There is a quite pleasant beer garden at the front of the Stirling Arms in Guildford – protected by a high wall from the traffic noise – although the wall does tend to disguise that the garden is there at all from passers-by – with umbrellas for shade and a covered area to one side in case of inclement weather. Anyway on one of the warmish autumn days we have been experiencing, we dropped by for lunch and sat out in the garden area.
The pub is still undergoing a renovation in the old public bar area – with the bar and pool table all pushed into the dining room – although from their web site it appears the hotel accommodation part of the reno is complete.
The menu is basically old style pub food – pies, burgers, fish and chips and the like, but from our experience, done pretty well and good value for the generosity of the serves.
Meatballs, juicy and well-seasoned – and a good size too – were served on a bed of mash and topped with roughly sliced cheese, in a tomato based sauce – good hearty eating.
A retro style prawn cocktail – served in a large balloon glass – chopped and shredded lettuce, tender prawns, tails on, and sloshed with a spicy sauce was another enjoyable dish – light but the spiciness gave it a pleasant note of difference.
The most impressive note about the Stirling Arms, however, from my point of view is the revamped wine list – a very well put together list with wines from all regions of WA – as well as inclusions from the rest of Australia and overseas; it is a lesson that could be learned for other pubs – and restaurant lists for that matter – around town. We should be celebrating the wines of all of WA not just those of large producers and Margaret River.
A bottle of Vinaceous 2014 Right Reverend V Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Barker hit the spot – lush and rich with great varietal character.
The Stirling Arms is well worth a visit – the food is done pretty well and the drinks list is impressive – and both the garden area and the lounge are welcoming and inviting places to stop for a drink and feed.