Based on the outskirts of the city in the hinterland between Leeds and Bradford, The Stansfield Arms in Apperley Bridge is your textbook definition of a quaint country pub, based just a short drive from the city centre.
The large yet cosy Tudor-style pub styles itself on its reputation serving traditional, high quality pub food at a decent price.
However on a weekend it is very much a place for a few drinks and some great conversation.
The large outside veranda is a great place to set up camp, no matter the weather.
While the recent temperatures make this a magnet for sunseekers the owners have had the foresight to add in blankets and outdoor heaters, making the best use of the magnificent space.
The pub itself dates back to 1543 and is very much a traditional building from that era, with beamed ceilings and a typical Tudor-style frontage.
A long bar and lounge runs between the pub’s two main dining areas, one which is large and square in shape, while the other side is smaller, narrower and cosier.
In terms of decor, this is a restaurant with lots of attractive objects scattered around. The pictures on the walls vary in style – from our table, we could see paintings of fruit bowls, a tapestry, a frame showing the Stansfield coat of arms and a family tree; and a portrait of two men playing cards.
However the place has the bustle and hum of a city centre bar.
As you would expect the usual real ale mainstays are all present and correct.
My friend and instinctively plump for a Black Sheep ale each and make a B-line for the outdoor area.
It’s early evening on a Saturday, the sun is blazing and everyone is predictably talking sport, with an unlikely England victory in the cricket and the Wimbledon final looming for the next day.
My friend and I plump for Scotch, perhaps getting caught up in the ambience and feeling suddenly in need of something earthy and old fashioned.
As the evening progresses we head indoors before ringing for a taxi.
The lighting is low and mainly provided by the lamps, again reinforcing the building’s long and colourful past.
Bar staff could not be more friendly. An innocent mistake in which I am undercharged for some chips is laughed off by all parties, we are praised for our honesty.
Clientèle is very mixed, from young groups of men and women to couples enjoying the modern phenomena which is now known as ‘date night’ (note to self, bring the wife next time, this place is perfect).
With reasonable prices and great decor, this is a great suburban night out.