The colder months of the year are when places like The Roundhay Fox really come into their own. It might be blowing a gale outside but step beyond the threshold of this long established pub and it’s as though you have crossed into a different world.
Timeworn stone floors lead you into an interior which is bathed in soft, warming light and dominated by earthy thick-cut wooden beams, while the hinterland promises more intimate spaces draped in shadow. It has the feel of a village inn. All in all, you couldn’t really ask for more in terms of appearance, especially a pub that sits on the edge of Roundhay Park.
Service was a touch slow to begin with. It wasn’t that there was no-one available, there was, it’s just that for the first two minutes we were completely ignored, whereas a nod of acknowledgement would have gone such a long way.
We ordered drinks at the bar - a pint of Peroni (£4.20) and half a Diet Pepsi (expensive at £2.05) and found ourselves a big old wooden table over in one of the alcoves - stools on one side and fixed seating littered with scatter cushions on the other.
They offer a bar snacks menu and an a la carte menu, which is normally reserved for the restaurant, however, because it was not busy when we visited - Tuesday evening around 6pm - we were told it would be fine to sit in the bar and order from it.
There’s a decent selection to go at, with pizzas, fish n’ chips, burgers, lamb, steaks, some seafood, even a Moroccan-style cous-cous salad, plus all the usual pub grub classics, such as ham and eggs, roast chicken and a couple of sturdy sounding pies to boot. In short, you won’t lack for choice.
In the end, we opted for the fish n’ chips (£11.25) and the 7oz burger (£9.95), plus a side salad (£2.50) and mixed vegetables (£2.50).
Fish n’ chips was a winner. The fish was nicely done (and not overdone), the batter crisp and tasty, the chips were chunky, fluffy in the middle and crisp on the outside, ‘like what proper chips should be’. The dish came with a wedge of lemon and a meagre portion of tartar sauce, which I wasn’t that enthused about if I’m honest.
The burger, which came with ginger-beer glazed thick-cut streaky bacon, smoked cheddar and triple-cooked chips (they were exceedingly good chips), was also good, apart from the bun being burned on top and I didn’t care for the gherkin dip which accompanied it; it was too sweet by half and had the texture of frog spawn.
Also, while the salad was very tasty: tender, fresh, zingy with dressing, the bowl of veg was pitiful, a withered, sorry-looking collection of peas, wonky carrot slices and blanched kale as far as I could work out. Overall price £26.55.
Address: Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2EP
Tel: 0113 269 3352