“ Address: Tamworth Road / Lichfield / Staffordshire / WS14 9PS / United Kingdom / Tel: 01543 432340 „
I took my girlfriend out for Valentines night, and i can safely say it was the best meal i have eaten in years.
The atmosphere was stunning, candle lit, low lighting, beautiful music and very friendly, welcoming & attentive staff.
The food we opted for the sharing meals on offer, so we started with a house sampler, which was a selection of most of the starters from the al a carte menu & everything was amazing, true value for money at the same time.
We then shared a massive 40oz tbone steak which came accompanied with hand cut chips, sessonal vegetables, red cabbage, new pots, mixed salad & 3 different sauces, all of which were fantstic, i have honestly never seen a steak like it it was incredible!!!! i even took a picture with my phone as i was so impressed!
We then managed to squeeze in a dessert platter which similar to our starter was a selection of a few of the chefs desserts of the day, although it took us a good 45 mins to eat it we did manage to finish it in the end :-)
We then took a nice comfy sofa next to the fireplace which was roaring and just what we wanted after such a splendid meal
We finished our champagne and then decided to treat ourselves to some bailey's hot chocolates which were recommended to us by the manager (Tom) i believe his name his! Fantastic service from our waitress and Tom rounded up our perfect evening.
The Whittington is by far the best pub staffordshire has to offer, and if you have not been yet, your missing out!
I have raved to my colleagues at work about the fabulous dining experience to be had at the Whittington Arms. I've dined on numerous occasions with my family, friends and even Lichfield Ladies Circle (a local charity organisation for females linked with Round table for ladiesaged 18-45).
So this year I persuaded my work colleagues to try it out for our Christmas celebration on the 16th December 2010.
Therefore with bookings made and deposits paid for 22 ladies and menus choices were chosen well in advance and the expectations of experiencing a fabulous time was anticipated.
Picture the scene - a warm, charming rustic well decorated venue with seating area set aside for our party by a small log fire and the tables set festively; far enough away from a smaller group already enjoying the festive experience.
The table was booked for 8pm, living the closest my friend and I arrived first at 7.40 and we were served at the busy bar by the two friendly, helpful bar staff.
We made our way to the table and awaited the remainder of our party who joined us shortly after.
Payment was made before we dined leaving the remainder of the evening for dining & pleasure.
We pulled the crackers and sipped our drinks as well as ordering several carafes of wine. We waited in anticipation..... and waited ...... and waited. Other parties were obviously enjoying the festive experience as they became louder and more raucous.
We waited... at 9.20 we were told the food was being plated up. Finally it arrived at 9.30 and everyone seemed to enjoy their choices although there could have been some bread to accompany the pear and Stilton salads; when enquiring for bread the female duty manager told us we could if we paid extra. I did offer my friend my bread, but she declined as she could see I was struggling, saying her teeth weren't as good as mine and she didn't fancy a dental bill before Christmas!( I'm still unsure if it was meant to be like that or not)
The serving staff were lovely and very apologetic and slowly our food began to appear, as others were being returned to be warmed and over cooked pigs in blankets changed. Vegetables eventually appeared and we were told to share three dishes between us when in fact several eventually arrived. Turkey dinner with no accompanying trimmings such as cranberry sauce etc. isnot a Christmas dinner for some! And pork without potatoes doesn't make a meal either for others! As I had finished my meal and the last person was being served , it was at this point I felt it was time to speak to someone; the female duty manager was busy with a friend of mine from the lively party as her friend was in deep discussion about how to pay with a cheque. Apparently they had had a fab time!
After a chat with my friend the manager arrived and I explained clearly and calmly how disappointed I was that after recommending the venue which I have always rated at 10/10, felt it barely rated a 2/10 on this occasion. He was apologetic but explained they were extremely busy as they had several parties with one arriving later than expected. He promised to bring over some vouchers for us to return in January and we could receive some free wine, but he really needed to return to the kitchen as they were very busy.
I felt obliged to point out they had been given menu options over a week earlier and shouldn't take bookings if they couldn't cope.
I returned to our table and explained the news. Imagine my disappointment to be greeted by one of the waiting staff to be told they had run out of vanilla ice cream and a pointless exercise began as she had to speak with 22 individual people to check for alternatives. Raw looking filo pastry and hot strong coffee followed!
The vouchers arrived - 22 vouchers opened - invitation to return to receive a free bottle of wine when we chose from the a la carte menu! 16 returned to the bar whilst only 6 taken, not necessarily for the use intended.
Will we return as a large party, will I ever recommend again?
What do you think???????????????
I had high hopes when I was planning an evening out at the Whittington Arms, near Lichfield. The website promised much, not least delicious looking food.
