AN EVENING AT GRANVILLES BEER AND GIN HOUSE
LEEDS CITY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST KRISTIAN PURDY CHECKS OUT GRANVILLES GIN BAR, A POPULAR SPOT FOR GIN LOVERS
This month I have gone away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre, into a quaint but lively Gin bar right in the heart of Horsforth.
I was more than excited when I was asked to meet the guys at Granvillles for an evening of extensive gin tasting.
Over the last, I’d say 12 months or so, like many other people, I have ventured into the gin market. Gin is not like your standard equivalent of say marmite, where you I love it or hate it… its one of those things where it will naturally grow on you and with the right advice and recommendations, it can be one luscious tipple.
Summertime naturally brings the curiousness out in a person, venturing out to find something that little different to the usual pint down the pub.
As I approached Granvilles, at 6pm, I could already see that the bar was buzzing. It was a very humid afternoon so I couldn’t wait to try my first refreshing drink of the evening.
I was very warmly welcomed by Manager, Andy. Andy is a well-known manager in which I recognised from successfully running and managing bars over the years in Leeds centre. So I was comfortable in knowing that I was one, I was in for a great night and two, his genuine gentlemanly character would make this a memorable experience. I was seated by the bar (my favourite place) and asked Andy what he would recommend initially to quench my deep thirst in the humid heat we have been having.
Andy described a couple of choices to me, but one stood out over the others. I went for the Boutique-y Gin Company Strawberry and Balsamico served with mint, strawberries, lime and Franklin and Sons Natural Light tonic… This was Granvilles Gin of the month!
This tasted like summer in a glass. Usually a Pimms would suffice however this blew anything I’ve had before, right out of the water.
After having a few sips and looking around, noticeably the bar areas and seating started fill, not too quickly tough. It was just a nice steady influx of people. Personally I don’t like a busy bar where you are stood shoulder to shoulder with, I value my personal space so a spacious bar is what I prefer.
I had a few chats with the locals and bumped into a few friendly old faces. Even though Granville’s had only been open a matter of weeks, it had already got a valuable reputation under its wing from what I was say a friendly atmosphere combined with an extensive range of quality gins (and beers) from around the world.
The next drink to try was the French gin Citadelle ‘Wild Blossom’ aged in cherry wood and infused with Cherry Blossom only 10,000 bottles made in this batch. Served with grapes, pink grapefruit and Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic. Instead of having someone else’s choice of drink suggested, I was asked by Andy what type of flavours I liked and with a massive love for cherries, Andy put this one together.
This like the other gin, sailed down… the gins so far were admittedly moreish and super clean. They have a variety of different gins including Rutte ‘Old Simon’ genever and many fruit gins including Leeds gin and Slingsby Rhubarb so the choice is certainly there.
Following this drink, Andys wife introduced herself and we had a good old natter. Visitors will find this here, all the staff will make it their priority to ask how you are and how your day has been. It’s not a quick fire bar where they want to rush things, from ordering to being served the customer is in an engaging conversation which is few and far between in the far industry these days.
I did notice on entry a board opposite the bar listing premium beers and lagers, as I am very much a connoisseur of fine lagers I had to try the Kirkstall Framboise (raspberry beer) at 3.6% with a Pieminster Chorizo pie with peas ( yes they also serve quality pies which I highly recommend )
Granvilles often have local brewer Mark Costello’s ‘Horsforth Pale’ from Horsforth Brewery. It’s a micro brewery in a guys back garden in Horsforth but from what Andy told me, he creates a beautifully smooth Pale that’s very popular with the locals.
I tried a few more gins before heading home which included Audemus pink pepper gin, Whitaker’s Pink Particular and Manchester Raspberry gin.
I had such a lovely evening with great people in a friendly environment.
What helped make the evening was Andy’s honesty, as he didn’t claim to be an avid gin expert, but his passion and experience in how flavours marry up, meant that my night was more so enjoyable as none of the evening was scripted like some places where the staff claim to be experts but reel off pointless facts that they have rehearsed.
I have already planned future visits in to Granvilles, big thanks to Andy, his wife and team for an eclectic evening in an ambient setting.
Easily accessible from horsforth train station.
Granvilles is dog friendly until 6pm on Friday
Perfect for couples and small groups.
They will soon be introducing beer and gin tastings.
Granvilles Gin Bar Long Row
Monday – Thursday 4.30pm til 11pm Friday
4.30pm til 12am Saturday
12pm til 12am Sunday
2pm til 11pm