After my excesses on the other side of the Pennines last week, I decided, after overhearing a conversation in a local pub, to visit The Fox & Newt in Leeds. From what I ear-wigged it seemed to be somewhere well worth a check out and somewhere I had not been for many years.
It is not on the regular Leeds drinking circuit and takes a bit of finding being out on Burley Rd, near to the Park Lane College, some 15 minutes walk from the Headrow (follow Headrow out of the city towards the Law Courts, bear right and follow the road over the ring road and the pub is on your left hand side). If you prefer, get the free bus from outside the Rail Station and get off at Park Lane and it's 200 yards back down the road.
I got there around opening time at 12 noon and was impressed by the change that had occurred since my last visit. It is a tidy pub, with leather seating, polished floor and subtle colours. Basically one room with a raised seating area, and a small bar across from the door.
I was pleased that on the bar were 2 beers brewed on the premises by the now named Fox Brewery, a dark mild (which seemed to be part of an experimental range but none the worse for that) and Nightshade, a darkish bitter weighing in at 4.9% and dangerously drinkable. Speaking to the landlord, this seems to be a very popular beer and demand is outstripping production. There were also 2 Moorhouses beers and an Abbeydale along with Leeds Pale, which is a permanent guest. The guests are all £2.50 but the house beers were both cheaper.
Food is served, and is typical pub fayre and in my opinion a bit pricey, but the quality was good. Looking at the posters on the wall it seems to be a lively pub in the evening with bands playing -though I would think it could be a bit small and noisy too for that. It also seemed to attract a wide range of people while I was there, from students to banking types, to aged hippies (not me!).
If you are in Leeds, and fancy somewhere a bit off the beaten track, it's well worth searching out. (map) (The Good Stuff review)
Update: Nightshade from the Fox Brewery has recently been distributed around some of Ossett Brewery's pubs including The White Horse at Emley.