11/9/2019 0 Comments
By Sophie Mei Lan
It’s easy to hibernate at home as the cold weather and dark nights loom in, but I was glad we ventured out into the rain to find a stylish yet cosy pub, an Oasis on a main road in West Yorkshire.
The warm outdoor lighting of The Castle pub on Barnsley Road in Wakefield glowed in the dark, immediately drawing us in.
Not only has the pub, now my new local, received a stunning refurbishment, but there’s a full Vegan menu as well as the normal pub menu to choose from. There’s also an array of drinks, cocktails and hot drinks to select. Better still, you can drink and/or dine now in the comfort of a modern and welcoming establishment.
On arrival, the manager Mat gave us a warm welcome and showed us around the pub-cum-restaurant. The venue’s interior is an instagrammer’s dream with touches of gold, feature walls, pictures and different themed areas. It has been done up stylishly and you could tell the staff were proud to show us around. This gave us the perfect sense of a ‘homely’ pub feel with splashes of grandeur.
To start with we ordered drinks at the bar. I couldn’t resist an orange infused gin cocktail and my friend ordered a Peroni. We then took our seats at one of the tables in the dining area. It was nice that the tables were spaced out, rather than being too close together, they were nicely set out so you have adequate space to enjoy your food and drink with your friends and family.
Food and Drink
I was excited to see a full Vegan menu with a good range of exciting dishes. Whilst my friend scoured the standard menu.
I’m not used to having so much choice as a Vegetarian and it was great to see such a variety of dishes from a Superfood Salad to Spiced coconut Curry, Mezze Platter and Moroccan-Inspired Cauliflower Tart.
The desserts looked dreamy too with a Salted Caramel Billionaires Bar and Blackcurrant mousse just a couple of things on the Vegan menu alone.
The seasonal main menu has a huge range of steaks and rotisserie chicken from the grill to freshly made pizza and gourmet sandwiches.
My friend chose the SMOKED SALMON & KING PRAWN POT topped with Devon crab crème fraîche, served with ciabatta.
I had the Vegan Mezze platter to start which was as tasty as it is colourful with Tzatziki, Aubergines, Lebanese Salad, beetroot hummus and falafal with flatbread.
For mains, I opted for the Vegan Coconut Curry which was lightly spiced with some delicious aubergines and rice to accompany it. I couldn’t finish it as the starters were so filling but it was delicious. My friend had the 10 oz Rib-Eye Steak which is served with twice-cooked chunky chips, a roasted mushroom, confit tomato and parsley butter.
We both enjoyed the freshly made food which was tasty and filling… pub grub portions but at a quality restaurant standard.
There’s also a wide range of sides available to order from Halloumi Fries to Dauphinoise potatoes.
For desserts we had the THE HOUSE SHARER which is Vegetarian friendly. This included Home-baked chocolate brownie, white chocolate & blackcurrant cheesecake tower, Belgian chocolate & hazelnut mousse (which I could have eaten all night long) and a Bourbon vanilla ice cream cookie sandwich. It was a lovely way to finish off a decadent meal and a good way to try a few desserts. We definitely want to return to try THE AMBASSADOR'S MELTING CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT BOMB: Rich chocolate ganache, hazelnut, crisp wafer and vanilla ice cream, encased in a dark chocolate sphere, melted with hot white chocolate sauce. And the Vegan WARM BLUEBERRY & ALMOND POLENTA CAKE with Herefordshire blackcurrants and soya vanilla custard or vegan vanilla ice cream.
The Castle in Wakefield is the perfect setting for business lunches, romantic meals out and an evening with friends. It’s stylish yet cosy, the perfect place to hibernate and be treated over Winter. Whilst the decor and food was brilliant, what really stood out for me, was the staff. From the moment we entered we were warmly greeted and shown around. The team couldn’t do enough for us from helping us select food and drink (with a good knowledge of all the menu) to making sure we were happy with everything. You could sense their true pride of the pub as if they were welcoming us into their own home.
This public house is definitely going to be our new local… and before now I would have said that I wasn’t really a “pub-goer” but if pubs are like this… I’m a convert.
The official lowdown:
The Castle in Wakefield has received a stunning refurbishment, re-opening to guests with a new look on Saturday 9th November.
The Castle, located on Barnsley Road, has undergone a significant makeover that has given the much-loved eating and drinking spot a modernised, stylish and contemporary feel.
Serving a top-quality, seasonal menu, guests can enjoy a broad range of premium grill dishes, including three premium steaks cuts from selected British & Irish farms – hand-cut by skilled butchers and expertly aged for superb tenderness and flavour – four-bone lamb rack with chorizo, chimi churri and butternut squash, or maple glazed pork belly with pig cheek. With fresh fish delivered daily, there's seared wild Atlantic scallops with cauliflower two ways, king prawn gratin in a creamy garlic, white wine & leek sauce and sea bass fillets in a vermouth velouté.
Still offering fantastic value, the fixed price Monday-Friday lunch menu includes a broad range of dishes under 650 calories, freshly made pizzas and gourmet sandwiches.
General Manager, Mat, who has 15 years’ hospitality experience, said: “The Castle is a hugely popular pub and provides a hub for the local community so we’re really excited to be part of the team as it begins its next chapter.
“We have made some stunning changes that have allowed us to create a modern, open and stylish look and feel to the pub – making it the ideal spot for friends and family to get together. We have loved unveiling the brand-new pub to guests!”
Its team has also grown with several new people hired to fill various roles. Head Chef Jodie Reed is leading the team, and has over 10 years industry experience.
As part of the refurbishment, the pub has received a full makeover, opening up the restaurant area and bringing new energy to The Castle. The pub also boasts a private beer garden, where guests can watch the local bowls club play during the season. A private dining area is also available for reservations, perfect for celebrations and private parties.
Its new improved décor is a top to tail transformation, taking inspiration from the UK’s most luxurious dining and drinking hotspots. The sophisticated décor combines dark purples, creams and greys with bold patterned wallpaper and sophisticated lighting throughout. The smooth leather finishes create an authentic and cosy feel to the historic pub, named after nearby Sandal Castle.
Go to: www.facebook.com/thecastlewakefield/ and: https://www.thecastlewakefield.co.uk/ for more details.
DISCLAIMER: We received this experience free of charge for the purpose of this review.
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