We first visited Staindrop Lodge because we were looking for a wedding venue. We wanted somewhere that we could have the ceremony and reception and, after visiting a number of places which were lovely but had very ugly carpets, (why do so many wedding venues in Sheffield have highly patterned colourful carpets? No one wants those on their pictures surely) we looked on the council website at the list of licensed venues. We saw Staindrop Lodge and, having never heard of it, had a quick look on the website and decided to visit.
When we drove into the car park our first impression was of a lovely building, bathed in sunshine (which always helps). We parked up and collected our tiny little sleeping Alfred in his car seat to go in. We walked into the bar area and I was impressed how sparklingly-clean everything was. I have literally never seen a speck of dust in that place. I would quite happily employ their cleaners any day.
I could gush all day about our wedding: the amazing service we received from the start of the process to the end, the food, the day, the hotel… but that would be quite a different blog so I will focus on the times we have eaten there as a family. (I will just very quickly say if you are looking for a night away from the kids the champagne stay-over is absolutely lovely – £150 for a night in the hotel with a bottle of champagne in your room, a three course evening meal and breakfast the next morning. I have seen pretty much all the rooms now too any they are really big and really gorgeous).
There are several areas you can eat in Staindrop – the bar area with a mix of high and low table options and a more casual, order-at-the-bar type vibe, the conservatory, which is nicest in the summer when the sun is streaming in through the many windows and the main restaurant which is on a split level. (We normally end up sitting in here because they have ceiling fans which apparently is the best thing ever as far as a toddler is concerned). There are also plenty of outdoor tables and benches which can be used in the summer.
The food menu is always changing. They print it out daily and use seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Some of the standout dishes I have had – roast dinners on a Sunday, spaghetti with salmon (this was properly amazing), moussaka, risotto with sea-bass and the meat pie. I would describe the food as pub classics but done really, really well and sometimes it will surprise you by being really chefy. I have honestly never had a bad meal. I cannot find anything bad to say about the food at all. The portions are always big and the prices more than reasonable. There are always plenty of kids options too. Alfred usually has the pizza (because you get a whole homemade one) or the children’s roast if it’s a Sunday.
The staff at Staindrop are always super-friendly, helpful and very efficient. To say that the majority of the staff I have seen have been very young, they always have a smile on their faces, chat away to Alfred, make sure you have everything you need and clear the table quickly when you have finished (essential to avoid noisy and messy plates being thrown to the floor incidences). They have loads of high chairs, good baby change (again very clean) and there are toilets next to the bar and the restaurant so you are never far away from one (useful for potty-training little ones). Because it’s a hotel there are loads of corridors downstairs to wander round to keep small ones entertained and there is space for them to play in the outside courtyard in the summer. (Just be aware it does have a car park right next to it so running free might not be the best idea.) They do show some sports here so the bar can get quite busy but you can always sit in the restaurant and receive table service. There is a huge car park so there is never an issue with parking.
It might seem like quite far to drive for lunch if you are on the other side of town, however there are loads of things to do close by so you can easily make a day of it. Quite often we go to Wentworth Garden Centre before or after which is just down the road and has a play area, animals, a garden centre and a really good shop full of lovely things. (It also does very, very good cake in the cafe if you have gotten peckish again). There are also lovely places to walk with beautiful scenery such as the grounds of Wortley Hall.
I want to try and think of something slightly negative to say about Staindrop to be constructive but I genuinely can’t think of anything. I just love it here. If I was going to tell them to improve on anything it would be their Instagram page. More food pictures please!