While Sheffield will always be my numero uno one of my favourite places to while away a morning or afternoon for that matter is Leeds – the city centre is second to none for shopping (I could live happily ever after in Victoria Gate) and the choice of restaurants is truly diverse, not forgetting it’s only an hours drive door to door so you can imagine my glee when George’s Great British Kitchen invited the three of us to dine at their latest opening in Leeds*. Situated in The Light complex George’s is well positioned off the main high street so its perfect for shopping pit stop or even for an evening out.
(Outfit details: Oversized cricket jumper: & Other Stories / Khaki trench coat: Topshop / Axyl straight legs: Urban Outfitters / Backless loafers: Topshop)
Founded by two school friends who spent years cooking up proper fish and chips they decided it was time to bring a twist to British classics as you know them, they began opening a restaurant in Nottingham two years ago and the rest is history! When I heard about the chance to experience George’s I must say I was intrigued – there’s very few restaurants that spring to mind when I think of truly British food that not only has a focus on quality and a keen eye on the supply chain but doesn’t break the bank either so my expectations were set high, thank goodness George’s didn’t disappoint.
Stepping inside the restaurant I was struck by the decor and attention to detail, it would have been incredibly easy for George’s to go down the obvious British seaside themed route but instead they’ve played it smart combining brightly coloured beach huts for relaxed family dining with a Victorian tiled Gin bar complete with copper fittings and leather banquette seating perfect for drinks with the girls or date night. There’s very few restaurants that find this interior balance and I loved how our Saturday lunch included everyone from families, to couples, to groups of friends and even girls out celebrating. With any cleverly designed space comes a pinch of humour and a keen eye for talking points design and George’s have absolutely nailed it – think accessories like a Famous Five parody book, a monochrome lobster cushion and plastic rainbow trouts galore that were so kitsch they were brilliant. We even spotted selfie sticks on the end of the beach huts and bowler hats for dressing up, it almost shouldn’t work together but it does.
After taking in our surroundings we were shown to our booth and Sadie was made to feel right at home with a sailors hat, balloon and set of colouring supplies – a parents dream when you’re trying to lock down your choice from a menu where you could happily choose three starters and five mains. To kick things off I went with a virgin blackberry mojito (far superior to the cucumber & elder-flower one I sampled later). After some serious decision making I decided to go for Pigs Under Duvets followed by the Yorkshire Steak, Ale and Hendersons Pie with Craig opting for George’s Runny Yolk Scotch Egg and the classic Surf & Turf.
The starters couldn’t have been more spot on, Craigs scotch egg had the perfect casing to egg ratio and my pigs under duvets may not have been the sexiest dish around but boy were they delicious, especially the honey mustard seasoned mash but the piece de resistance? Sadies giant fish finger, twice cooked chips (a real treat I might add) served in a bucket with spade to take home and an eager fruit juice, devoid of nasties. While the childrens menu won’t be winning any awards for healthy eating the concept is smart and I bet there’s very few children that don’t clear their bucket.
For the main event I had a serious case of food envy, while my pie was tasty especially with the addition of Sheffields own Hendersons Relish it wasn’t a patch on Craigs surf and turf although is that really a fair comparison? The meat was cooked to perfection and his twice cooked chips were carb heaven.
With our mains well and truly demolished we thought it’d be rude not to indulge in the dessert menu and after deliberation we settled on the warm gooey chocolate & orange tart which Craig devoured before I could take a shot and for me the doughnuts which came with a show stopping side of candy floss, needless to say there wasn’t a chance I could finish it all.
The level of service throughout our meal couldn’t be faulted – all our servers were incredibly attentive and just as we were about to leave we were surprised with a takeaway bag of the pink fuzzy stuff for Sadie which was incredibly thoughtful and for me sums up the experience in George’s – considered, scrumptious and frankly a class act. We’ll back back without a shadow of a doubt.
*My family and I were guests of George’s, Leeds – all thoughts my own.