The pub has obviously recently been refurbished and is extremely clean. Much care has been taken in the choice of colours and furniture. The lighting in particular had been very well thought through, and the staff had the ability to increase and decrease light levels in different areas of the pub. With candles on the tables, dimming the lights in the evening was a nice touch. There was ample parking, and as it was a Monday night, the place was virtually deserted. Sadly, the pub was quite cold and there didn't appear to be any heating on - not great for a chilly autumn evening.
When we arrived, the staff were generally just standing around chatting, and no one made any move to welcome us or direct us to a table etc. We found our own table and went order drinks at the bar; however, we were told that actually all the orders were taken at the table. I think a little more attention needs to be paid to ensuring the customers are welcomed appropriated and directed as to what happens. It's a small thing but one which would put everyone at ease.
The menu is comprehensive, offering a selection of sharing plates, starters, main courses, pub classics and puddings. I had the rib-eye steak with peppercorn sauce, grated horseradish, and chunky home-cut chips which was excellent. The freshly grated horseradish didn't seem to appear, though I wasn't bothered as I suspect I'd have left it anyway! The chips were really potato wedges, but they were excellent and well-seasoned. The steak was cooked to perfection; probably one of the best I've ever had. Everything was hot and nicely presented.
The puddings were less impressive in my view. I had treacle tart with a strawberry sauce and clotted cream. I always expect treacle tart to be overly sweet, but in this case, the tart was severely under-sweetened, and almost tasteless. The strawberry sauce could have done with some sugar, and the clotted cream missed that delicious crust which forms on the top! This was disappointing, particularly as the main course had been so excellent.
There was a part of eight behind us celebrating a birthday, and they were very loud. This, coupled with the music playing made for a rather noisy atmosphere. This doesn't necessarily make for a relaxing evening out. The staff seemed very pleasant and helpful, though they seemed somewhat distracted by the birthday party behind us. I think that if pubs are going to allow these sort of birthday meals with balloons and cakes, they may want to allocate them to a slightly more private area of the pub.
Overall, it was a good experience, but let down by the lack of heating and the noise. I was a bit disappointed as it didn't live up to expectations, but maybe, when there's more people, the atmosphere is different?
The Whittington Arms is a pub/restaurant on the outskirts of Lichfield, Staffordshire. It is situated on the A51 which runs between Tamworth and Lichfield and is positioned not far from Whittington Army Barracks.
The building itself dates from the early 20th century and inside it portrays a rustic yet contemprorary feel. If you think of plenty of wooden beams fused with glass partition screens then you start to get a feel of what this place looks like.
The Whittington Arms functions both as a traditional pub and as a restaurant. It has one long main bar at the far end with a dining section to the left of the main entrance and a comfy-seated bar area to the right.
The bar offers a wide variety of draught beers from well known Peroni, Guinness and Strongbow through to locally produced Guest Ales. The pub also has an excellent wine list to choose from whether you decide to dine or not.
The Whittington is perhaps best known as a restaurant as it is a little too out of the way to function solely as a drinkers pub. The menu consists of:
STARTERS - From Deep-fried breaded Somerset brie with an orange and redcurrant dressing to Chicken terrine & duck rillette served with toasted brioche, onion marmalade and fresh horseradish. Expect to pay between £4.50-£7.
SHARING PLATES - As an alternative to a starter the sharing plates offer such delights as the highly recommended Sautéed king prawns, calamari,
deep-fried white bait and taramasalata, served with a chilli dip & crispy tortillas through to French and Mediterranean style options. Expect to pay between £10-£13.
SEASONAL DISHES - From Grilled guinea-fowl breast stuffed with chorizo & tomatoes and wrapped in bacon, on crushed baby potatoes with seasonal vegetables and a Madeira sauce through to Grilled salmon steak served on a classic nicoise salad. There really is somehting for everyone in this section. Expect to pay between £9-£17.
PUB CLASSICS - From light bites such as Chef 's baked fishcakes served with lemon crème fraîche and a side salad right through to traditional Chargrilled ribeye steak with baked beef-steak tomato, grated fresh horseradish, a peppercorn sauce and home-cut chunky chips. Expect to pay between £8-£15.
The menu has the usual side order options and a good dessert selection. A "Specials" board is also available offering the very latest "trial" dishes or seasonal produce. A "Sunday Roast" option is also available at the weekends.
The Whittington Arms does get busy and it is wise to book in advance to save waiting on 01543 432340.
If I was to criticise this place I would say that I think it sometimes tries a little too hard. The Whittington desperately seems to want to be classed as a "Gastro Pub" but it never quite convinces me that it is there. I think the management have also tried to cram as many paying customers as they can into the dining area which means that you can sometimes feel like you are part of someone else's conversation as the next table is so close to yours!
Overall, I enjoy going to the Whittington Arms and they do provide good quality food at decent prices. I always seem to opt for something from the Specials board, which perhaps says a lot about the menu, and as my wife is a vegetarian, the menu choices for her are limited.
The Whittington Arms isn't a bad little country pub, but its not the best. If I could, I'd give it 3.5 stars.