65 per month.

Upstairs, Candid will offer ‘Creative Space’ hire suitable for everything from team away-days to weekly book clubs. The space is fully equipped with display and audio equipment as well as access to tea and coffee facilities. Future plans also include the opening of a nano-brewery on-site.

“We are really excited to embark on this new venture and to bring Candid Beer to Stafford,” says Mark. “Our aim is to take the best bits of a pub, a bar, a café, an office, and a studio and bring them together under one roof in what we’re describing as a community hub. We’re looking forward to opening our doors on Friday 19 April 2019 at 12 noon and welcoming the community of Stafford into our new home.”

Easter weekend opening times:

Friday 19 April 12:00-18:00
Saturday 20 April 11:00-21:00
Sunday 21 April CLOSED
Monday 22 April 12:00-18:00

Candid Beer
candidbeer.co.uk
Units 4 & 5, Woodings Yard, Stafford, ST17 4BG

Photo credit: Matt Winnington

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Roots Larder to open zero plastic shop

This Saturday, 6 April, sees the opening of Roots Larder’s permanent presence in Stafford. After spending its first 6 months as a mobile service, eco-friendly business Roots Larder is now…

This Saturday, 6 April, sees the opening of Roots Larder’s permanent presence in Stafford.

After spending its first 6 months as a mobile service, eco-friendly business Roots Larder is now planting its roots within Tranquility, off Newport Road close to Stafford train station.

The local business offers bulk wholefoods including a range of spices, herbs, grains, pulses, cereals, dried fruits, nuts and loose leaf teas, all without unnecessary plastic packaging. All are sold by weight, so you can buy as much or as little as you need to cut down on waste, and customers are invited to bring their own containers to fill.

Until now, Roots Larder has operated at local markets from a trusty transit van as well as offering a click and collect service from Stafford, Eccleshall, Stone or Uttoxeter. To enable the shop to carry more stock and offer a wider range of goods that fit in with the ethical approach, owner Nigel has decided a permanent shop space is needed.

Along with the selection of store cupboard essentials and plastic free toiletries and kitchen wares that Roots Larder has become known for, Nigel will also be introducing Fair Trade silver jewellery, Rawsome bars, fresh bread, natural incense, stained and fused glass items, and handmade dog accessories.

The shop will be open from 10:00-15:00 on Saturday for the launch event. Meanwhile on Friday 5 April, small business owners are invited to share what they do and chat reducing single use plastic at a pre-opening networking event in store from 18:30-20:30.

Normal opening hours for the shop will be:

Wednesday 13:00-19:00
Thursday 10:00-16:00
Saturday 10:00-15:00

Roots Larder
www.rootslarder.com
Castlefields, Off Newport Road, Stafford, ST16 1BQ

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The Boat Inn puts Staffordshire on the Top 50 Gastropubs map

The Boat Inn at Lichfield fought off tough competition to put Staffordshire on the map at Estrella Damm’s Top 50 Gastropubs awards ceremony earlier this week. The judges praised chef-patron Liam…

The Boat Inn at Lichfield fought off tough competition to put Staffordshire on the map at Estrella Damm’s Top 50 Gastropubs awards ceremony earlier this week.

The judges praised chef-patron Liam Dillon for transforming The Boat into a ‘very special venue’ and a worthy winner of the Newcomer of the Year title for 2019.

“Liam’s menus boast maturity, uniqueness and, above all, skill and great balance of flavour,” according to the panel of industry experts – including The Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter and Managing Director of Inn Places, David Hancock – who awarded the Best Newcomer prize. “He has created a gastropub that delivers on all fronts, from excellent service the moment you walk through the door, to outstanding dishes.”

The award was presented in a ceremony at Lillibrooke Manor in Maidenhead on Monday.

“It was a great day and a fantastic achievement,” Liam told Sauce. “The team are over the moon with the award and we have all been working very hard to put The Boat Inn where it deserves to be. We are all honoured to be in the same bracket as the amazing establishments in the Top 50 list.”

Liam worked for Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley in London after graduating with a degree in the culinary arts from Birmingham College of Food in 2006. Thus began a decade of striving to work in the best kitchens in the world, starting off in Sydney at Quay before taking in Eleven Madison Park and Noma in Copenhagen, among others. Since opening The Boat, he’s gone on to win Best Chef at the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards last year and the venue picked up Best Independent Restaurant at the Taste of Staffordshire Awards 2018. 

Look out for our interview with Liam in the Spring edition of Sauce, out in March.

