Ok so maybe not so secret – but a few must-stop restaurants for those who don’t know the are as follows within my home town of Shropshire and the neighboring county, Staffordshire.
As I grew up here, I feel I have a rounded opinion that makes my blog a relevant source for looking where to eat.
So amongst all the fields, let me start with my favourite local country pubs from Brunning & Price and outline several of my best casual places to dine:
Brunning & Price Restaurants:
1. Seven Stars – For all the foodies of Staffordshire, you may be familiar with the popular restaurants owned by the Parogon Group – the restaurant chain which is similar to Brunning & Price style gastro pubs.
As a fan of the Parogon restaurants in the area, i.e. most recent visits outlined in my previous blog posts such as The Boars Head, Blockhouse at The Sheet Anchor and The Wayfarer, I was excited to discover the newest opening of The Seven Stars near Stafford. (This town holds a special nostalgia from old school days as a lot of my friends in the area lived here with an array of amazing memories from my teenage years).
Being a gastro pub and knowing the menu well across the other Parogon Group restaurants, I knew the Sea Bass would be a great shout. The image below showcases the neat presentation of my pan fried sea bass fillets which was accompanied with a creamy dill and prawn sauce with cherry tomatoes, sautéed potatoes, pea purée and seasonal vegetables. Priced at £15.95, this was standard for the main course prices.
I also tried out my friend’s pan fried duck breast which came with dauphinoise potatoes, butternut squash purée, braised pak choi and cherry & port sauce. We just love a good pan fry! This one was priced slightly more expensively at £16.45.
Another one of us tried out the breaded chicken breast stuffed with Croxton Manor cheese and chorizo with garlic & thyme roasted potatoes, red peppers, green beans, broccoli and creamy rosemary sauce. You can’t really go wrong with this mix of ingredients – subtle but worked extremely well together; very moreish.
We also tried out the goats’ cheese wellington (V) with pepper and coriander salad which was the cheapest of all our courses priced at £12.95, the pastry was perfect – light enough to satisfy and went well with the sharp taste of the goats’ cheese.
As a meat lover, I was surprised how much I loved this vegetarian option and would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves goats’ cheese.
Dessert – Ending on a high, we went with the double chocolate baked cookie dough which was served with vanilla ice cream. The title of the pudding says it all and it’s just as good as it sounds…Served in a black cast iron pan, we soon devoured the ‘warm-from-the-oven’ baked cookie with the butterscotch goodness of soft cookie dough, which literally melted in the mouth.
All in all, another great representation of the Parogon restaurant chain and I would definitely return to this venue!
The Seven Stars would be ideal this Summer time to sit outside and enjoy the beer garden, or even over the Christmas period for a cosy feel to enjoy satisfying, hearty food.
2. The Fox located in Chetwynd Aston; a great family pub with an incredible beer garden!
As part of the Brunning & Price restaurant chain, the classic Edwardian-style pub includes the rustic vaulted rooms, alcoves and a south-facing terrace. Their passion lies in finding quality ingredients and preparing, cooking and presenting them in a modern but unpretentious way. The menus therefore exude freshly prepared, classic British dishes complemented by more exotic influences from other parts of the world.
And here’s a snippet into a 8 hour beer garden experience one hot Summer outside The Fox.
Always come back for Christmas meals – the Turkey roast never fails!
3. The Swan with Two Necks – Featuring a lovely modern interior design and outdoor beer garden, this place is ideal for all seasons. Situated in the heart of the countryside, in one of the county’s most iconic country pubs, The Swan with Two Necks aims to bring a fresh and vibrant eating and drinking experience to North Staffordshire.
The Thai red curry is usually my ‘go to’ dish and make sure to add that chilli in, otherwise it could risk tasting slightly bland.
The char-grilled chicken and roasted peppers are presented on a skewer with the intent to dip them into the hot sizzling bowl filled with mild Red Thai curry and coconut rice.
After the sharing board and mains, make sure to save room for dessert as the puddings are worth it! Here’s a snapshot of a casual trio dessert one Sunday afternoon;
And the Salmon en croute always delivers;
4. The Woodbridge in Ironbridge positioned near the river – another restaurant under Brunning & Price which is very similar to The Fox explored above.
A quirky inn perched above the River Severn, offering roasts and smart gastropub dishes.
And around the corner is Ironbridge centre which has character through it’s cobbled street and river running along the side of the road.
5. Now the best tea and cake place you HAVE to stumble upon in Ironbridge is Queenies.
6. Again in Staffordshire, a popular place where we had our high school prom – introducing Weston Hall; a magnificent Manor House which is an absolute must if ever in the area.
And here’s an example of what you need to order as a first time visitor – a glass of prosecco to wash down your baked Camembert…
And the best warm home made jam scones I have ever tasted – this was the day I got into red wine!
The mussels and seafood in general are also to die for… Along with a hearty Winter stew;
7. The Armoury in Shrewsbury is my favourite place back in SHROPSHIRE! It also has a little outside seating area for a sunny day.
Again, similar to The Fox this is another Brunning & Price chain with the same locally sourced homemade food you’d have read about in my posts above.
8. House of the Rising Sun – Modern Australian cuisine with Pacific Rim tastes and European cooking tradition. If you like SUSHI, then this is the place for you.
Celebrating my eldest brother’s birthday, we had a feast to say the least 😉
9. Not far from the House of the Rising Sun in Shrewsbury, lies Cromwells.
Fantastic for it’s Mussels in a creamy white wine sauce in a small beautiful outside terraced garden.
10. Similar chain in Stone, Staffordshireshire’s “The Wayfarer” never fails. Great place for your best friend to announce she’s engaged…
11. The Ashes – also based in Leek, my best friend’s actual wedding took place at this beautiful venue and the food did not fail.
12. The Fitzherbert Arms – another one in Staffordshire and a great place for our 15 year reunion from SGS;
Service was average but the venue and food massively made up for it. Fish & Chips and the Fish Stew being a popular amongst us ladies;
This is a great spot for home cooked, flavoursome and wholesome food.