Bar review: 166 Bar & Bistro, Horsforth

Bar 166 and Bistro, Town Street, Horsforth
Bar 166 and Bistro, Town Street, Horsforth
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YOU can’t exactly call Horsforth a sleepy outlier what with the booming sounds of planes coming into land at nearby Leeds Bradford Airport, but there is a snug corner bar that offers a cosy ambiance.

It is traditional on the outside and modern on the inside. Bar 166 Bar & Bistro is located in a stone building on Town Street, a ten-minute stroll from Horsforth train station.

Stepping inside, it’s like entering a really cool cave. The exposed stonework walls and wooden floor in stone-like shades give this effect, with items of modern furniture thrown in for good measure - long spindly-legged red leather bar stools and raised brown leather seating areas among the hustle of tables and seats; a red uplit spirits wall behind the bar; and slender red hanging lamp shades above the bar stools.

The atmosphere was lively for a midweek evening visit, with the odd table free in the main room - a second room branches off next to the bar. It was a mixed clientele - a woman breastfeeding a baby, a middle-aged group in one corner and a couple of groups of 20 and 30-somethings.

Adjacent to the bar area is a separate bistro area which has all the look of a more formal restaurant.

Upbeat tracks of no particular era played through the speakers.

There was virtually no wait at the bar and the barman served me a pint of London brewed Camden Hells on tap, in a satisfying, branded beer jug, with the minimum of fuss.

The beer selection was more off-beat than the average bar and it was a tough choice picking one. Also on tap was Whitstable Bay’s pale ale and black oyster stout, Ilkley Brewery’s Mary Jane, Asahi and Cobra lager and a cider, Thatchers Gold.

There was a two-page wine list on the table, listing whites, reds and roses by the glass, with a wider selection only available by the bottle.

Seven bottles of champagne were listed, priced between £19.90 and £65.

The Camden Hells went down easily. Priced at £4.10 a pint, it is a golden ale with a light, sweet taste.

Switching to the wine selection, I went for a 125ml glass of the Corte Vigna Pinot Grigio (£3.10), an Italian sup described as floral, racy and dry, with green crisp fruit. My palate registered notes of Golden Delicious apples.

Glasses of wine ranged from £2.70 for 125ml, to £7 for 250ml. Expect to pay between £14.95 and £28.95 for a bottle.

166 also deals in cocktails, each for £6.95, and sticks to the classics - mojito, zombie, French martini and Singapore Sling among 13 choices.

All in all, a lively, upbeat and comfy spot to lift the spirits on a midweek jaunt.