I've been eating at the Stagg a number of years now and whilst it has wavered a bit from time to time, friends and family who I have brought here over the years have always been impressed and I simply keep on returning. I only tend to come on weekends and for dinner, but I think, from what I’ve experienced over the last year or so, it has seen a real ‘return to form’, no less on my last visit at the beginning of March.
My friends were impressed with their seared Scallops and I had the Salmon to start with – all very good. We all plumbed for the fillet of Hereford Beef; beautifully cooked to order and the Ox Cheek Pie side was really nice and appropriate to this time of the year. Dessert was very good and the chocolate crisps with our coffee was a nice touch at the end.
People get far too hung up on the Michelin Star; a great marketing tool maybe for restaurant proprietors, but fundamentally irrelevant. What counts is a freshly prepared meal made with seasonal and local produce imaginatively put together with flavours (and a good wine list!). Combine this with a pleasant setting in a beautiful part of the world and the Stagg has it in spades. What’s more, at typically £18 for a main course I think it represents outstanding value; you’d pay a lot more at in many urban restaurants that are typically inferior.
The one quibble I’d would call out is the service. This does stray offside from time to time and yes I suppose I’ve got used to the idea that I won’t get much of a warm welcome on arrival – I sometimes wonder if the bar when crowded by locals is an irritant to the staff. My suggestion is if you are greeted by chaos (particularly on weekends) or feel just ignored - stick with it; once you are taken to your table it will all be forgotten!!
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