LOTTY STEEL, OWNER OF STEELBIZZ AND LEEDS CITY MAGAZINE COLUMIST, REVIEWS THE VILLAGE HOTEL’S NEW PUB & GRILL IN HEADINGLEY
Having moved out of the city centre over 2 years ago, I drive past the Village Hotel in the suburbs of Headingley on my daily commute. Being well-known as a comfortable, family friendly hotel with an impressive leisure centre (and a regular Starbucks pit stop of mine!), I was thrilled to see it was launching a new Pub and Grill restaurant which opened its doors in April.
Nestled on Otley Road, my partner and I ventured out on a sunny Tuesday evening ready to experience its brand-new casual dining experience.
On arrival, I was instantly impressed by the inviting ambience in comparison to the more modest hotel interior; the décor has a modern, impactful urban vibe, with bright splashes of color and neon lit signs, whilst still informal and inviting enough to appeal to families. Four giant LED plasma screens surround the central bar area making it a prime spot for viewing the latest Sky Sport offering, which that night to my other half’s pleasure was showcasing the Barcelona v Man U Champions League game!
For an early Tuesday evening the tables were surprisingly busy and there was a sociable, lively buzz across the floor. We were given a warm welcome by the host who presented us with the option of an iPad tablet to order at our convenience, a clever addition in suitably supporting the modern surroundings.
We scrolled our way through the inviting menu which tickled our taste buds with the variety and quality of food on offer; a global menu of delicious dishes with options to suit every taste pallet and budget. From brunch favorite smashed avo on toast, ‘Big Bun’ burgers and wraps to more ‘posh’ grills and specials including fillet steak and spinach and sweet potato curry. There’s even a selection of ‘500 club’ low calorie dish options for the more health conscious amongst us! It literally has a food option to suit every occasion and I can’t wait to try the unlimited Sunday lunch – priced from £13.95 you really can’t go wrong for a slap- up four course roast dinner!
Having spent a few minutes debating preferences, I clicked on the hummus and flat bread starter with teriyaki salmon and black rice for main. My partner couldn’t resist his favourite calamari followed by the fillet steak. Everything was freshly cooked, and the generous, tasty portions were beautifully presented. After eating our way through two courses, we literally had zero room to squeeze in a dessert (much to my dismay!), but next time I will be making sure I try their Frozen Hot Chocolate; with a mix of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate buttons, served with hot chocolate sauce it looks divine and will certainly satisfy any sweet tooth!
In summary, The Village Hotel Pub and Grill surprised me and is clearly aiming to build on the venues reputation to offer more than just a hotel and leisure facility; from Sunday lunch to a working breakfast, dinner with friends or lunching with the ladies, their new restaurant welcomes hotel guests and locals alike. They have cleverly developed a menu to offer food for every eating occasion from breakfast, bar ‘munchies’ on the go, to prime grills that can rival a la carte menus. Served against a backdrop of a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere with a prompt and friendly service it will certainly appeal to all. The fact it’s in my local stomping ground makes it even better and we’ll definitely be back again!