Pub review: The Adelphi, Hunslet Road, Leeds

Period touches of brass and dark wood in one of the bars.
Period touches of brass and dark wood in one of the bars.
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If you’re in need of a weeknight wind-down, somewhere with a bit of yesteryear elegance usually does the trick. The Adelphi on the edge of Leeds city centre has that in abundance.

The pub’s famous aesthetic qualities are obvious as you approach it, with its name carved into the building’s stonework above and large, decorated windows through which the golden light of lamps sings of cosiness before you even cross the threshold.

This is a tavern surrounded by history, be it the landmark Leeds Bridge as you walk up – of which 1888 moving pictures are believed to be the first in the world – to where the city’s medieval South Bar gate once stood only a stone’s throw away. And of course, just up the road is The Tetley gallery, once home to the brewery which provided the Adelphi with its flagship tipple for generations before production was sadly re-located in 2011.

But its full Victorian splendour is best appreciated once you’ve just passed the door – an impressive regal staircase to the right, which leads to the upstairs function room, is complemented by colourful period wall tiles, touches of brass and a long dark brown bar on the left.

In its many snug downstairs rooms boast alluring features such as old fireplaces, dark leather seats, art deco light shades, red walls, giant mirrors and wooden floors to complete the classic boozer feel.Plenty of framed period adverts for beers such as Tetley’s and Bass also pay tribute to the pub’s rich heritage. So with such a magnificent setting, hopes are naturally high for pint which is up to scratch too.

The bartenders seem quite curt with customers served before me. But once it’s my turn the staff, though unsmiling, are verbally polite and my Doom Bar (£3.55) is pulled well and tastes great. After asking about a fruit beer for my companion, I was helpfully recommended the raspberry Bacchus Frambozenbier (£4.50). Quality beers such as Brooklyn are also on tap.

I’ve always felt that a pub being dog-friendly is a mark of geniality, so the couple of pooches that are allowed to gently bound around between the rooms is for me a welcome sight. The décor and low lighting create an intimate warmth and a good mix of music plays at an unobtrusive volume.

Me and a friend decide to eat after glancing over the inviting menu and after 45 minutes I’m met with a solid portion of southern fried chicken, fries, ‘slaw’ and cherry barbecue sauce (£9.50). It’s all good fare, and waiting staff are attentive.

People could do worse than to pop in to the Adelphi if ever they feel in need of some bygone charm after a busy day – it just needs to make sure that punters know their custom is appreciated.

The Adelphi

Address: Hunslet Road, Leeds

Rating ***