SITTING beneath the low wooden beams in the lounge of The 6 Acres, with its oak-panelled bar, floral lanterns and three real ale handpulls, you might almost kid yourself that you are out for a pint in a traditional country pub in the Dales. There is even a splash of exposed Yorkshire stone, just for good measure.
But it’s all a clever illusion. Stretching out beyond here in both directions are the broad dining areas which attract families in their droves to a popular bar and restaurant in that rural hinterland between the west of south Leeds and the eastern fringes of Bradford. There’s not quite six acres of space, but I’m sure they can fit plenty in.
Technically, the pub is in Bradford and has a BD postcode, but it’s just five minutes from the M62-M621 junction and pulls in customers from both cities, as well as from nearby communities like Gildersome, Drighlington, Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw.
From the car park, you pass through an attractive flagged courtyard before arriving at a corner of the main bar. At first sight, this seems to be dominated by shiny fonts dispensing a bewildering selection of lagers, but look hard and you’ll soon spot the row of three handpumps.
I’m drawn to the colourful sunshine pump clip for Fuller’s Summer Ale, and it proves to be a crisp and refreshing blonde ale, and the perfect antidote to the roiling afternoon outside.
From the dining rooms either side, there’s a steady hubbub of chatter, and occasionally customers wander past, carefully balancing plates of dinner loaded up from the busy carvery.
Food is a major part of the deal here, with meals served from lunchtime until 9.30pm daily and the carvery operates for most of that time. It’s £8.50 for adults, £4.99 for kids and £6.50 for OAPs. Aside from that, there’s a huge choice of main courses with classics like sausage and mash (£8.50), meat and potato pie (£8.50), chunky burgers from £8.99, steaks from £8.99 and a prodigious mixed grill (£15.99). Two-for-one deals and a great choice of kids meals extend the choice still further.
Certainly this is a family pub and unashamedly so. As well as the grassed beer garden to the side of the pub, with lots of play equipment, to the rear there is a fantastic adventure playground too. It’s the sort of place where the kids can easily amuse themselves for an hour while their parents enjoy a pint. I’m guessing on sunny days through these school holidays it will do a roaring trade.
To the rear of the pub, the versatile Lawrence Suite is a great venue for parties and celebrations of all kinds.
Knaresborough Beer Festival starts tomorrow night with a whole host of Yorkshire ales on offer in the three-day event being hosted by the local branch of the Lions Club at Knaresborough House. Running a quick eye down the impressive list, my first port of call would be the Baby Faced Assassin, partly because it’s a great beer from town brewery Rooster’s and partly because I suspect that it will be one of the very first to sell out.
Exciting things are also happening this weekend in South Leeds at the Holbeck home of the Northern Monk brewery.
Brewing started in the former Marshall’s Mill flax store a couple of years ago, with the first floor then being converted to created a restaurant and bar which doubled as a brewery tap to showcase all their beers.
Now they’ve moved up another storey to create the Chapter Hall, a flexible event space. And this weekend they are celebrating with a three-day, 52-ale, multiple-DJ fiesta of music, food and beer. The event is called City of Industry, and if you want to find out more go to www.cityofindustry.co.uk
Westgate Hill, Bradford, BD4 0SF
Telephone: 0113 2852372
Type: Popular family bar and restaurant
Opening Hours: Noon-11pm daily
Beers: Changing choice of three real ales, all around £3.30; plus lagers including Carling (£3.55), Carlsberg (£3.40), San Miguel (£3.75), Guinness (£3.50) and selection of bottled beers.
Wines: Sensibly-priced wine list with selections from £3.70-glass and £11.70-bottle
Food: Quality food served noon-9.30pm daily with carvery available at most times
Disabled: Easy access and disabled toilets
Children: Welcomed. Kids’ meals available - plus two play areas.
Entertainment: Games machines. Lawrence Suite available to hire for private functions
Beer garden: Large grassed area to the side
Parking: Large area
Reviewer: Simon Jenkins