Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Gray Ox, Hartshead

Wracking my brains for somewhere to go for Sunday lunch, I had a brainwave and went on Leeds Grub’s blog. I had a vague memory of a review several months back of a pub that did a good Sunday lunch which was not that far from home. After scrolling down for several pages, I hit on it – The Gray Ox in Hartshead! I remembered being impressed by the pictures and thinking the prices seemed reasonable for what looked like good quality.

So we programmed the postcode into the SatNav and set off. We arrived about 12.15pm and were asked if we had a reservation, which we hadn’t thought of. They said they could squeeze us in if we vacated the table by 2pm, which we had no problem with as we were heading to the cinema afterwards.

There was a specials menu, and a £13.95 set menu for two courses. I ordered off the set menu, having smoked salmon ballontine which came with herb salad and small pieces of toasted bread.

A had the chicken liver pate, which he reported excellent.

For main, I had the roast lamb Sunday lunch. This came with a large Yorkshire pudding, goose fat roast potatoes, mash and a jug of “proper” gravy. On the side – mashed swede, broccoli and cauliflower cheese. The lamb was “melt in the mouth” and the meal was beautifully presented, despite being a generous portion.

A had the beer-battered haddock which came with homemade chunky chips and a little silver bucket of mushy peas. All very good.

The bill came promptly and was around £40 for 2, including a pint for A and a large glass of pinot for me. I would definitely visit again, but would probably make a reservation, just to be sure.

Side issue: probably my first real experience of the now acceptable rudeness to smokers happened outside this pub. I had just nipped outside and was sat on my own on a bench having a cigarette and reading a bit of the paper when an older man walked past. He said something to me, which I didn’t catch. When I looked up, he walked over and said something about smoking and dying. I didn’t catch exactly what it was but it was not presented in a friendly way but instead in a rude confrontational manner. I just looked away but was amazed that it has become the norm to approach a woman on her own and berate her for something that isn’t anyone’s business.

Anyway that is a side issue – The Gray Ox is awesome!