Let me take you on a little journey to a quaint retirement village on the outskirts of Leeds, in Ben Rhydding, to be precise. Tucked away in what feels like the middle of a beautiful nowhere, along a private road is The Clevedon, a restaurant and bistro raring to offer a pleasant dining experience.
In a sublime setting, The Clevedon is set in a former Victorian schoolhouse for boys with views across the Wharfe Valley. Leading up to the restaurant is the perfectly cut grass, with well pruned flowers and a centre piece water fountain before the entrance. It’s a rather grand feeling arriving, and the interior continues the grand impressions as you head inside.
The room has a luxury feel to it, its soft with crème walls with decadent powder blue interior accents, and a mix of eclectic and animal themed décor that adds to the atmosphere. It feels fancy without trying too hard, and their terrace seems like a great suntrap for warmer days, perfect for guests to enjoy with their food and drinks.
Visiting for the first time, we were really excited to try out a new place, when we had also realised it’s been a really long time since we’ve even had a Sunday roast out. At The Clevedon, the Sunday roast is served as a carvery, and for those wishing to order something else, a seasonal menu is also available.
To kick off the food experience, we opted for starters, with four to choose from. It’s an enjoyable menu that also changes with the seasons and produce available. It’s clear that there is passion and excitement behind the menu. My choice of starters were the mussels. It had to be done, especially as I loved the sound of the light creamy curry sauce they were served in and gratings of apple with fennel. The mussels melted away in the mouth, they were cooked to absolute perfection. With a cheeky mini loaf of warm bread on the side, I made sure every last drop of sauce was enjoyed too. This dish was so good, I could have ordered tenfold.
Nathan opted for the soup of the day, tomato and cream. A solid choice but one that could be disappointing. Well, it was another full set of marks for this dish too. The soup was impressive, with soft and chunky tomato pieces that tasted fresh and were full of flavour. As you can imagine, the warm bread here again was just absolutely necessary. The starters on both occasions were absolutely amazing, and we were certainly onto a top start on our food journey.
As mentioned, the roast was presented as a carvery, with three meats and one fish to select from. Vegetables and sauces were served further down, ready to help yourself once chef served your meats. It’s easy to see that there is love for food here, as the chef took his time to talk us through the local sources of the meat, how the salmon was prepared and what’s currently good to cook with.
To get a fair judgement (or just how I mask the greed) of the meats and fish, I opted for a slither of each. Up for review was lemon salmon, organic roasted chicken, chunks of lamb shoulder and beef. The highlights for me were the lamb and salmon without a doubt. The salmon took on the great flavours of the herbs and lemon and was flaky yet still moist. The lamb also fell apart perfectly, really tender with a slight crispness to the edges. Unfortunately, the beef was too cold and chewy for my enjoyment, however Nathan was happy to receive the extra donation.
In terms of the roast potatoes and vegetables, I think The Clevedon did a real good job, but potentially our time of arrival may have compromised the freshness a little. Again, that’s our own doing and I would recommend an earlier visit for the carvery. The potatoes had a slight crisp to them, the carrots and parsnips were cooked well, and the cauliflower cheese was the bees’ knees. The gravy was rich and moreish and was very happy that we could take the gravy boat with us, that we of course filled to the brim! It’s all about drenching the Yorkshire puddings!
Regarding the timings, the roast runs until 3PM and we arrived a quarter of an hour before. There were still all the possible choices with enough left to enjoy, but I would encourage an earlier visit to get the very best of it.
After a comforting and filling main, there was a teeny tiny gap for a light dessert and went for the poached peach. This came served surrounded by cream, a dollop of raspberry sorbet and a scattering of almond brittle to garnish. The whole dish was tasty and refreshing, but also surprised when enjoying the first spoon that the full dessert was cold. For me, I felt a warm peach would have topped it all off, yet after the initial spoon, I of course still absolutely enjoyed the dish nonetheless.
So, in terms of pricing, I feel that The Clevedon is more than fair, offering a two-course carvery for £22.30, or you can enjoy a starter, carvery and dessert for £27 with a guaranteed full belly!
The whole experience was really lovely. From the grand entrance and stunning views to the chic interior and extremely friendly and attentive staff that made us feel welcome and comfortable throughout.
Which leads to the big question of whether we would return again? 100% yes, and I am really excited to come back for their all day dining menu. Based on the fish and mussels I had, I’m real keen to explore more of their fish dishes and generally intrigued at how their seasonal menus develop.