Back in May my partner and I found ourselves with an excuse to celebrate as I had been headhunted for a new job. Being averse to crowds and busy weekend dining we decided to go for an early evening midweek meal, and fancied a bit of a change from our usual haunts. This is when Tripadvisor reminded us of The Mill Restaurant & Hotel in Stone, Staffordshire. We’d been once before but it had been about four years ago, so we decided it was probably time to give it another go.
The Mill’s location is slightly hidden to those who aren’t local, tucked behind Morrisons and under a railway bridge it can seem tricky to find but it is well signposted. For fans of George Clarke the location might be familiar as featuring on an episode of The Restoration Man, as The Flint Mill next door was the subject of an episode and now offers B&B facilities.
Built in the late 1700s The Mill is an impressive building in its own right, and once we arrived we were led upstairs to a table that gave us a lovely view outside into the sunshine. Since it had been a warm day we both decided to indulge in a refreshing sangria, both of which arrived full of ice and fruit, which was ideal to cool us down. The restaurant itself was nicely decorated and it’s obvious that weddings are a regular feature since shabby chic decorations adorned the walls and ceiling.
I was tempted to order a paella, but eventually we settled on a selection of tapas. We were advised to order only five or six plates and it was just as well because having arrived at the restaurant hungry it was tempting to order everything on the menu! My partner particularly liked the chicken skewers and Spanish omelette he’d ordered, whereas I couldn’t get enough of the battered white fish with garlic dip: the batter was light and fluffy without feeling greasy. I was also very keen on the broad bean salad, I love broad beans and yet they rarely feature on restaurant menus.
|Most of the dishes can be seen here, it was all so good!|
We ate as much as we possibly could and – alas – had absolutely no room left for pudding, of which the Portuguese tart had caught my eye but I guess I will have to wait until our next visit for that. We settled our bill and waddled down the road feeling very content indeed, there is always a risk on a weekday evening that restaurants can become complacent but this definitely wasn’t the case here. All of the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, and were on hand to offer advice on the menu.
We will definitely be going back again in the future for more tapas and sangria, I imagine it would be great with a larger party as you could literally order one of everything and then share. It’s quite uncommon to find a restaurant with a Portuguese influence, and The Mill seems to be striving to set itself apart in its field – and I can’t wait to go back.
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