The Staunton Arms
Whether you are looking for a quick bite and a pint or a leisurely lunch or dinner, the Staunton Arms in Staunton in the Vale is well worth a drive out. Set in rolling countryside, this welcoming and stylish 200-year-old pub serves freshly prepared food and offers a range of carefully chosen cask ales, many from local brewers. The menu is original and varied, listing smaller snacks, light lunches and a full a la carte section. Example dishes include traditional pub classics such as Staunton Arms beef & ale pie with mash, and ale-battered haddock and chips, plus more imaginative dishes such pan-fried duck breast with a thyme terrine and butternut squash arancini.
When we ate lunch (outside on the sunny terrace) we enjoyed the crab croquette with samphire and chilli and spring onion broth, plus a local beetroot frittata with goat’s cheese. Next came an excellent crispy-skinned chicken breast with charred baby gem lettuce and some wonderful battered and deep-fried anchovies. The pork belly with soy and chilli glaze was excellent, too. The food here is certainly a step up from your usual pub grub, demonstrating the kitchen’s clear understanding of flavour combination, backed up by great execution.
The Staunton Arms has rooms for those who would like to stay and explore the area, and benefits from a family garden, a pleasant terrace and plenty of parking. If you would like to eat in the restaurant (rather than informally in the bar) you are advised to book even on weekdays. It is, deservedly, a popular place!
By Abby Brennan, Nottinghamshire editor