With an emphasis on locally sourced meat, fish and produce, fresh from the nearby fields and sea, John has created a peerless food focused pub, with judges left amazed by the quality of the offer.
Competing against some extremely strong local high class restaurant competition, John and his team in just 20 months have turned Staith House from a pub that nobody would go near to a top notch establishment with a soaring reputation.
A Relentless insistence on high quality, locally-sourced ingredients, plus sell-out taster evenings keep local interest high. Making their own bread, cheese and butter using salt drained from the North Sea just metres away is a huge commitment from the team, but one that pays dividends.
John and his team are always looking for fresh ideas and innovation, and as a result often seek to work with some of the UK’s best pub operators to learn new ideas and concepts to apply to the business.
Staith house offers a very clever and focused team that never loses sight of the fact that some people might simply fancy fish, chips and mushy peas on a drizzly Tuesday but there’s spirit and flair in every serving. A daily changing menu reflects what has been landed from fishing boats moored literally metres away and what game is in season.
Judge Alastair Gilmour added: “Sincere, imaginative and faultless pub food, brimming with wit and creativity but also doing the simple things outstandingly well. Chefs and business partners John Calton and James Laffan simply never stop learning and developing ideas – often till the wee small hours – and they love presenting what they call ‘little surprises’. The pub sits on North Shields’ Fish Quay, so fish is an obvious speciality but the menu of local game, beef, lamb, rare-breed pork and sublime desserts also sets the bar high.”