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Nothing beats discovery. Be it finding out you like something you never thought you did, or finding a fiver in your wallet, it’s always a truly joyous moment. And so it was that the new-look Whittington Arms has become a hidden gem that I’ve stumbled upon. I must confess I visited the pub on a couple of occasions in the past when it ticked all the old chain pub boxes – bland food, standard drinks and dull interior. But if you ever needed proof that a venue can drastically reinvent itself then the Whittington Arms is it.
The Whittington Arms
Now a modern, fresh and accomodating interior, it has that touch of class that you seldom find in the modern climate of cheap and cheerful. But atmosphere and welcoming decor is one thing – going out for a meal and anticipating fine dining is another altogether. Thankfully, this venue has substance behind its style. Service from the outset was attentive, with staff who clearly knew about their menu who were able to advise on choosing from a varied menu. It was on this advice that I opted for the French onion and port soup with a Wensleydale cheese crouton to start. On the other side of the table it was deep-fried breaded Somerset brie with an orange and redcurrant dressing to kick-off proceedings. Both starters were instant hits, oozing flavour with the onion soup in particular benefiting from the kick of the port. It’s fair to say that the starters alone contained more flavour than many of the entire three-course offerings I’ve sampled from pubs with restaurants attached. So with the starters well and truly polished off, it was on to the main courses. One side of the table saw a mouthwatering fillet steak with chicken pâté on toasted brioche, served with a Madeira sauce, rocket salad and home-cut chunky chips arrive, while the other enjoyed a chicken breast on cabbage in a peppercorn sauce offered up by the apparently ever-changing Thursday night grill menu. The steak in particular created a real stir, with a beautifully succulent piece of meat partnered by pâté packed with taste. Similarly, the chicken benefited from an excellent quality and perfectly-cooked breast, with a sauce that enjoyed just enough pepper kick to offer flavour but not overpower. As well as good food there was also the opportunity to enjoy conversation over our meal, despite the fact the Whittington Arms was packed out on the midweek night we visited. Music was played throughout the restaurant, but not to a level that meant you struggled to hear yourself think – and thinking was something I really needed to be able to do when it came to dessert. Eventually, unable to choose between a scrumptious-sounding selection, the decision went to a sharing platter that showcased the best of their desserts. The plate included chocolate brownie, treacle and ginger tart, cappuccino cheesecake & Movenpick vanilla ice-cream. It sounded good on the menu and it’s fair to say it tasted even better with a perfect blend of textures and taste to round off a refreshing evening of pub dining. The Whittington Arms has definitely reinvented itself as a modern venue for those wanting to enjoy a meal in the Lichfield area. It may be a tad pricier than some of your more traditional pub grub, but this is definitely not pub grub you are paying for. And if it means getting restaurant quality food instead of the bland offerings that are all too often dressed up as pub dining, then that little bit extra is surely worth paying. The bill:
  • French onion and port soup with a Wensleydale cheese crouton: £4.75
  • Deep-fried breaded Somerset brie with an orange and redcurrant dressing: £4.95
  • Fillet steak with chicken pâté on toasted brioche, served with a Madeira sauce, rocket salad and home-cut chunky chips: £17.95
  • Chicken breast on cabbage with dauphinoise potatoes in a peppercorn sauce: £10.95
  • Pudding sharer: £10.50
  • TOTAL: £49.10
For more information on the Whittington Arms, visit the website.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

10 replies on “Food review: The Whittington Arms, Lichfield”

  1. Totally agree The Whittington Arms is really something special, I took my family for Sunday Lunch, we had these amazing Sunday Platters, The abience was perfect & the food to die for. Definately the best pub in Staffordshire A*****

  2. I think we caught them on a bad day. Only two staff for the bar and restaurant areas. We and another couple had to wait at the bar for over 10 minutes just to pay our bills having both waited at our tables for longer.

    We won’t be rushing back, but as I said, maybe just a bad day.

  3. Celebrated my Mothers birthday at The Whittington Arms a couple of weeks ago and i must say i was very very impressed. There was 8 of us in our party, we ordered off the al a carte menu, i had Sauteed King prawns to start which were perfectly cooked & tasted amazing, I then had the Duck breast after been recommended to me by The Manager, it too was cooked to perfection, beautifully pink in the middle and very juicy & tender. We ate a wide range of items from the menu and i can safely say that everyone in our party was more than impressed, The Whittington is definately more suited as a restaurant as it is a stunning venue with amazing food not the usual pub grubb you get from everywhere else in Lichdfield or Tamworth, so if you havnnt experienced it yet, then get down there you will definately see me there every week !

  4. Absolutley amazing! we went about a year ago and it was average, but now it is clearly under new management as every thing about our evening was spot on, roaring fires, ice cold pinot grigio & perfectly cooked meals. Staff were friendly, atttentive & well trained. A***

  5. Went there yesterday for Sunday lunch and it was very nice food. Nothing overly special so I guess I’ll have to try it out in the week too!

    The Apple Strudel was amazing though!

    Interestingly, I’d thought it was now independent but it’s actually part of a subtle chain owned by Mitchells & Butlers.

  6. Worse pub i’ve been to in a long time. Bar staff not helpful! Ordered a vegetarian meal which came with bacon! When you complain to bar staff they look at you bewildered. Horse & Jockey is a better meal and atmosphere.

  7. Went for a late Sunday lunch, food was good but very poor service. Had to wait twenty minutes just for a drinks order, staff were too busy chatting with each other to notice empty glasses. Had to then wait for plates to be cleared and dessert order to be taken. After a further half hour wait they came and apologised as we had still not had desserts, they had quite clearly forgotten the desserts. This would have been understandable if the place was busy, but it wasn’t even half full. Only place ever I have never left a tip!

  8. Visited the Whittington Arms a couple of weeks ago with my family, was quite possibly the best experience i have had in the area, The food was great, the staff were knowledgable, friendly & even recommended meals to us, nothing in Lichfield or Tamworth comapares to The Whittington, a pub with fresh food i cannot say there is another one of those anywhere near us, so keep up the good work, i will definately be back next month, I had a lamb rump from the specails & it was delicious :-) if you havnt been to the Whittington for a while i sugguest you pop in as it truley is the best pub around

  9. I agree with Becky, best pub in the area, I frequently use The Whittington for lunches & coffees in the morning, the staff always look after me, the food is always delicious & they make the most amazing bailey’s latte’s. Their menus are great and range from sandwiches to Fillet steaks to Swordfish fillets to pies, so what ever your in the mood for im sure they will have just what you need

  10. Spent the most amazing friday evening at The Whittington Arms, we ate sharing platters in the bar and took full advantage of their special promotion on champagne, apparantly every Friday its only £19 for a bottle of proper bubbles not sparkling wine actual champagne!!! So after a couple of bottles of champagne and some truley stunning sharing platters mixed in with professional yet friendly and attentive staff i can safely say The Whittington Arms is definately my new local, if you havnt been there recently do yourself a favoiur and go visit the place looks stunning and certainly in the top 2 venues in Lichfield

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