The Boat Inn
Walsall Road, Lichfield, WS14 0BU
www.theboatinnlichfield.com

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Wins for Hoar Cross Hall chefs at Salon Culinaire

Staffordshire hotel and spa Hoar Cross Hall has achieved major success at Salon Culinaire, the UK’s most prestigious chef competition, which was held last week at the Birmingham NEC. Situated…

Staffordshire hotel and spa Hoar Cross Hall has achieved major success at Salon Culinaire, the UK’s most prestigious chef competition, which was held last week at the Birmingham NEC.

Situated in beautiful Staffordshire countryside near the sleepy village of Hoar Cross, just 9 miles from Burton-upon-Trent, Hoar Cross Hall is well-known for its luxury spa facilities. But it has also developed somewhat of a reputation for afternoon teas, with themes to reflect key calendar dates and the county’s wonderful seasonal produce.

Hoar Cross Hall’s executive head chef Tom Biddle and pastry chef Charlotte Wakelyn both came out on top in their categories after showcasing their skills, creativity and knowledge of provenance to panels of judges from across Europe.

Executive chef Tom won best in class in his two categories, beating stiff competition from peers in the UK and Malta. Meanwhile, Charlotte scooped bronze and silver awards for her afternoon tea pastries and miniatures, establishing herself as one of the UK’s foremost pastry chefs.

“It’s a pinnacle for any chef to get through to competing at Salon Culinaire, but to come back to the hotel with medals is quite literally the icing on the cake!” said Charlotte. “Chef is incredibly supportive of my work which means that we can forge forward and build a reputation for having one of the best afternoon teas in the UK in what are arguably the most stunning surroundings.”

The menu she presented for inspection included a passionfruit and lemon meringue eclair, a caramel and sea salt dark chocolate opera slice, and individual baked and decorated Battenberg cakes.

“I’m ecstatic for Tom and his brigade as they are continuing to elevate presence of The Hall as a foodie destination for The Midlands,” added Adrian Pickard, managing director at Hoar Cross Hall. “We want our afternoon teas to be known for their sense of experience for families and friends and Charlotte has just added a huge stamp of approval from the culinary world.”

Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel
Maker Lane, Hoar Cross, Burton-upon-Trent, DE13 8QS
www.hoarcross.co.uk

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Larder: Fine dining in our cathedral city

Chef Ryan Shilton is raising the bar for fine dining in the heart of Lichfield with the opening of his new restaurant, Larder, this week. Sauce were invited along to…

Chef Ryan Shilton is raising the bar for fine dining in the heart of Lichfield with the opening of his new restaurant, Larder, this week.

Sauce were invited along to a preview evening at the freshly renovated premises, which sits next door to Bore Street Bakery. On the ground floor there’s a bar exclusively for restaurant guests where we’re served a biscuity Hattingley Valley sparkling wine from Hampshire alongside two snacks – a goat’s cheese and basil tartlet and venison tartare with pear – which set the tone for the evening’s rich gastronomic offering.

There’s an extensive list of Old and New World wines to choose from, as well as a good selection of beers (including locally brewed Freedom lager), spirits and liqueurs. We order before being shown upstairs, where the intimate dining room takes up the first floor.

With comfortable chairs upholstered in teal and grey, dark wood, plush carpet and gold accented accessories, it feels suitably sumptuous without being over the top. Which is a description you could equally apply to the food – like the bite of pork belly with apple and ginger purée that appears promptly on our table, skewered on chef’s plating tweezers.

We are treated first to monkfish, lettuce and tartare sauce, followed by barbecued wagyu brisket with a smoky black garlic purée and enoki mushrooms. Next up is celeriac three ways – baked, pickled and raw – with oregano and a delicious Lincolnshire Poacher sauce. Everything is served on bespoke handmade ceramics from a potter friend of Ryan’s, and it’s obvious that care and attention has gone into every detail, such as the unusual Portuguese cutlery.

The menu’s crescendo is perfectly pink Creedy Carver duck with onion, peppercorn sauce and a silky mousse that Ryan explains is made from roast potatoes and duck fat. The palate cleansing pre-dessert is probably the most tastebud-challenging – lime curd with the texture of avocado served with bitter curried caramel, meringue and a very hoppy IPA jelly. Dessert would satisfy any sweet tooth, however, consisting of chocolate ganache, hazelnut ice cream and a maple vinegar jam.

