How to spend 48 hours in Staffordshire
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Staffordshire’s restaurants, pubs and cafes certainly offer a wide choice and here are some of the best places to dine. If you prefer your pubs to be more food-focused, try The Yorkshireman in Colton, near Rugeley. The Stafford Arms, in front of Bagnall’s village green, dates back to the 16th century and has been in the hands of its current owners for the past 20 years.
Even more ancient is the thatched Holly Bush, tucked away in Salt just off the A51 near Stafford, which claims its origins reach back to 1190. Dishes like Greek lamb rub shoulders on the menu with more traditional pub grub. Steak fans will also want to try the Staffordshire Grill at the Lion Hotel in Brewood, where all the steaks are 35-day-aged and cooked in an “authentic charcoal chamber”. Cuts include ribeye, prime rib, sirloin and fillet, and real connoisseurs can ask their waiter which of the head chef’s special cuts are available on the day.
If you’re celebrating or looking for somewhere extra-special to eat, look no further than a former winner of the Taste of Staffordshire Independent Restaurant of the Year title, The Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall Hotel, near Lichfield. Open to non-residents, the restaurant was awarded three rosettes by the AA in 2015 and offers delicious tasting menus for meat eaters and vegetarians.
For “fine English cuisine with a twist of France” head to Pascal at the Old Vicarage, in Branston, near Burton-on-Trent. Run by Pascal and Karen Arnoux since 1999, with head chef Richard Bowers in charge of the kitchen since June 2019, the restaurant changes its table d’hôte menu every month to keep things seasonal, as well as hosting regular themed gourmet evenings and French rustic nights. Guests are invited to finish their meal in the Georgian former vicarage with a cosy coffee and brandy in front of the fire.
Foxt Road, Froghall ST10 2HL
The award-winning Hetty’s Tea Shop is situated in an idyllic canal-side location along Froghall Wharf serving families, ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers, canal enthusiasts and tea shop lovers. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am for breakfasts, light lunches and snacks. The legendary Hetty’s scones with jam and clotted cream, cheesecakes and home-made cakes are very popular, and the Italian piacetto coffee is fresh from bean to cup. Visit website
First Floor, 31 Market Pl, Cannock WS11 1BS
Amigos Street Food took over the kitchen at The Loft 89 cocktail bar in 2019, and quickly gained a reputation for their Tex-Mex inspired dishes like shredded pork carnitas, chimichurri chicken and barbacoa beef. The chilli jackfruit tacos get a big thumbs up from vegan diners, while those with a big appetite might want to tackle one of platters and sample dishes from across the menu. Visit website
Barton Marina, Barton Turn, Barton-under-Needwood, Burton-on-Trent DE13 8AS
The Waterfront pub opened in 2007, and with the inspired use of reclaimed timber and brick, stone flags and period lighting, this privately-owned free house replicates the style of a Victorian canal-side warehouse. The vaulted bar serves an extensive range of real ales, premium lagers, fine wines, cocktails and malt whiskies. Sensibly-priced pub food, freshly cooked to order, is served in the restaurant, bar and lounge, and on the terrace overlooking the idyllic 300-berth marina. The 50-seat contemporary conservatory, known as the Quarterdeck, is popular with diners and for private parties. Visit website
42 Kingsway, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1JH
Baby Russets is a small and intimate restaurant serving traditional English fare like lamb shank, battered haddock and steak and kidney pie. The unusual name is an anagram of the surnames of the chef and the restaurant manager, Sayer and Stubbs – and also captures an appealingly “foodie” sense of the russet apple and potato. Visit website
Cannock Rd, Brocton, Stafford ST17 0SU
Although it is family-friendly and has a children’s menu, Seven Stars has quickly gained a reputation with locals as great place for a child-free night out as a couple or with friends. Main meals include pan-fried sea trout fillet, crackling-crusted belly pork and roasted beetroot and mushroom wellington, or you can go for one of their 28-day-aged premium steaks for a treat. Visit website
Staffordshire nightlife venues
Staffordshire cultural attractions
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