Lockdown. Tier 3. They’re necessary measures, but they’re tough. Being apart from our loved ones is never easy, especially for a prolonged period of time – and all our little daily rituals, like flat whites from NØRTH on our morning commute, seem like a distant memory.
Our brilliant local indies have been on our minds a lot lately, as they’ve been forced to close (and reopen, and close…) amid the pandemic, and their futures hang in the balance. We thought, then, that it was high time we showed them some love and gave a shoutout to the top seven bars, restaurants, and venues we can’t wait to be reunited with once social distancing is over.
Check out who we’ve been daydreaming about from the safety of our living rooms!
The holy grail of wood-fired pizza in Stoke-on-Trent. Klay offers tonnes of traditional toppings, but also offers pizzas with a twist, like their famous mac and cheese-filled pizza. The menu is also chock-full of vegetarian and vegan options, making it the perfect spot for family days out or long lunches with groups of friends.
We’re pining for Klay Zombies and a slice of Voltaire!
The Quarter Café
A Hanley institution! We miss seeing the world and his wife in here, a cosy hangout which has nightly live music and a wonderfully diverse menu.
The cocktail menu has been calling our name whilst we’ve been in lockdown – we’ll be racing you to the bar as soon as its doors are open again…
Constructed in 1929, the Regent Theatre is a Stoke-On-Trent stalwart. Following its £23 million refurbishment, the theatre has played host to War Horse, Mamma Mia, and Jersey Boys over the last few years.
All being well, the Moscow City Ballet is set to grace the stage in February for Swan Lake, and you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be bagging ourselves a front-row seat.
Meet you in the Piano bar for a pre-show wine…
We’ve made no secret in the past of our love for NØRTH, which somehow got even cooler recently when its façade was given a makeover by local creatives We Are Culla.
This Piccadilly gem, which is just around the corner from Smithfield, is famed for its brunches, healthy juices and out-of-this-world coffee. Swing by on a Thursday, Friday or a Saturday evening, though, and you can see it transformed into a bar which has speciality cocktails that pair perfectly with its seasonal night-time menu.
Order the espresso martini and thank us later. Or, if you can’t wait until lockdown’s over to get your NØRTH fix, check out their essential boxes which you can get delivered straight to your door!
Piccadilly’s reputation as the Northern Quarter of Stoke-on-Trent hasn’t happened by accident – we’ve got painfully cool venues like Bottlecraft to thank for that.
This bottle shop and bar is home to over 150 types of beer from all over the world, and has the kind of cosy, industrial interior that makes you want to while away the hours with your best friends in there.
One of our favourite spots to meet people for a post-work drink and, luckily for us, they’re currently delivering to certain postcodes too!
Gin is having an absolute moment, and we’re really missing getting our fix at Bar 41.
Based in the heart of Hanley, Bar 41 offers both craft beers and gins, so all trendy palettes can be catered to. It’s still a relatively new kid on the block, but with over 40 different types of gin available, it’s made its mark on the city at lightning speed. We’re so excited to relax with a rhubarb gin once its doors are back open to the public.
What’s not to love about an Alice in Wonderland-themed tearoom?! This family-run quirky spot has amazing nods to the famous book and film, like an upside-down grandfather clock, grass on the ceiling and an old gas lamp. They’re purveyors of some of the most delicious homemade cakes and scones around – definitely top of the list to take your mum to once lockdown is lifted.
So – here are our favourite places we can’t wait to get back to when lockdown is over. Think we’ve missed off any Stoke-on-Tre t venues? Let us know where your hidden gems are by tweeting us over at @SmithfieldST1!