Review: The Woods, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

The Woods in Chapel Allerton. Pictures: Tony Johnson.
The Woods in Chapel Allerton. Pictures: Tony Johnson.
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Let’s face it - Chapel Allerton isn’t exactly short of places to eat or drink.

In the Stainbeck Corner area alone, there is The Pit, Casa Mia, Kith and Kin and The Mustard Pot, to name a few.

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Some have been on the scene for years whilst others are a bit newer to the area.

But it’s The Woods that has been seen the most change of late, having been through quite a turbulent time in the past few years. Previously known as The Angel’s Share before becoming The Hummingbird restaurant, it then went on to be named The Woods in July 2014.

Offering an upstairs cinema with events for children, a first floor restaurant and ground floor bar area, it was a lot of things to a lot of people.

It wasn’t long before it closed following a staff dispute, and re-opened with new management.

Now it seems it to have finally started to settle into its new look.

The outdoor seating area has been given some TLC, with wooden benches, brightly-coloured paper lanterns and fairy lights to soften the previously minimalist theme.

It’s a lovely sunny Sunday evening when we visit, and we take up the last remaining bench outside.

The food menu at The Wood is fairly straight-forward with a dozen or so pizzas, a few sides, salad bowls, sandwiches and sharing platters.

There are three specials on the menu – two of which are sold out.

Looking around, it’s clear that the pizzas from The Woods’ own wood-fired oven are the biggest sellers.

I go for the spiced lamb, kale, yogurt and sumac pizza at £11 whilst my companion orders the aubergine and courgette pizza at £8.

We also share a side dish of buffalo tomato, mozzarella and basil salad at £4.50.

We place our order at the bar and a friendly waiter brings us cutlery to the table.

Our food arrives quickly and we’re surprised at the generous size of the pizzas, which are well cooked with a good amount of toppings on each.

The portions are so generous in fact that I find it difficult to finish mine and the side salad goes largely untouched.

My companion however, who is normally quite a fussy eater, is thoroughly pleased with his choice and it’s gone before I look up from my plate.

Despite the full stomachs, we both discuss what we would order on our next visit – a good sign of a satisfied customer.

Apparently the top floor of the venue is relaunching as a cocktail bar this week.

Now that The Woods seems to have found its feet with the food offering, it feels right to be looking to improve other areas.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for The Woods but hopefully it has finally found the recipe for success.

Rating: ****

A cinnamon and oregano old fashioned

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