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The White Lion

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published July 1st 2015
Fabulous food in a quintessential country pub
Nestled within the heart of the Mease Valley in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside is this little gem of a pub.

Harlaston remains the quintessential English village and boasts having won the title of Staffordshire's Best Kept Small Village on numerous occasions.

But it sits just a few miles from the busy urban centres of Tamworth, Lichfield and Burton-upon-Trent, and is also just a short drive from the main M42 motorway.

The White Lion, Harlaston, pub, Mease Valley, Tamworth
The distinctive lion on the side of the pub

At the centre of village life in Harlaston is the White Lion which, together with the church, village hall and shop provides a key focal point for local residents.

But the pub also attracts visitors from much further afield, no doubt helped by its unique position as it sits perched on a triangular plot in the middle of crossroads.

It is also fully living up to the "white" in its title after a recent facelift significantly brightened up the outside, with the distinctive lion now more clearly visible.

It is thought that the historic hostelry is where it is because of its former existence as a toll house.

The White Lion, Harlaston, Tamworth, pub, Mease Valley
View of The White Lion from the beer garden

But today the family-owned pub also brings people in due to the excellent reputation it has for the excellent quality of its food, both in the evenings and the traditional roasts it serves at Sunday lunchtime.

All meals are freshly prepared using locally sourced ingredients from the numerous farms in the area.

We chose to visit on a Saturday evening and made the right decision in booking in advance as it was pretty busy in the sizeable dining room.

A varied regular menu was boosted by a couple of specials written out on a blackboard, so we opted for those.

The White Lion, pub, Harlaston, Tamworth, Mease Valley
The relaxing bar with comfy sofas

I had the juicy lamb rump, which was prepared in much the same way as a fillet steak, while my friend went for the bass, which was served on a bed of prawns. A side salad and jacket potato for him and a pile of fresh vegetables and chips for me completed the delicious main courses.

Given the pub's dining reputation for the size of its portions we were never going to have a full three-course meal, so I went for a chicken starter while my friend saved himself for a dessert. Neither of us was disappointed.

The White Lion has an attractive bar furnished with sofas, leather chairs and a log burning stove which must be a welcome addition in winter.

It serves one regular beer, Marston's Pedigree, and one changing beer which, on our visit, was Tribute Ale from the St Austell Brewery.

If we had been dining earlier, we would probably have chosen to have our pre-meal drinks outside in a small seating area overlooking the crossroads, or in the equally small beer garden next door to the car park, across the narrow road next to the pub.
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Why? A friendly relaxing pub in the heart of beautiful Staffordshire countryside
Phone: 01827 383691
Where: The White Lion, Main Road, Harlaston, Staffordshire B79 9HT
Cost: £36 for dinner for two
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