Water Lane Boathouse review: A scenic gem of a pub in the heart of Leeds city centre

As far as city centre pubs go, there are few better than Water Lane Boathouse.

By YEP Reviewer
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 11:45 am

With outdoor seating next to the River Aire, on a hot day I can imagine it is easy to forget you are in England.

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Of course, when I went along, I was greeted by ominous dark clouds and muggy weather which reminded me I was definitely in Yorkshire.

With outdoor seating next to the River Aire, on a hot day I can imagine it is easy to forget you are in England. Image: Gary Longbottom

The conditions did not dampen my spirits and that is a testament to the warm atmosphere and fantastic array of drinks on offer.

I began by giving Water Lane Boathouse the ultimate test, ordering a pint of Guinness and then waiting with tension coursing through me as it was poured.

They passed with flying colours, serving a dark and wavy pint with the perfect creamy white head.

Priced at £5.50, it may not have been a bargain but I have certainly paid more elsewhere in the city centre.

We visited early on a Saturday afternoon and the pub quickly filled up with day-drinkers. Image: Gary Longbottom

My partner opted for an Aperol Spritz, which was not cheap at £9 but came with a strong serving of alcohol and was a solid cocktail.

It is also worth noting that despite the bar being busy, staff were friendly and attentive.

They even showed admirable restraint and composure when several punters formed a single-file line which threatened to begin snaking between tables.

We visited early on a Saturday afternoon and the pub quickly filled up with day-drinkers.

The increased footfall, however, did not compromise the friendly service provided by the staff serving drinks and food.

My next order was a Five Points Pale, a zesty pale ale which certainly hit the spot and was a cheaper option than the Guinness at £5.15.

As much as I enjoyed the pale ale, the cocktail my partner had left with me a little bit of order regret.

She opted for a lychee chill, which was deliciously fruity and extremely refreshing, information I obtained from the two sips I took when she briefly left the table.

It was also a more wallet-friendly option than the Aperol Spritz, costing £7.95.

I left feeling slightly frustrated I did not get a chance to explore more of the pub’s wide range of drinks, therefore a return visit is certainly on the cards.

Despite its central location, you feel far away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and therefore a visit can be a relaxing one – even on a Saturday.

Factfile

Address: Canal Wharf, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 5PS

Telephone: 0113 246 0985

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12-11pm, Friday and Saturday: 12pm-12am

Website: waterlaneboathouse.com

Scores

Drinks: 9/10

Value: 7/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Overall: 8/10