Afterwards we head upstairs for a peek at the very calm and collected second floor, where guests will soon be able to enjoy a chef’s table experience sitting in the kitchen itself. The apparently unflappable Ryan recently left his position at the three-rosette Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall Hotel to open Larder, where he has freedom to showcase the best seasonal British produce on his own terms. When it opens later this week, the restaurant will offer lunch Thursday to Saturday, with five and seven course tasting menus on offer during evening service, and a three course Sunday lunch. Choice and vegetarian menus will also be available.

With exceptional food, a relaxed atmosphere and attentive but unobtrusive service, Larder is sure to become a popular fine dining destination for lucky Lichfield locals and no doubt will attract attention from further afield.

Larder
17 Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6LZ
www.larderlichfield.com 

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Feasting on the Festival of Light

Diwali is celebrated by Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities all over the world every year – this year it falls between 6-10 November. We visited Zalena, who hosts Indian cookery…

Diwali is celebrated by Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities all over the world every year – this year it falls between 6-10 November. We visited Zalena, who hosts Indian cookery classes and demos as Rose Petals and Rice, to find out about the food traditions associated with the Festival of Light.

JalebiTraditional sweetmeats known collectively as mithai are associated with Diwali eating, including the jalebi and gulab jamun that Zalena prepared for us. The jalebi are crunchy swirls of gram flour batter piped into hot oil before being soaked in sugar syrup; the golden colour is achieved with a mix of turmeric and paprika. Gulab jamun are perhaps best described as a rice flour doughnut doused in sugary syrup. They can be flavoured with anything from cardamom to vanilla to rose water and are delicious served warm with kulfi or cardamom ice cream.

Families and friends visit each other’s houses, where they might be greeted by chalk patterns drawn on the floor for good luck – and its obligatory to eat at every stop. While there are samosas practically on tap everywhere you go, Zalena says, there are plenty of other savoury treats associated with the week-long festival.

Different communities have their own dishes and recipes for special occasions like Diwali. In the Parsi community, of which Zalena’s family is part, a painstakingly prepared lamb biryani is the equivalent to a Christmas turkey. Another popular dish is cavabs. These spicy meatballs are prepared with finely ground mince – Zalena used lamb but chicken, beef or a vegetarian substitute will work. They may look unassuming, but they pack a huge punch, flavoured with a mix of spices and fresh coriander. Zalena says people attending her classes or demos are often surprised how little fat and salt go into her cooking. The cavabs, for example, are cooked in their own juices with only a pinch of salt added.

Persian cavabsThen there are pani puri – a familiar street corner snack across India, but not so well-known here in the UK. Inside a thin, crispy shell Zalena packs a ‘Bombay mix’ of puffed rice, peanuts and sev, along with red onions, fresh coriander and a drop of chilli sauce. Then she spoons over melted tamarind paste dissolved in water. The extraordinary explosion of flavours and different textures in your mouth is something else.

Diwali is similar to Christmas in that everybody comes home to spend time with family and friends, according to Zalena. And just like Christmas, it’s when we bring out the rich, comforting, luxurious recipes that we might not indulge in for the rest of the year. Marking the end of the harvest and the darkest night of the month, the Festival symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, and is all about enjoying good food and good company.

If you would like to learn how to make delicious Indian dishes for yourself and your family, visit Zalena’s Facebook page, where you can also find details of her upcoming demos.

Rose Petals and Rice
www.facebook.com/rosepetalsandrice/

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Winter Hideaways

The summer heatwaves have faded into memory and the long nights are drawing in. At this time of year the cosy pubs and cafés dotted across our beautiful county take…

The summer heatwaves have faded into memory and the long nights are drawing in.

At this time of year the cosy pubs and cafés dotted across our beautiful county take on a special appeal as havens from the vagaries of the ever changeable weather. It’s only natural to want to sink into a snug chair and share a hot chocolate, or retreat to the local for a pint of ale and some hearty seasonal fare during the long winter months. Whether you want to meet friends, catch up with family you haven’t seen for a while, chat with the neighbours or just enjoy a quiet hour alone, you’re spoilt for choice in Staffordshire.

When the gales are howling and the drifts are piling up, these are a few of our top picks for places to hole up and shelter from the snowball fights.

The George at Alstonefield

Log burner in George at AlstonefieldOn the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire in the tiny village of Alstonefield sits The George. This family-run pub in the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park is just a stone’s throw from Mill Dale and Dovedale, close to Ashbourne, Bakewell and Buxton. All in all it’s splendidly positioned as a refuge from the biting cold after a good old-fashioned ramble.

