Fine food and hospitality
Katrina Burrill was invited to The Stag Inn at Barkston, four miles north of Grantham and two miles from Belton House, in the Lincolnshire Vales.
It was a warm Friday night when we visited The Stag, which is located in the centre of the village with parking at the front and rear. On arrival there are entrances to the restaurant and bar, and although it would have been lovely to pop in the bar for a drink, I was running a few minutes late so we made our way straight to the restaurant where we were promptly seated and offered menus.
The Stag is owned and run by the Loveridge Family. Sam and Mike have plenty of hospitality experience – Mike was the head chef at Stoke Rochford for sixteen years – and their children Sarah and Emma can often be seen helping out in the evenings and at weekends.
The restaurant was full when we arrived and there was a very warm reception. We were offered the menu and shown the specials board which was full of tasty options. After perusing the menu and taking advice from the team I opted for the king prawns and scallops, lemon, garlic butter, brioche and herb crumb whilst my guest chose the whole baked Camembert, honey and rosemary, with Mediterranean bread.
Both of the starters were beautifully presented and tasted incredible. The prawns and scallops were cooked beautifully and were wonderfully flavoured with the lemon and garlic. The Camembert was also a tasty dish and would have made a great sharing dish to begin, however my guest was feeling particularly hungry and managed it all. He mentioned that the homemade onion chutney was absolutely stunning.
Next we moved on to our main courses. I struggled to choose between the breast of chicken, barbecue sauce and Monterey Jack cheese, twice cooked chips or fries and homemade slaw; or the famous homemade 7oz beef burger in toasted brioche bun, twice cooked chips or fries, with dressed mixed leaves. After looking at the toppings, which included bacon, brie and cranberry, I opted for the latter.
The burger was beautiful, all homemade and seasoned perfectly. The toppings made it a sweeter choice and suited my palate. My guest also struggled to choose – between the steak and Tiger ale pie, puff pastry crust, chive crushed new potatoes, twice-cooked chips or fries; or the Goan fish curry, with jasmine rice, salmon, king prawns and scallops, and coconut infused sauce. He eventually decided on the fish curry and we waited in anticipation.
The curry had an amazing aroma. You could smell the herbs and spices that had been included and the fish was a mixture of salmon, prawns and scallops. Served with rice and naan bread, my guest thoroughly enjoyed it.
Although we were both pleasantly full at this point we couldn’t wait to try the desserts, with choices including crème brûlée, sherry trifle and chocolate brownie. However, I chose the profiteroles, warm chocolate sauce and pistachio praline whilst my guest selected his favourite dessert: sticky toffee pudding, with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. The pastry on my profiteroles was delicious; full of cream with just a perfect amount of chocolate sauce.
This is definitely somewhere we will return, bringing family and friends.