My daughter has brought me to Stamford for the weekend – a birthday present. My birthday was actually in April but she’d booked this weekend so I got all the details at the time – two nights in a 300-year-old cottage in the centre of Stamford and tomorrow (Saturday) lunch at a Michelin star restaurant at nearby Rutland Water. Why did she choose Stamford? I was intrigued – although it’s a great place to come. Well the initial search had been the restaurant – somewhere within a 2-hour drive for us both and then Stamford happened to be the nearest nice town to stay.
Stamford is a beautiful historic town in Lincolnshire full of lovely 17th and 18th stone buildings. It will be familiar to many as the location for the shooting of many major films and TV series, like the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden. It also appeared in The Da Vinci Code, The Golden Bowl and the BBC adaptation of Middlemarch in 1994 when St George’s Square, where the cottage is located, was transformed into Middlemarch.
I was the first to arrive around midday and had the details to let myself into the cottage.
It’s right opposite St George’s Church.
It’s a very pretty cottage and nicely furnished inside and has a lovely little courtyard garden. It’s also so central the high street is only a couple of minutes walk away.
Once we’d settled in, we went off in search of lunch. My friend Christine, who I’m going on to visit in nearby Melton Mowbray on Sunday, recommended a Swedish cafe here, Fika. So that’s where we went.
It was busy but fortunately they had a table for two. They were very friendly and a menu came quickly. There was a great choice. Nicola decided to have Smashed avocado, feta, slow roasted tomatoes, spiced seeds, homemade hot sauce, chilli oil and sourdough (£9).
It looked fantastic and indeed it was. She also had a smoothie to drink while I stuck with water because I’d want a coffee later. My food choice was Fika Bowl – roasted pepper hummus, courgette and mint slaw, herby falafel, tomato, lentil & bulgur salad, cumin roast beetroot, rocket and spiced seeds (£9.5).
It was fabulous – really good and perfect for lunch. I finished with a flat white.
It was a really great lunch: fantastic food and a nice relaxing place to chat and catch up with each other.
When we’d finished eating we decided to explore a bit, heading down the high street where we both managed to find things to buy! Then we moved away from the high street and down to the Town Meadows, crossing the River Welland on a little bridge.
From the meadow, we crossed back over the river and followed the road round.
Eventually we came towards the high street again, amused by the sign on a pub offering ‘Good stables & Loose boxes’.
Nicola then suggested a drink stop. She’d spied a nice bar with comfortable chairs overlooking another large church.
We both had beers – me, a really delicious alcohol free beer called Smashed Lager. It was great to stop for a while and relax before heading back to the cottage for a quiet couple of hours (and some Wimbledon tennis on the TV!) before going out for dinner.