Stamford Pride

Dining Out at Paten & Co

It’s not been long since we popped in to Knead Pubs’ Paten & Co to present Executive Chef Nick Buttress and his team with our Restaurant of the Year title… but we thought a return visit is in order to remind ourselves why our readers voted the place their favourite local restaurant!

Images: Alexandra Wallace ( for Hue (

Image: Alexandra Wallace ( for Hue (
Image: Alexandra Wallace ( for Hue (

Proof, if proof is needed, that great dining is about more than posh surroundings and fine dining aspirations. Proof, too, that hard work and effort will always be appreciated by your customers. Last month it was a pleasure to turn up at the doors of Paten & Co to present Executive Chef Nick Buttress and the team with our Restaurant of the Year title, as voted for by our readers.

If you look at the outside of the building – and if you consider the reputation that the place enjoys in Stamford – you’d think Paten & Co has been around for a century or two, never mind several decades. In fact the place only opened its doors five years ago, and has since become one of the most popular places for relaxed – but high quality and imaginative – dining in Stamford ever since.

Knead Pubs was established by local sheep farmer Michael Thurlby in 1993, and at one time, the company had no fewer than seven local pubs or  restaurants. Today, the company is comprised of The Crown next door, which opened in 1999, and The Tobie Norris which the company acquired in 2006 as well as Paten & Co.

Paten & Co, meanwhile, takes its name from the eponymous wine and spirit merchant Alfred John Paten who set up in the area in 1838 having broken away from his parent’s London wine business, Bradings. In the 1970s the place became a boozer and was first renamed The Marsh Harrier and latterly The Periwig, before closing in 2016.

I must admit that initially I was sceptical of the decision to buy a second restaurant next door to an existing one, but Michael and the team have easily managed to make the adjacent The Crown Hotel and Paten & Co night and day in their offering of food. The Crown provides grill options and classics influenced by bistro dining, from really good pies to fish ‘n’ chips and a great selection of steaks, as well as baguettes and brioche rolls in the daytime. That leaves Paten & Co to be a bit more playful with its menus, and offer dishes that take their influences from across the globe.

The US is represented by Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a sort of gourmet reboot of a hot dog, whilst a fish ‘n’ chip dish style has been given a tandoori spiced makeover. There are Italian influences like the menu’s Osso Buco, Indian influences such as Braised Lamb Masala and Daal Gobi pie, as well as Mexican Tacos and African influences as seen in the Merguez Meatballs.

In short, anyone looking to pigeonhole  Paten & Co will ultimately fail, the only thing you can say is that the place is unique… on second thoughts, that’s not the only thing you can say. Good thing too as there’s a few more column inches to fill up with copy. Paten & Co is unique, but it’s also very well executed. With such an eclectic range of dishes and influences, the place might have seemed a bit disparate in its direction, but in fact everything hangs together really well, despite a menu unlike anywhere else locally and probably much further afield than that.

That’s undoubtedly because a restaurant can’t successfully express a point of difference if it doesn’t get the fundamentals right. Happily, underpinning all of Paten & Co’s dishes – all of Knead Pubs’ dishes, really – is the fact that as he comes from a farming background, Michael really does respect the use of good ingredients.

Just four miles from Paten & Co is the group’s 250-acre farm which is home to 450 sheep and to 100 heads of Lincoln Red Cattle which provide the beef used in the company’s signature burgers.

“It’s definitely an eclectic menu, with influences of street food and new interpretations on old favourites,” says Nick. “We’re keen to make the most of the right cooking methods to suit the dish we’re trying to create, which  is why smoking and barbecue influences also make their presence felt on the menu to ensure we get some really mouthwatering flavours from our dishes.”

Alongside its dishes, Paten & Co is also keen to offer a good choice of drinks and on Saturday evenings there’s as much a feeling that you’re enjoying a wine bar or cocktail lounge as an interesting and well-thought out dining experience.

40 bins of wine, craft ales, an extensive choice of cocktails and gins help to create a relaxed vibe popular with those who have worked away in the city all week and want to ditch the shirt and tie on Friday evening.

Backing up the food and drink on offer too, is the fact that Paten & Co has a quirky feel with industrial influences to the decoration and three floors to break up the total 140 covers of dining space, ensuring it doesn’t feel like a monolithic dining space.

Paten & Co definitely has a unique approach to dining, but it’s one underwritten by a sense of quality. You won’t find another place like it, and if you’re looking for a uniquely enjoyable experience, it comes highly recommended not just by us, but by our readers, too.

Image: Rob Davis, Pride Magazine.
Image: Rob Davis, Pride Magazine.

On The Menu


Cheddar Cheese Melting Pot with garlic, herbs and crispy onions served with rosemary focaccia, £9.50.

Main Courses

Pulled Brisket Taco filled with charred sweetcorn, black beans, braised brisket and woodland mushrooms, finished with whipped apple sour cream and pickled red onions, £17.95.

Braised Lamb Masala slow cooked with aromatic spices, tomatoes and yogurt, smashed saag aloo potato, crispy fried onions and crumb, £18.50.


Braised Brisket; Knead Farm beef brisket slowly braised for 12 hours in signature BBQ gravy with smoked cauliflower puree, fondant potato, seasonal greens and roasted carrot, £18.95.

Lincoln Red Cheeseburger Knead Farm burger cooked over African Marabu charcoal then cooked in a rich tomato & white wine sauce, rocket, American mustard and smoked applewood cheese with cheese dipping sauce and rosemary & sea salt fries, £18.50.


Patens Affogato, espresso over amaretto gelato, £6.

Frozen lemon and white chocolate parfait served  with freeze-dried raspberries and raspberry sauce, £8.50.

Paten & Co, All Saints’ Place, Stamford PE9 2AG. Telephone: 01780 408647. Web:

Image: Alexandra Wallace ( for Hue (
Image: Alexandra Wallace ( for Hue (