The Brownlee Arms

We had a big get together with most of the Mums, Dads and babies from our antenatal classes a few weeks ago, held at the Brownlee Arms in Horsforth, so named for our Yorkshire triathlon heroes. It was a great venue for a large party, with lots of space, it was light and airy and had plenty of high chairs (which we didn’t actually need – the babies were still too young!). The staff (and other diners) were very accomdating to seven sometimes demanding babies and their parents!

The menu offers your usual gastro pub food, with a very extensive choice of roast dinners, burgers, sandwiches, wraps and such like. We’ve eaten there once before, for an evening meal, and we’re very impressed with the meals and service, but this time didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

A few of our fellow diners had starters – a homemade scotch egg served with piccalilli, which was delicious, with the yolk cooked just right and the tart piccalilli contrasting the smooth yolk very well; and the chicken liver pate, served with cider chutney and sourdough toast, again all very tasty with good complementary flavours.

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Ali went for the pork roast dinner, plenty of tender pork served with a perfectly cooked Yorkshire pudding, carrots, swede, cabbage and both roast and mash potatoes. It all tasted as a roast dinner should, the meal was classic and couldn’t really be faulted. Nothing too impressive, just a solid Sunday lunch!  Ali did, however, find a hair in his food, and whilst we aren’t too bothered by such things, we just joke it’s extra protein, a few of our friends were horrified, J was put off her own food, and E demanded a new dinner be given to Ali! The staff did apologise, and duly bought another second (hair-free) roast dinner, which Ali wolfed down!

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I had the pie of the day – a chicken and chorizo pot, covered in buttery puff pastry, served with chunky chips. I really enjoyed this dish, and thought it was much better than Ali’s roast! The sauce was flavourful, with loads of chunks of chicken, and plenty of spicy chorizo, and the pastry was lovely and crispy on top. The chips made a great vessel for mopping up the extra sauce!

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Some of our friends went for various burgers and wraps served with salads and chips. The pulled pork burger, cider braised with stuffing and apple sauce with sweet potato fries went down very well, with reports it tasted great, but the fish wrap, a beer battered number with tartar sauce, left my friend disappointed.

We didn’t have desserts, too much chatting, feeding and rocking the babies to sleep, left no time to peruse the dessert menu. I was pretty stuffed from my pie anyway, the portion was substantial.

So all in all a bit of a mixed bag from the Brownlee Arms – they certainly do a classic roast dinner well, and are very accommodating to large groups, but a few dishes need a bit of a tweak to get right. It’s not crossed off the list completely, but I’ll leave it a while before heading back.

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