“ Address: 16 Market Place / Market Deeping / Peterborough / PE6 8EA „
About two weekends ago we had a child free evening and wanted to go out for a nice meal and for a few drinks. Being a Saturday night it can be easier just to book a table in the lets say nicer pubs/gastro pubs in our local area as it will ensure that you get a decent meal unless of course you don't mind cheap, frozen food which is reheated and served to you within a matter of minutes after placing an order. I personally don't and would rather spend a little more and get a decent meal.
The place we decided to go was The Stage in a village called Market Deeping near Peterborough. We have eaten here on numerous occasions both for lunch and dinner and have always had a great meal. It may not be the biggest of restaurants (and it is advisable to book) but the food has always been piping hot and served with a smile and it also helps their prices are very reasonable for what you get.
== The Stage ==
The Stage as said above is located conveniently on the high street in Market Deeping which is only a few miles outside of Peterborough so it does have good transport links with both the roads and buses (a bus stop is right outside the entrance way to The Stage). They do have a very small car park at the rear of the property with only about 5 spaces which is to serve the restaurant, hotel and bar. So you will no doubt have to find alternative parking - there is a public car park a short walk away.
The Stage is set in an 1802 coaching inn and was originally know as the New Inn when it first opened back in 1903 and was originally advertised as "being entirely new with well fitted commodious accommodation for the Nobility, Gentry and Commercial Travelers together with ample stabling." The New Inn was a place where people travelling to and from London could have rest and a good nights meal. It wasn't until 1974 that the New Inn was refurbished, renovated and converted to become The Deeping Stage. Despite having undergone more works since 1975 (it was completed in this year) The Stage has tried to keep it's heritage intact as much as possible in order that it won't be forgotten.
== Inside ==
The décor of The Stage is definitely quite modern with a more rustic feel to it to try and keep within the country status as a village pub afterall. The bar area is very minimal with heavy wooden stables and stools, the lounge area is a lovely luxurious plum colour with feature walls and large sofas as well as matching accessories. The entrance area has several tables but is dominated by the huge stone walls of the building (the entrance area was the coach house's entrance but when refurbished it was made into an enclosed room and entrance way but kept the walls of either side of the coach house buildings).
The restaurant itself is definitely far more modern than the rest of the pub. The walls are a contrast with lime green and plum and is fitted out with modern wooden tables and matching leather chairs. Despite the building's features being accentuated it does feel overly modern which has been done tastefully. Not only can you eat in the restaurant but you can eat at the tables in the old entrance way, lounge and bar areas.
== Outside ==
Because The Stage is set directly onto the high street and backs onto a river there is not much land surrounding the building so if you are wanting a great beer garden to eat out in then this isn't the place for you. However, on the river bank they have got a small area with a few benches where you can enjoy a bite to eat and watch the world go by during the warmer months but of course due to limited space these fill up quite quickly! There is also a small patio area at the back of the building but this does seem to become popular with smokers so not always pleasant for children and those that don't smoke or don't like it when eating.
== Staff ==
I find generally that for a pub to run efficiently that they need a good team of staff and The Stage have always had well mannered, happy to help staff. They do seem to have a high turnaround and I put this down to the majority being students but they do always seem to be helpful and friendly when serving and taking orders.
== The Food ==
The Stage has always produced a good meal for us (and for my parents) and despite not being classed as a gastro pub their food is just as good as those that are. They offer a wide range of meals whether you are wanting a Panini or jacket potato from the lunch menu or the more traditional meals such as fish and chips from the bar and restaurant menu there really is a decent selection which will no doubt please everyone.
Now despite eating here on many an occasion I see little point describing each individual menu (bar, lunch and restaurant) and will only describe the menu from my latest visit (two weeks ago) and the meals that we had. But please be aware that they do change their menus quite frequently and those found on the website may not be fully up to date. However, for those vegetarians and pescaraians amongst us they do offer a good selection of veggie and fish dishes.
To start me and my other half both opted for the breaded cheese selection (£5.95) which came with a salad garnish and balsamic vinigerette. The cheese inside it's breaded coat was lovely, piping hot and melted onto the plate as soon as you cut into it. What I liked is that you didn't get too much salad as some places can pile it on the plate which to me can look unappetising especially if it isn't the freshest salad in the world!
For our mains I opted for the Twice Cooked Belly of Pork Served on grain mustard mash in a cider jus (£10.95) and himself opted for the Village Grill - Lamb chop, sirloin steak, gammon steak & 2 chipolata sausages served with homemade chips, grilled tomato, mushrooms, onion rings and a fried egg (£10.95). My pork was so incredibly tender you could easily just use a fork to eat it and the mash was creamy yet had a bit of a kick to it because of the mash. It was swimming in the cider jus which was more like a rich gravy but definitely very lovely. My other half was pleased with her Village Grill, everything was cooked just how he wanted it and he came away feeling incredibly full!
The dessert menu is separate from the main menu and consists of wonderful homemade delights such as chocolate soufflé, locally produced ice creams and a chocolate fudge brownie. Now I cannot remember the price of our desserts but they were no more than £5.50 each. I opted for the soufflé which was perfectly cooked with a melt in the middle chocolate centre complete with both vanilla ice cream and cream. My other half opted for the chocolate brownie which was coated in a rich chocolate sauce and again came with both ice cream and cream.
I really cannot fault the food in any way. The Stage make it known that there food is freshly made with using local produce and you can really tell the difference. Every meal we have had here has been served well and cooked to how we like it. The food doesn't take overly long to come out to you once ordered either which is definitely a positive point. Even my daughter has been catered for as well as being supplied with crayons and a mini colouring book!
If you are in the area and want to find a decent pub/ restaurant to visit then The Stage should definitely be visited. They cater well for children (highchairs are available) and have easy access for wheelchair users. The only small downside is that there is very limited parking. Overall, an easy 5 stars!
== Useful Information ==
The Stage is also a hotel and has several rooms available although we haven't stayed here for obvious reasons the rooms do look impressive. They also cater for wedding parties and we have known quite a few to be held at the Stage. For more information on these two areas then it is best to call and discuss your specific requirements.
== Contact Details ==
16 Market Place
Telephone: 01778 343234