British, International·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Lunar

Gold Award

Josiah Wedgwood and the forward-thinking Lunar Society predicted many things. But even they probably couldn't have seen this coming. Having earned Whatley Manor two stars, and himself Young Chef of the Year, Niall Keating has headed back to his native Stoke-on-Trent. Here he has opened Lunar, a restaurant that melds the Lunar Society, Wedgwood pottery and his own, unique cooking style.

While the restaurant is worlds away from Whatley, Keating’s unique style courses through its veins. Having orbited the giant moon sculpture, sipping on the ever-popular Gusbourne rosé, we landed and the real journey began. Brandy snap-esque tempura - a Keating classic - here housed melty courgette and aubergine, tinged with yuzu aigre-doux. Velvety kimchi congee formed a plinth for black pudding and a quail's egg; a triple hit of umami. Simple, elegant and punchy, each dish is a masterpiece. What might look like sweet and sour chicken yielded to a gentle bite, revealing its true identity: miso caramel veal sweetbreads. Soft, nutty and dangerously addictive.

The use of stunning Wedgwood crockery celebrates the restaurant's location. But Keating takes this a step further, entombing chicken in the Staffordshire clay itself. Armed with a hammer from head chef Craig Lunn, we gleefully smashed it open to feast on the succulent prize within. Aside from the obscene decadence of velvety pomme puree, the sides were lighter, with fermented lettuce and pickles providing a welcome kick of freshness.

A spiced pineapple tarte tatin ended this explosion of a meal with a resounding bang, and the chewy, almost-blackened pastry will live rent-free in our heads until we undoubtedly return. Aside from the secret bar hidden behind a false bookcase, the most surprising thing about the restaurant is the pricing. Three courses here will only set you back about £50, ensuring that many more can enjoy this utterly perfect cooking.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
British, International
Cool, Fine dining, Fun, Luxury, Quirky, Themed, Unique
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Set in the heart of Staffordshire, Lunar offers a unique culinary experience led by head head chef Carl Riley, with a focus on modern cooking techniques and sustainable practices. It’s inspired by ‘The Lunar Society’, a movement in the 1700s comprised of intellectuals and creatives including Josiah Wedgwood and Erasmus Darwin. As such, Lunar aims to embody the ethos of the movement by creating forward-thinking food focused around sustainable practices and local produce.

Head chef Carl Riley leads the kitchen team and the restaurant’s diverse menu offering. His experience is in classical French cookery, and he spent time working at a wealth of Michelin-accredited and AA Rosette restaurants before moving to Lunar.

Diners can choose from its Sharing Plates menu, a set Plat du Jour, the Lunar Experience tasting menu, and a Sunday Lunch a la carte. For the full experience, the tasting menu can include either seven or nine courses, depending on your appetite, and features dishes like tempura Colchester oysters with trout roe and Champagne gel; Peak District hogget croquette with celeriac purée, pickled oyster mushroom, oats and nettles; and Gressingham duck breast with carrot textures, sweet cicely and pinot noir reduction. Many of the dishes on the menu can also be ordered as small sharing dishes to be enjoyed in a more casual setting.

The cocktail menu is a major part of the dining experience at Lunar, with each one treated like a work of art, both in terms of presentation and flavour profile. Discover a Blood and Passion Margarita, for example, made with tequila, vermouth, dry curacao, blood orange and passionfruit preserve and lemon. There’s also a well-curated wine list which you can choose to browse at your leisure, or opt for a dedicated wine flight to enjoy expertly paired wines with your meal.


Is the restaurant open daily?

The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Helpful? 0

Who is the head chef at the restaurant?

Craig Lunn is head chef and Niall Keating is chef director.

Helpful? 0

Lunar is featured in

This venue also offers

Event Party Venue



Lunar World of Wedgwood, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST12 9ER

07494 073091 07494 073091


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-16:00
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 17:45-20:30
Fri 17:45-20:30
Sat 17:45-20:30
Sun Closed


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07494 073091 07494 073091

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