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Secret Drinker reviews Paten & Co in Stamford





I’m not sure I’ve ever been so pleased to see a rat in a pub.

I’d been enjoying a nice leisurely stroll through Stamford when the downpour began and – as if the stars aligned – my urge to take shelter was only exacerbated by the welcoming red neon ‘bar open’ sign of Paten & Co.

And there on the green-tile bar was the giant white rodent with some kind of menacing grin looking back at me.

The 'bar open' sign drew me in to Paten & Co
The 'bar open' sign drew me in to Paten & Co
Wine crates and incredible lighting hung from the entrance
Wine crates and incredible lighting hung from the entrance

Thankfully, he was drawn on a board in chalk with the words ‘White Rat – £4.95 or 4 pints £18’ written next to him.

After an offer of a quick sample of this pale ale by the barman, and catching another menacing glance from the rat, I was sold (on a pint, sadly not the four).

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The place had just opened as I took my seat, leaving me able to take note of the surroundings without some poor couple enjoying a drink thinking I was a third wheel trying to catch their eye.

It didn't take long for Paten & Co to start filling up
It didn't take long for Paten & Co to start filling up
White Rat was a decent pint
White Rat was a decent pint

Wine crates and posters advertising Paten & Co – also the name of the early-1900s wine and spirit merchant which previously operated from this site – hung from the ceilings and walls, complemented by a mix of stained glass, tiles, bare stripped back walls, glorious glass pendant lighting and that combination of brown leather and metal that makes you think you’re heading up to the menswear section of a branch of All Saints (the irony).

Whoever designed this place did a fantastic job of mixing comfort with eye-catching design on all three floors, the nods to the place’s former self reminded me of the job done at Bourne’s Jubilee Garage, albeit with a little more subtlety.

The facade, another nudge to the venue’s history, is also a marked improvement on its former guise as The Periwig.

There's a rat on my bar, what am I gonna do?
There's a rat on my bar, what am I gonna do?
Stamford's Paten & Co is a former wine and spirits merchant
Stamford's Paten & Co is a former wine and spirits merchant

It didn’t take long for the punters to start turning this empty spot into a bustling bar as groups of friends and solitary visitors looking for a bite to eat swung the front and side doors open.

I’ve read a food review describing the place as a ‘hidden gem’ but that surely won’t be the case when news that kids eat free at lunchtime – as pointed out by a flyer on the table – gets out to the masses.

Dog treats on the bar at Paten & Co
Dog treats on the bar at Paten & Co
The first floor offered plenty of seating
The first floor offered plenty of seating

But as well as being child and rat-friendly, Paten & Co – a Knead Pub – also welcomes man’s best friend, with free dog treats on the bar and a do’s and don’ts for dog owners spelled out in a series of woofs on a table-top card.

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The beer was decent, the place lively and the decor welcoming. It shouldn’t take a bit of rain to make you want to visit.

A homely feel on the third floor of Stamford's Paten & Co
A homely feel on the third floor of Stamford's Paten & Co
The toilets were a little more rustic than the rest of the place
The toilets were a little more rustic than the rest of the place

PATEN & CO, 7 ALL SAINTS’ PLACE, STAMFORD, PE9 2AG

DECOR: A nice mix of modern trends in a place that knows – and likes to promote – its history. 4/5

DRINK: White Rat (ABV 4%) is a pleasant, hoppy pale ale by Ossett Brewery, with a nice, long flavour. 3/5

PRICE: At £4.95 it was a fair price, and you could save a few bob if you order four at a time. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: Only took a quarter of an hour from a midday opening for the seats to start filling up. 3/5

STAFF: On a busy Sunday afternoon I didn’t get much interaction but the lady serving was pleasant enough. 3/5



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