By Jo Cooksey
Another String To The Terroir Pubs Bow
Back in October we went to check out the first venue of the newly formed, Terroir Pub Group, The Dog & Partridge in Didsbury and found it to be very pleasing. A proper pub. Then early in December the company opened their second Greene King site, The Stonemasons Arms in Timperley. A couple of weeks after opening we bobbed along on a snowy Sunday to sample their roast dinner.
The pub has always been at the heart of the Timperley community and it is the intention to keep it that way, whilst improving the food and drink offering. When new owners, Steve Pilling and Angus Pride took on the Stonemasons they gutted it and the resulting high-ceilinged interior is light and airy but still with lots of elegant period features and seating for 96 covers. Outside there is a huge rear garden, which is earmarked for hosting mini festivals during the warmer months but now also boasts a wood fired pizza oven and a heated, covered terrace seating a further 100 diners. On a balmy Summer afternoon or evening, this will be the perfect spot to enjoy a G & T and a meal.
We were greeted by manager, Cai Anderson, late of TNQ in Manchester and shown to table on the raised platform, with a good view of the rest of the pub and the falling snow out of the window. The menu, which has been developed by Executive Head Chef, Patrick Mayo, who worked with Angus at Gaucho and as with The Dog & Partridge it aims to appeal to all, from those wanting a light brunch, to a freshly prepared pizza, to a three course a la carte experience.
Today was all about Sunday lunch, which on such a chilly day was just what the doctor ordered. Served from 12 noon, there was a choice of lamb, pork or beef, all served with Yorkshire Puddings, seasonal veg and roast potatoes. I had the beef and my lunch buddy had the lamb. In both cases, the meat was tender and juicy, the roasties crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and the veg cooked just right. The Yorkshires were generous and golden. The gravy was freshly made from the pan juices and utterly delicious, although we could have done with extra on the side. As Sunday lunches go it was pretty damn fine and very satisfying.
My only criticism would be the presentation. I don’t understand this current restaurant fad of making a Sunday lunch into one big pile in the middle of the plate? A layer of veg and roast potatoes on the bottom, the meat on top of that and then everything obscured from view by a large Yorkshire pudding. For one thing, it makes the portion size look smaller than it is and secondly, I like to admire everything on my plate rather than having to dismantle it to see what I have. Just me?
Pudding time! Well it would be rude not to. I had the Sticky Black Treacle Pudding and t’other one had the Apple & Rhubarb Crumble, both served with Cheshire Farm vanilla ice cream. Both of which were perfectly executed and utterly moreish. In fact, I have to say that the Sticky Toffee pud was one of the best I have ever had. Because I was driving I ordered a latte with my dessert and my pal ordered the Hot Chocolate. Oh. My. Goodness. The Stonemasons single origin hot choc is supplied by Kokoa Collection and is to die for. Yes, that’s right…this is me…who hates chocolate…saying that this drink is amazing. You have to try this. Think Juliette Binoche as Vianne in the film Chocolat making her Mayan hot chocolate recipe for Judy Dench’s character. I’ll leave it there.
Will We Return?
You bet your life we will. There are plenty more dishes on the menu that we want to have a go at, such as the Beef Short Rib & Mash and the Lobster Mac & Cheese. This is the sort of place you could come to for any occasion; a quiet drink, a family dinner or with a group of friends. There is something for everyone and well worth the mileage if you don’t live nearby but want an alternative to the city centre. I’m excited to know where Messrs Pilling and Pride will be appearing next.
JANUARY SALE OFFER – 50% off all food – Email: January@Stonemasons.pub to book your table, quoting offer. NO RESTRICTIONS!!
We were guests of The Stonemasons but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.