Review: The White Lion, Knighton, Staffordshire

The White Lion describes its ethos as “excellent as a minimum, local where we can, ethically produced and delivered with passion”. That’s an accurate picture of what you’ll find at this pub, set in the Staffordshire countryside near to its borders with Shropshire and Cheshire.

Julian and Helen took over the rundown pub and have quickly worked wonders, hitting that sweet spot between traditional country pub and high-quality dining.

Besides the original characterful 17th century bar and cosy snug, there’s a dining room with conservatory area, plus gardens where you can watch the pub’s chickens and Tamworth pigs doing their thing.

On the menu you’ll find a great range of small plates, starters and platters – look out for the British cured meats sharing starter with such delights as Cornish coppa and Suffolk chorizo. Mains include pub classics with a twist: fish and chips come with seaweed tartar sauce and charred lemon, the burger with smoked pancetta and caramelised onions. Steaks are dry-aged for up to 35 days and there’s some sensational optional accompaniments such as bone marrow or garlic & truffle butter.

The White Lion excels at modern British cooking and dishes we’ve enjoyed include chicken stuffed with nduja & goats’ cheese and pork faggots with braised lettuce. Seafood fans will love the spanking fresh specials featuring line-caught seabass, turbot, hand-dived scallops and the like. We were wowed by their grilled Cornish lobster with crab mayo and tempura samphire.

Lynne Barnsley
The author:

Staffordshire Editor Lynne lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands and runs the food blog Moorlands Eater.