Yorkshire Life Lunch - Woodlands, Leeds
PUBLISHED: 11:30 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 20 February 2013
Guests enjoy fine food and good conversation at a popular boutique hotel restaurant PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN COCKS
Craig Squelch, yes that's his real name, welcomed guests to this month's Yorkshire Life Lunch at the Woodlands, Leeds. 'I think I am the only Squelch in Yorkshire,' he explained as everyone sat down for a much anticipated three course meal.
Craig has been general manager at Woodlands, a Tomahawk Hotel, since January after three years at Aston Hall, another Tomahawk Hotel, in Sheffield. 'Woodlands is smaller, has fewer bedrooms than Aston Hall, but is fast becoming one of the most popular wedding venues in Leeds with 100 booked for this year and 40 already booked for 2010,' added Craig.
Woodlands, a boutique-style hotel which opened just five years ago, is as fresh as the day the first guest arrived. Five new bedrooms have been added in that short time and the hotel's landscaped grounds won a Yorkshire in Bloom Silver Gilt Award in 2007.
The hotel building was originally a family home built in 1871 belonging to a wealthy textile mill owner. The Tomahawk group transformed it into a contemporary hotel and it is now one of three operated by the company, including Aston Hall, Sheffield and the Great Victoria, Bradford. Each of them is a restored period building.
Woodlands head chef, Rob Corless, is a familiar name to Yorkshire Life readers and lovers of fine food, simply prepared and imaginatively presented. 'I aim to give good value for money with good honest food,' said Rob who uses local suppliers for fresh ingredients at every opportunity.
Guests were welcomed with canaps and a sparkling Riesling, Trillians 2006, produced in the Clare Valley, Australia, supplied by Hull-based House of Townend, who provided all the wines for lunch. An assiette of appetisingly presented scallops were perfectly cooked and demonstrated Rob's technical versatility and flair. The dish was served with Chablis 2006, Domaine Testut, a dry, elegant and classy wine and a classic choice for scallops, said Alan Whitehead, House of Townend sales director.
The main course of roasted Yorkshire lamb was served with an unusually presented gratin dauphinoise, mixed bean fricassee, lamb and sun dried tomato jus.
Annie Stirk, Yorkshire Life food and wine consultant, said the lamb was cooked to perfection and the bean fricassee was a refreshing change.
The wine served was Rioja Vega Crianza 2005, which brought out the sweetness of the lamb. The wine is made from Tempranillo,Mazuelo and Garnacha grapes and aged for 12 months in oak casks, followed by at least another six months in the bottle. The result is a bright ruby red wine with aromas of vanilla and spices.
Dessert was a much favoured English apple tarte fine served with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon tuille. The accompanying wine was Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Domaine Perrin, a sweet, delicate and intense wine which perfectly matched this dessert.
All the wines for the Woodlands lunch were provided by House of Townend, based in Hull Riesling, Trillians 2006: a sparkling wine, fresh and lively, first introduced in this county four years ago, produced in the Clare Valley, Australia Chablis 2006 - Domaine Testut: a dry, elegant and classy wine, a classic choice for scallops Rioja Vega 'Crianza' 2005: made from Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Garnacha grapes and aged for 12 months in oak casks, followed by at least another six months in the bottle. The result is a bright ruby red wine, with aromas of vanilla and spices Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Domaine Perrin: a sweet wine, delicate and intense
Contacts Woodlands, Gelderd Road, Leeds, LS27 7LY 0113 238 1488. firstname.lastname@example.org
House of Townend, Red Duster House, York Street, Hull, HU2 0QX.