The Flintlock Cheddleton
Last Thursday on a delightfully hot and Balmy summer evening we were invited by Chef Patron and business owner Thom Bateman of The Great British Menu fame to his restaurant at The Flintlock in Cheddleton. The restaurant is a relaxed dining space with an extensive bar/lounge area and outdoor area.
Championing ingredients from the local area and working with seasonality to produce stylish and modern food with a nod to the classics throughout.
The restaurant sits alongside the Cauldon Canal and is family owned and run, with a strong focus on making the offering as accessible to as many guests as possible.
Who is Thom Bateman?
Thrown into a head chef role at the age of 17, Thom hasn’t had the typical journey into becoming a chef. Totally Self-taught, it is plain to see why the restaurant has received so much attention, it’s about passion, for the food, the area, for his love of the ingredients and the innovation on using them with a modern twist
He left the industry for ten years in 2009 – only to be reunited with his love of cooking when he started taking pictures of his dinner at home, garnering recognition across the internet. His food caught so much attention that he was awarded TSC 2021 Social Media Influencer of the Year.
Thom now owns The Flintlock at Cheddleton, the same restaurant he started out at aged 17. He has since transformed it into a fine dining restaurant, which received 2 AA rosettes in the first year of trading. The Flintlock was open for just seven weeks before restrictions meant closure until May 2021. In this time, the team focussed on refining what the restaurant offers a diner.
His cooking style takes a fine dining approach, but with a modern take. The food is put together in an exciting and modern way without being abstract. Thom’s cooking is nostalgic and with a love of local ingredients. He loves to make new food memories for people, but to also be creative. The pride he takes in his food and the local is evident on speaking to Thom, his passion for the area and for the local produce pours out of him.
Where is the Flintlock?
The Flintlock is nestled at the bottom of the valley in Cheddleton right next to the ‘Flintlock” on the Cauldon Canal is family owned and run, with a strong focus on making the offering as accessible to as many guests as possible.
“The Flintlock Restaurant is a gem… “say’s one recent Trip advisor review
After seeing Thom achieve so on the BBC’s The Great British Menu, we were excited and intrigued. After being shown to an outside table for a welcome drink, the delightful young lady serving us gave us a drinks menu which was extremely extensive but if you are looking for the bog-standard pub offering here you will be disappointed. It was certainly one of the most exciting drinks choices I have ever seen, full of local and niche drinks that made it very difficult to choose. I am a bit of a gin diva so I chose the Papermill Cheddelton, My Husband chose the Staffordshire Stout, which I know he thoroughly enjoyed and I must say sitting outside with a refreshing G& T next to the water was a bit of a pinch me moment.
By this point we were really looking forward to the 8-course tasting menu that had been lovingly put together by Thom and his team. Whilst it would take too long to go through every course here, I am going to summarise by pointing out the highlights of the meal and the wine pairings. My husband missed out again as he was driving due to a very early start (whoops),so I was able to partake of the wine flight ,each course that came out was paired with the most perfect of wine. I will put a copy of the menu at the bottom of this article, as the menus are subject to change, so it is best check the website for the very latest menus. Vegetarian options are also available.
The 8 Course Tasting menu
Beginning with the Chaat cured seabream croustade and accompanied by the Chicken Karaage Kewpie and Chilli Jam were a perfect size and offer the perfect couple of mouthfuls to get the palate singing, this was accompanied by the Gusbourne Blancs de blanc, and the wine did turn the course from a song to a symphony! The next highlight was the Scallop with fermented lettuce, smoke buttered sauce, samphire, and roe powder. I love scallops, and in this case the delicate flesh was cooked to perfection the Sepp Moser, Griner Veltiner from Austria again perfecting the taste with this pairing, balancing the delicate smoky flavour of the dish, matched with the buttery undertones of the wine . 2 more beautiful course followed.
But moving on the main event, oh my …, what a triumph! This main course option meal was delicious!!! The Dunwood (a local butcher who Thom uses ) beef BBQ Fillet served with a Jersey Royal with OX Cheek, Lovage and Bordelaise was one of the highlights of my tasting journey ever! Again, the wine pairing was the amazing Carmenere Gran reserve from Chile. Chilean red wine is one of my favourites as is beef. It as if Thom knew this! This pairing was a marriage made in heaven. At this point you can opt for a cheese course (extra £8) but with 2 more courses to go I thought my waistline was expanding enough so we moved onto the next course of strawberry , cucumber , dill , pink pepper and meringue, this was also beautiful paired with the equally gorgeous choice of the Cantina di Negrar,Recito Della Valpolicella, Veneto from Italy.
Following on from this was another highlight of the meal for us – the dessert – the astonishing sweet cherry aerated Valrhona Chocolate, white Chocolate Cep Bourbon Biscuit, paired with the Ramos Pinto 10-year Tawny port. The description of this course is quite simple really, a taste sensation, would not be enough to explain how beautiful this dessert is. Even though I am meant to have given up sugar, this did not stop me from clearing my plate. Finishing off the port which rounded off the meal perfectly.
It was a great showcase of what the restaurant and Thom have achieved in terms of fantastic quality, innovative creative menus, perfectly presented, with an amazing charming team who are all pulling out every stop to make sure that remarkable memories for everyone who visits
The same Trip advisor review remarked on above said of The Flintlock …
“We were all charmed and captivated by The Flintlock. From its remarkable food to its chic decor, to its charming, helpful and extremely professional staff, this eatery is the real deal. The Flintlock presents itself as a chic, elegant and refined place to dine, sure…but it does so by allowing its food to speak for itself. And it does so with great culinary eloquence. We highly recommend The Flintlock Restaurant and cannot commend Tom Bateman and his team highly enough. A real treat!’
And I can honestly say we completely agree.
To book a table for the tasting menu go to https://booking.resdiary.com/widget/Standard/TheFlintlockRestaurant/26604
Signature seasonal menus which change monthly are served Wednesday to Sunday Evenings 5:30pm to 8:30pm (last reservation).
Vegetarian & pescatarian menus are available on request.
Unfortunately at the moment we are unable to offer a vegan or dairy free menu
“Chaat” Cured Sea Bream Croustade, Mango Chicken Karaage, Kewpie, Chilli Jam
Staffordshire Cheese Custard Tart, Salt Baked Beetroot, Beer Pickled Beetroot, Black Garlic Ketchup, Crispy Cabbage
Parker House Roll, Green Goddess Butter
Scallop, Fermented Lettuce, Smoked Butter Sauce, Samphire, Roe powder
Harilayi Cod, Coconut Moilee, Crispy Curry Leaf, Radish
Dunwood Farm Beef BBQ Fillet, Beef Fat Jersey Royal, Ox Cheek, Lovage, Bordelaise
Dovedale Blue Cheese, Parsnip & Raisin Loaf, Pickled Apple, Raisin Puree, Parsnip Crisp (£8)
Strawberry, Cucumber, Dill, Pink Pepper, Meringue
Sweet Cherry, Aerated Valrhona Chocolate, White Chocolate Cep Bourbon Biscuit
8 Courses £75 Per Person – 6 Paired Wines £60 Per Person