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Pub tests hungry customers with Geordie feast
THE Liden Arms is the only place outside of Newcastle that you can stuff your face with a stottie, so says its new landlord.
Stotties are flat, round loaves, around 12ins (30cm) in diameter, which originated in the north east of England and are served stuffed with a variety of different fillings, such as turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Trevor Smith, who grew up in the north east, introduced stotties to the menu when he took on The Liden Arms in September, and the enormously filling food has been flying out of the kitchen.
He said: “I knew when I took over The Liden Arms it was probably one of the only Swindon pubs where the customers were ‘man’ enough to take on the challenge of eating a stottie, and I haven’t been disappointed. It’s a very big bun and you can have any filling that you like, chips and curry sauce, sausage, bacon, egg, beans. It’s a bit like a pizza in that you can have whatever you like on it.
“Usually when it arrives on their table, they take one look and then usually decide to share it around. They have been really popular. Only one customer has actually managed to eat a whole on at one sitting. Now we’re waiting for a challenger.”
The first man to who has been able to eat a whole stottie single-handedly was Liden Arms regular Andy Rumsam. He said: “I have eaten two now. It was a bit of a struggle but I’m greedy. I really enjoyed them and would recommended them to anyone.”
Because the stottie has a closely guarded recipe, Trevor has to go Newcastle to get them. He said: “There is a secret recipe for the stotties that they won’t tell anyone, so every so often I have to drive up there and buy them.”
Trevor and his wife, Louise moved into The Liden Arms earlier this year and business has doubled since they took over.
“Louise was brought up in Liden and knows the area well,” said Trevor.
"Our customers are down-to-earth and there is a massive community spirit here that I absolutely love.
“The Liden used to be a drinker’s pub only but we’ve taken on an apprentice chef through Swindon College, and now we’re doing up to 40 Sunday roasts every weekend.
“It’s great because it’s offering trainee chefs the opportunity to build their skills and our customers have voted with their feet by supporting us.”
The pub is owned by Arkell’s Brewery. Director, George Arkell, said: “Trevor and Louise are doing a fantastic job at The Liden Arms, however it’s not all down to the stotties, but to their own hard work in getting involved and working to make the pub the centre of the community.
“Since they took over they’ve attracted two pool teams, four darts teams and a football team as well as other regular entertainment.”
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