The Best Places To Eat and drink In Stamford Town Lincolnshire by Smithers of Stamford
How is it still January?! I swear Christmas was like three months ago? As much as I’m no fan of January, I was bloody glad to see an end to the increasingly lengthy festivities. That and the fact I’m very much looking forward to 2019 and some exciting new challenges it will bring for Smithers. There was some brief mention of this back in November, when excitement got the better of me, but for those not in the know, I’m very pleased to inform you that Smithers is coming to the high street. Yes, my friends, after years of being a hermit and working all hours on building our beloved website, the time has come to finally open the doors to a brand spanking new retail shop in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
The new premises are still very much a work in progress at the moment, but come Spring, when the world itself appears to come back to life, Smithers new baby will indeed be born! We’ve been looking for the right premises for over a year now, and when we were invited to look at an old pub within the heart of the town (yes it was a pub I frequented, and occasionally thrown out of), we knew it was the perfect place. Despite some of my friend’s plea’s to let the new premises remain as a pub (sorry fellas), Smithers will definitely be residing in the new residence. As I mentioned, it’s still early days but walls are being stripped, the decorators are in and I’m starting to get excited about cool lighting features! It doesn’t take much to be fair.
The premises are a great size for us to showcase a large range of the Smithers furniture and there will be a wide selection of gifts available too. Mrs S and I are currently working on the interior design, as we are hoping to merchandise the place into ‘room areas’ in order to make the store even easier to shop from. The store will be a welcome addition to Smithers, and we’re both massively excited about it. Since we closed the showroom at the current HQ, we’ve had so many phone calls from customers asking to come and see stock, so it will make a nice change not to have to turn those people away now – especially those who travelled a long way without calling!
Having recently spent plenty of time in the old pub whilst it’s being renovated, its put me in mind of some of my nights out in the town. Don’t worry, I won’t go in to detail. Despite spending many years travelling and seeing the world, Stamford has been my lifelong stomping ground. I know this place like the back of my hand – it’s a great little town, and alongside the new shop, there’s plenty of reasons why you should definitely come and pay us a visit.
The George Hotel
Burghley House always draws a big crowd, with the locals and tourists, yet it never feels overrun. Set in grounds that even I can’t deny are quite beautiful, this stately home offers some great walks around the Sculpture Gardens, a lovely lunch in The Orangery and there is always a barrage of events to keep all ages entertained. Stamford is also famed for being the home of the ancient George Hotel. Dating back to as early as 947 A.D, this beautifully old hotel, once popular with royals and the infamous Daniel Lambert (rather large local fella), is packed to the rafters with nooks and crannies, charming character and a bloody good afternoon tea.
Stamford has always been renowned for its vast number of public houses – that and several churches, a ridiculous amount of estate agents and more charity shops than you can shake a stick at. You can add Vape retailers to that list too nowadays! Thankfully the pubs, bars and restaurants still provide an excellent night out, so if you’re anything like me, listen up because here comes the important bit.
Paten & Co
You will find this great three storey bar within the town centre on Red Lion Square – yep you guessed it…. right next to a church. Paten & Co has a genuine urban industrial feel to it, thanks to its sympathetic restoration and imaginative décor. Thankfully the craft beers and cocktails are equally good and the tapas like dishes are delicious.
Patens is great for some drunken fun (just ask Mrs S after one too many glasses of Elderberry Fizz!), but equally suitable for a meal out with friends. They even do a great breakfast to ease the hangover pain!
The Mad Turk
The older I get, the less capable I am of eating a meal and drinking on a night out. I cannot do both anymore, and when the trauma of a hangover is a step too far, we head out for fodder.
One of our favourite haunts is The Mad Turk. Run by Kaz, his wife Shelly and their team of barbecuing boys, the traditional meats cooked at this place are to die for. I can’t recommend one specific dish as they are all delicious – just don’t eat for days beforehand so you can squeeze as much in as possible.
The Tobie Norris
It’s also become apparent that the older I get, the less noise I seem to be able to tolerate. This lack of toleration also applies to pissed up imbeciles. Thankfully when I need a quiet drink involving decent beer and an insulting catch up with my mates, we head to the Tobie.
This quirky pub can be found at the top end of the town near the Boys School, in yet another astonishingly old building – the town is literally riddled with them. The pizzas are great, as is the drinks menu. My only word of advice is to attempt the stairs with great caution, especially after one too many. Lethal doesn’t quite cover it!
The Cosy Club
Now I know these are a chain, and whilst I’m a big fan of the independents, I promise you this one’s worth a visit. The building alone demands it. Renovated within the walls of the old Royal Mail Sorting Office, this iconic building is the perfect host for the Cosy Club’s eclectic style. The food is great and the cocktails even better according to the missus. There’s always a really nice ambience in there and it’s even suitable for the little people. Besides all that, my mate runs it so pop along for a bevvy or two.
The Wine Bar
Located but a stone’s throw from the Tobie Norris, this pocket sized wine bar is an obvious pit stop on a night out. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in good beer, great wines and fairy lights!
The more we visit Italy, the fussier we get about Italian food back here. However, this lovely little Italian is definitely worth a visit. Located on St Marys St – another street bedecked in history and independent retailers – the food is always great at Cloisters.
The Ragu Di Manzo is a firm favourite, but I still challenge anyone to cook a better Carbonara than me!
The Copper Room
Great little bar on St. Mary’s Hill opposite, yes that’s right, another church! The Copper Room carries an apothecary type style and never fails to draw a crowd. They specialise in craft beers, small batch spirits and wines, cocktails and a nice selection of antipasti nibbles. They serve great coffee to assist the occasional hangover too!
Candlesticks is a family business owned, since 1975 by Mr & Mrs Pinto. The family are originally from the Portuguese Island of Madeira. Manuel Pinto, the proprietor, learnt his craft in renowned places such as The Savoy and Reids before working in Jersey then Manchester and London. His vast knowledge has been passed on to his son Nelio who now runs the business. Nelio is an international wine judge and educator.
Best time to visit?
To be honest, this list could well go on but I don’t want to give all my bolt holes away! Rest assured Stamford will provide you with a pleasant daytime experience thanks to the array of independent shops, eateries and attractions and a decent night out! Why not plan a Spring time visit and then you can come and see our wonderful new emporium too?!?
Right we’re off back down the shop to discuss wallpapers and wiring!! Keep warm my friends, it’s a tad fresh out there.
Until next time,