The wooden beams, quarry tiles and crackling log fire create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy real ales and carefully selected wines. The snug and dining room have been restored with lime plastered walls and antique farmhouse furniture. While the butcher’s block and exposed stone give a rustic feel, candlelight from the hurricane lanterns adds a touch of elegance. This is matched by the elegance of the food coming out of the kitchen, which has received recognition in The Good Food Guide since 2009, and from Michelin and Sawday’s among others.

Quality local produce is the foundation of the menu, and the owners work with nearby allotment holders, farmers and businesses to keep food miles to a minimum. Across the lunch, dinner, and tasting menus, all dishes are prepared fresh on the premises with ingredients sourced, wherever possible, from within a 15 mile radius.

Alstonefield, Nr Ashbourne, DE6 2FX
www.thegeorgeatalstonefield.com

The White Lion

At this charming country pub on the border of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire everyone is welcome to relax and enjoy the hospitality of Julian, Helen and their team. The White Lion pride themselves on sourcing only the highest quality seasonal ingredients and cooking them beautifully and simply. As you can read elsewhere in the Autumn/Winter issue, the fish specials are not to be missed. With local ales alongside continental beers and an array of speciality gins on offer, you can while away many a pleasant hour here. The snug is a cosy hideaway with comfortable leather chairs and soft lighting, while the bar’s flagstone floor, armchairs and roaring open fires will welcome you (and your dog) in from even the coldest of days.

London Road, Knighton, Market Drayton, TF9 4HJ
www.thewhitelionatknighton.co.uk

The Horns

Inside The Horns at GnosallIt’s in the picturesque little mid-Staffordshire village of Gnosall that you will find this family and dog-friendly pub. At the heart of the parish, The Horns has undergone renovations recently and prides itself on serving homemade, locally sourced food and cask ales in a wonderful setting with a lively atmosphere. The beamed ceiling, exposed brickwork and log burning stove complement the menu perfectly – it is full of hearty but imaginative food using seasonal ingredients, including produce from Neil and Michelle’s own allotment. Duck in out of the cold to enjoy the daily specials, and check out the multiple vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on the menu.

High St, Gnosall, Stafford, ST20 0EP
www.thehornsgnosall.co.uk

Whites Coffee Shop

A side shoot of the family-run Whites Sporting and Clothing outlet at Oakedge Park, Whites Coffee Shop will draw you in with its log burning stove, which can be found roaring on a winter afternoon. With trained baristas on hand to prepare the freshly ground, locally blended and roasted Chartley Coffee, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a toasted tea cake or crumpet after a wintry walk at nearby Shugborough Hall or some clay pigeon shooting at Oakedge Shooting Ground. There are also gluten free, soya and skinny options available in the recently expanded coffee shop. The team place an emphasis on low food miles, so the milk comes from Wells Farm Dairies and the apple juice is pressed at Haywood Park Farm less than a mile down the road. What’s more, everything is served on Milton China.

Oakedge Park, Stafford, ST17 0XS
www.facebook.com/whitescoffeeshop

The Jervis Arms

Exterior of The Jervis ArmsSitting on the banks of the River Hamps in the tiny Staffordshire Moorlands village of Onecote near Leek, The Jervis Arms has undergone a significant programme of renovations over the last few years. This whitewashed Peak District pub has everything you could ask for from a winter hideaway, including warm woollen blankets on stove-side pews under a cosily low-beamed ceiling, with brass candlesticks and fairy lights contributing to the welcoming glow. The menu of ‘pub classics with a twist’ features clearly marked vegetarian and gluten free options. Enjoy a pint from nearby Whim Ales at Hartington, or any of a wide selection of gins from the bar.

Onecote, Leek, ST13 7RU
www.jervis-arms.co.uk

The Rambler’s Retreat

A hidden gem in the beautiful surroundings of the Churnet Valley, you can sometimes hear the screams of thrillseekers enjoying Alton Towers, just a mile away in the next valley, at The Rambler’s Retreat. However, between November and March the theme park is closed and you can appreciate the peaceful woodland surroundings in all their glory – perhaps even under a blanket of snow. Discover comfort food and cockle-warming hot drinks in this cosy tearoom, which is housed in a striking 19th Century lodge with the Staffordshire Way running right past the front door. Open all year round, there’s nothing better than settling in with a huge slice of their home-baked cake or lemon meringue pie and a sumptuous hot chocolate after a muddy walk through the woods.

Red Road, Dimmingsdale, Alton, ST10 4BU
www.ramblersretreat.co.uk

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