The beautiful county of Staffordshire is very lucky to have an array of traditional, cozy pubs nestled in stunning surroundings. And that was certainly the case when StaffordshireLive’s secret diner tried out the Dog & Partridge, in Marchington, near Uttoxeter.

New landlords have just taken over the venue and it’s already proving a big hit, especially among couples looking for a romantic meal with a relaxed atmosphere or groups of friends unwinding after a stroll.

Inside the Dog & Partridge diners are greeted with a traditional country pub feel. Our Secret Service Dinner booked a table for 7pm on a Friday so how would the food fare? Our spy was shown to their table by bar staff at the far end of the pub in a small but cozy area with room for around four other tables seating four people each. The pub was nicely decorated and pleasing to sit in.

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Initial impressions: This was a last-minute booking but our spy and two guests were easily accommodated for 7pm on a Friday.

There was a lovely atmosphere, with light at the right level and not too bright. It was relaxing and our vintage wooden table was adorned beautifully by a single candle. This was a very pleasant place to sit.



The Dog & Partridge

As well as the candle, on our table there was also menus laid out alongside cutlery wrapped in napkins. To the food. The menu was very simple with just one page and a small selection of around 10 or so starters and as many main courses. so enough to choose from but not too much that studying the menu was complex.

We were asked what drinks we would like very quickly. Our spy opted for a large pinot grigio while their guests had a sparkling water which arrived in a bottle with a glass, and an Admiral Gardner pale ale from the Uttoxeter Brewing Company which arrived in a famous Bass triangle pint glass. Perfect and appreciated.



Moules Mariniere starter

How did the food measure up? The starter selection was hard to choose from – so many interesting and different options. Some of which I had not tried before and would not have looked out of place at a Michelin starred restaurant I dare say. I opted for the moules mariniere. My muscles came covered in a lovely sauce, alongside a plate of bread for dipping. My guests opted for a plate of garlic mushrooms and the pate which arrived alongside a dollop of tasty chutney and bread.

The food took around 15 minutes to arrive and it was worth the wait. All plates were cooked to perfection and easily sets this pub above many other similar venues.

For our main courses, our spy opted for a sumptuous beef and stilton pie. There were two generous slices, which came with rich gravy, chips and its own plate of fresh vegetables. It had just the right amount of seasoning and was absolutely delicious even for this chicken fan. One of my guests opted for a 12oz ribeye steaks, which came with three onion rings, tomato, mushroom and a bowl of chunky chips. My other guest chose the gammon steak, which came with mushroom, tomato, onion rings, a fried egg and another bowl of chips. The steak was melt-in-the-mouth and the gammon juicy and tender.



The chocolate fudge cake

Despite the adequate portion sizes, some of us still had room for all-important dessert. Our spy chose a chocolate fudge cake with lovely melted chocolate oozing out, alongside a pot of single cream. One guest chose a caramel crunch cheesecake. The other insisted they were too full for pudding but took half the beef and stilton pie home in a doggy bag that I could not eat instead. The fudge cake was a dream – a good-portion sized – and delightfully soft. The cheesecake was very tasty and beautifully sweet.

Would we return to the Dog and Partridge? Absolutely. The Dog & Partridge is a delight to dine at with its rustic and cozy decor. A perfect venue after a cold country walk or for a Sunday lunch with friends. Th quality of food is good and good value for money too.

I would warn future customers about car parking. The pub’s own car park is quite small and was full when we arrived. We parked down a small residential street nearby which was no bother, but bare this in mind when you visit.

The bill:

Pint of Admiral Gardner pale but: £ 3.70

250ml Pinot Grigio – £ 5.50

Sparkling water – £ 2.30

Coffee: £ 1.80

Starters X3: £ 18.85

Mains X3: £ 45.85

Desserts X2: £ 11.90

Total – £ 93.60

* The visit took place on a Friday, arriving at 7pm.

* Staffordshire Live makes undercover visits to restaurants, takeaways and cafés with a view to providing a fair, balanced and accurate report on customer service and the food on offer. Our hope is that, for the sake of both the business owner and the customer, we can report positively about the places we visit. However if our experience is not 100 per cent positive then we are duty-bound to report on exactly what we find.

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