The Staffordshire food and drink scene continues to go from strength to strength. Here’s the top ten reasons why we’re a county of awesome foodies
The Staffordshire food and drink scene is a vibrant and thriving industry. From Lichfield to Leek, Burton-upon-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent, there are a plethora of exciting manufacturers, farmers, hotels, restaurants, breweries, pubs and bars, and it’s never looked better than in 2019.
With so much history underpinning the industry and a bright future ahead, it got us thinking about what makes the Staffordshire food and drink industry so special and we came up with these top ten reasons to love it.
1. International foods
Staffordshire is renowned the world over for producing unbeatable British foods and it has a very interesting food heritage to go with it. But there are plenty of international influences that make the Staffordshire food and drink scene what it is today. We are big fans of Asian cuisine with popular Indian restaurants, Chinese takeaways and Thai eateries across the county. There are now some great Mexican and Italian places to dine at too. And, with the arrival of Japanese restaurants: Miso in Stoke and Umai in Shrewsbury, our taste buds have never been so excited.
2. Moving forward
An explosion of fine dining establishments have put Staffordshire firmly on the foodie map. AA-rosette restaurants like The Moat House Acton Trussell (two), The Duncombe Arms in Ellastone (also two) and The Ballroom Restaurant at Hoar Cross Hall (one) have received wide-reaching acclaim. And, we are also home to Michelin listed pubs too such as The Boat Inn in Lichfield and The Red Lion in Bradley. Now, with Larder in Lichfield city centre and The Viceroy Indian restaurant in Milford near Stafford gaining popularity, dining in Staffordshire has never been more diverse and exciting.
We may like to indulge in a spot of fine dining but we are just as much at home sampling the delights of farm shops, casual eateries, cafes and even the odd oatcake shop. Yes, Staffordshire has plenty of hidden gems that will get your taste buds tingling.
If there is one thing that cements our standing as a great foodie county, it’s the growing number of online influencers shouting about it through social channels and the blogosphere. Accounts like @MoorlandsEater and @Staffs_Sauce are championing the Staffordshire food and drink scene recommending the best places to go in and around the county.
Staffordshire has a mass of foodie heritage and we’re not just talking about oatcakes and lobby. Meat, cheese, pickle and beer have all become famously associated with Staffordshire over the years. And now we’re also becoming famous for chocolate too. Check out the award-winning Seed Chocolate in Stoke-on-Trent, which is a micro-batch bean to bar chocolate maker.
6. Pub culture
If there is one place you can find a good country pub, it’s Staffordshire. Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey has put his name to two in recent years. But there is a new breed of elegant yet comfortable establishments that serve fabulous food in a relaxed atmosphere. Places like Saracen’s Head in Weston, The Stafford Arms and The Red Lion in Newborough are great family-friendly eateries.
7. Rising star chefs
Liam Dillon, owner and Head Chef at The Boat Inn in Lichfield, won Best Chef 2018 at the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards. And Ryan Shilton (Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall) has recently started a new venture with Larder in Lichfield. But there are many chefs in Staffordshire who are working passionately to make the county proud and keep us firmly on the foodie map.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that while we have so many great places to eat and drink, we know what price is right. Affordability is at the forefront of most restaurants in and around the county. But with such a great choice of restaurants, you only have to spend as much as you want to so take your pick!
9. Quirky and niche
The other wonderful part of Staffordshire’s gastronomy scene is the celebration of the quirky and the niche. We love a themed restaurant and a kitsch idea and if you have experienced the queues at trendy Stone eatery Oatcakes and Milkshakes then you’ll understand what we mean. In Hanley, the retro Quarter Café is also teaming with people most nights thanks to its fusion of funky interior and a late-night café culture. And across the county, our love of sweet things is being encouraged by a surge of candy coloured palaces! Yes, dedicated dessert bars are going to feature heavily in your foodie calendar next year. So, if you always dream of skipping straight to the end of the meal – go right ahead!
10. Drink connoisseurs
Micro-breweries, full-scale breweries, gin, ciders and wines, Staffordshire produces them all and has beers that are recognised worldwide. If you want to find out more about the brewing history, visit The National Brewery Centre Museum in Burton-upon-Trent where you can learn more about the industry and real life stories of the people involved in making Burton’s brewing reputation what it is today.