David Leech heads to Granville Square to find out about the latest hidden gem of Stone.
Part 8: Granvilles Brasserie
“At first people refuse to believe that a new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done a long time ago.”
The quote above is from ‘The Secret Garden’ a book by Frances Hodgson Burnett that tells the story of a young girl who discovers a neglected garden hidden away from view but, over time and with the help from a boy and a gardener they turn it into a beautiful and delightful place.
In recent weeks we’ve been discovering the ‘Hidden Gems of Stone’ – but did you know there is also a ‘secret garden?’ It may be hidden from view but unlike the book this ‘secret garden’ is far from neglected and can be found in a place that has recently been described by a very satisfied customer as: “A mirage of colour – and that includes the very friendly bar staff.” She goes on to say, that once you enter the premises, “You know this place has character and I got the impression that this place is going the extra mile to make your experience special……The place is fresh and vibrant, with a real Bistro atmosphere and with pleasant background music…”
We are, of course, referring to Granvilles Brasserie in Granville Square that started life as the Little House Café in 1984 by Adam and Mandy Jones. Within a short time they expanded into the upper floor where they removed the old railway-waiting-room furniture, obtained a licence, installed a small service bar in the corner and the restaurant was born! A short time after that, a chance conversation with the neighbour and they managed to purchase the much larger building to the left and were able to create the Cocktail Bar area downstairs.
They also knocked through the back of the building and found a four-foot deep ‘secret garden’ that no one had set foot in for at least 40 years! Who would have believed that could become the tranquil, flower-filled ‘secret garden’ now enjoyed by so many?
In 1990, Adam and Mandy acquired the entire ground floor that had previously been occupied by H G Paints & Wallpapers, allowing them to extend the downstairs area and open up the space for live music and bands.
A very successful appearance by George Melly and John Chiltern’s Feetwarmers in 1991 heralded the dawn of one of the most famous and well renowned live music venues in the Midlands, attracting a multitude of world-famous performers including Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz band, Kenny Ball and His Jazz men, Georgie Fame and Alan Price and many more.
Having evolved into one of Staffordshire’s best known restaurant and music venues Granvilles has welcomed thousands of customers of all ages throughout the last three decades, including such celebrities as Sir Cliff Richard, Lulu, Paul Jones, Billy Bragg, Feargal Sharkey, Ian Duncan Smith, not to mention such celebrity chefs as Paul Rankin, Mary Berry, James Tanner, Anthony Worrall-Thompson and The Hairy Bikers.
Adam and Mandy have been very supportive and closely involved with the annual Food & Drink Festival and in helping with the development of the now hugely successful Farmers’ Market, held every first Saturday of the month. In fact, they are always eager to assist and help with any promotions that help with High Street trading having witnessed many changes to Stone High street in the last thirty years.
With such an illustrious 30-year adventure, I asked Adam what he felt was his recipe for success.
“We were determined to build up a good reputation as a restaurant and we always go for quality and believe in using the best when buying in our ingredients and in staging any events. In addition, we have been very fortunate to have employed some superb members of staff as well.”
In fact, over the years some former employees who met while working at Granvilles, have also been married and had their own families too! So it seems quite appropriate that having created memories of golden threads for so many people, Granvilles have now renewed their wedding license and are now able to offer the venue as a place to have the service & reception in one place and not to be forgotten is the flower-filled “secret garden” which makes an ideal location for those very special photographs!
“Our goal is for one or two weddings every month,” explained Adam, “We can cater for up to 120 guests with a band and a buffet or offer a ‘sit-down’ reception for up to 60 plus guests. The whole event can be tailored to what the couple want and we’ll always work to making everything special and provide ‘something different’ if that is required.” On Sundays they can offer exclusive use of both upstairs and downstairs for wedding receptions.
Of course it is also an ideal venue for birthdays, anniversaries, christenings – in fact any occasion, big or small, so anyone can enjoy the wonderful, relaxed atmosphere. As one recent customer review stated: “We celebrated my wife’s 40th at Granvilles with a few friends and had a brilliant evening. The food was excellent, the service great and with really good music. Granvilles is definitely a ‘Hidden Gem.’”
Tel: 01785 816658
Mon – Thu: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:00 – 00:00
Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:30 – 01:30