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“Good local dining pub, slightly let down by level of service”
Review of Brownlee Arms

Brownlee Arms
Ranked #166 of 1,838 Restaurants in Leeds
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: This is a newly refurbished Pub with a large carpark in the leafy suburb of Horsforth. We serve real ales, fine wine, a few cocktails and homemade food all day.We serve traditional Yorkshire food a modern twist with delights including warming pies, beer battered fish & chips and with roast dinners on a Sunday. We also have some more international dishes such as Americana longboard, fish dishes, vegetarian dishes and a children's menu. Our menu changes with the seasons and all our food is homemade and cooked to order.We serve brunch from 11-1pm on a weekend.We have an early bird offer 4.30-6Pm, 2 courses £11.95, Monday to Friday. We look forward to seeing you!
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good local dining pub, slightly let down by level of service”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Living in Horsforth, I felt a proper dining pub like the Brownlee Arms was well overdue and having eaten there a couple of times now, I thought it was time to write a review. My parents were up for the weekend and as we didn't want to drive, my girlfriend and I felt the Brownlee Arms would be a good choice. Overall the menu offers a number of options and is reasonably priced for a modern dining pub. Food is good and very well presented and whilst the staff are friendly enough, think that service is the biggest let down. I'm not saying it's bad by any means, but when paying £150 for mains & desserts for a table of 4 (admittedly including 2 bottles of wine) I was wanting and expecting a little more. No real meet and greet on arrival and whilst at the table, staff could be much more attentive (seem a little inexperienced and not that well trained?). If improved this could make all the difference! Also one final point, online presence is really poor with no website making it difficult to research menus etc!

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CpgBradford, Owner at Brownlee Arms, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Andrew M,

Thanks for your review and your comments. Website is in process of going online. In the meantime we are more than happy to email copies of the menu.
Kind regards,

Tracy Carroll
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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398 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leeds
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Food nice but not amazing, service not good, could do a lot better”
Reviewed 12 April 2014

So where to meet my mum for a much needed catch up for tea on a Friday tea time after work? I worked out that The Brownlee Arms was probably in the middle so thought we’d go there and see what it was like. We’d both had a long week and just sitting down and chatting was what we needed as well as good food.

I’d never been in this pub before, it used to be known as the Grey Horse Inn and has recently undergone a full revamp after being taken over by GC Taverns who also have the Stansfield Arms at Apperley Bridge and the Chevin Inn near Menston.

The sign for the pub is well thought out with a great design, and I think that most local people know that the pub has been renamed in honour of the Brownlee Brothers who live locally.

2014-04-11 16.49.45-1

There’s a large well lit car park at the front and side with a beer garden at the back. Good disabled access and toilets and everything looked fresh and new. The chairs were all perfectly mismatched, never quite sure if I like that or not. We’d booked a table for 5pm and the restaurant and bar area were both reasonably quiet. There’s not much of a bar area as most of the pub is set up ready for dining with just a few more ‘drink’ friendly tables to the left when you first go in.

There are lovely little alcoves in the front of the dining area which look onto part of the bar and then a larger open more family friendly dining area at the back. Mum had rung and booked a table the night before for 5pm and although it was quiet when we arrived with not many diners in the restaurant we were sat hidden away in the back larger dining room. You know how restaurants always put a couple of tables near the cutlery tray and on the route to toilets, well this was one of those! Not the best part of a very quiet restaurant to sit two diners. A lof of the tables in this back dining room, including ours, had reserved signs on, some of which were for quite large groups who came later on in the evening.

The menu is nice, not too over complicated but not cheap either. For a dining pub in this area it’s charging about the norm but it does have a lot of excellent local competition. There is an early bird special available on a weekday evening and some meals have an extra charge made on top of this if chosen.

We placed our orders, we both chose the smaller fish and chips. This came with mushy peas which mum didn’t want so she asked for garden peas. I’m always put off by two things, my food going to the wrong table and my order being wrong… not a good start as both happened. Our plates were taken to a neighbouring table and we’d both got garden peas.

The meal was nice but not amazing, the chips although good weren’t all edible as a couple were hard and tasted under cooked. No salt and pepper on our table, there were two on the next table and no knife at my mum’s place setting. The linen napkins were folded to give a pocket for the cutlery so it was very obvious that mum’s knife was missing. The peas were cold on arrival!

Service is so very important to me, good service that is! The gentleman who seemed a bit more in charge of the waitresses tried to take mum’s plate before she’d finished eating. No one ever asked mid meal if we were alright but we felt we were watched constantly. As I’ve already mentioned we were sat by the cutlery station and boy what a noise that made. When a member of staff comes and collects a few sets of clean cutlery they should think about the noise they’re making, clanging cutlery can be very noisy when diners are trying to talk. Then one of the guys in the serving team kept carrying huge amounts of clean napkins precariously in the air past us! A big thing that annoys me in a restaurant is when waiting staff just hover, and what happened a couple of times last night was the realignment of tables for bigger/smaller groups. As a diner I know that happens but I don’t need to hear staff discussing across a restaurant how many chairs they do or don’t need and if you are going to have such conversations then staff should stand close to each other and not shout over the top of diners to colleague as that is never good.

We then asked to be left for a while before we ordered desserts. By this I don’t mean send another waitress every five minutes, I mean when I’m ready I’ll order what we want. In the end after the fourth member of staff asked us I said could we ask you when we’re ready? Basically we’ve had a family crisis this week and the constant interruptions did get a bit much!

We then called a waitress over and ordered two sticky toffee puddings, a black coffee and a decaffeinated tea. No decaffeinated tea! We have decaffeinated coffee she announced on her return, or peppermint or chamomile tea! Why do venues think decaffeinated tea isn’t important or that someone requesting tea would just drink coffee? So mum ordered a pot of hot water.

Another waitress brought our desserts over and told me it was two brownie desserts, I was hoping for sticky toffee pudding I said! Oh yes, I got it wrong she announced putting her head closer to the desserts to look again, they look similar said the waitress!

So the sticky toffee pudding wasn’t very sticky, tasted good but not enough sauce. I was pleased to see that I had cream and mum had ice cream as ordered. If they’d got my dessert wrong it would have had to go back! Garden peas I can cope with but when I’ve ordered cream for a dessert that is my desire.

I’m not sure why the restaurant felt they should use little pots to serve our cream and ice cream with our dessert. To put separate items like a jug of cream on the table is one thing but I did wonder last night where that pot was before it was put on my actual plate especially when you can see that the pot holding the cream was actually touching my dessert and sat in the little sauce there was! Sometimes simplicity is best, but that is just my personal preference and I didn’t feel it added to the meal and didn’t make our desserts look any better!

Eventually our drinks arrived after we’d finished our desserts. A shame really as I ordered them with our desserts as I wanted to drink my coffee while eating my pudding and not after!

So what do I think? It looks lovely. Staffing problems. Waitresses either seemed stressed out and too busy or just stood around lurking in groups watching diners. So all or nothing on the service and staffing, definitely a lot of work needed here.

The food was nice but not amazing and there are other local establishments that have a similar tasty menu for less money with better service. The restaurant was busy but a lot of the diners were groups of older diners and a table close to us had a family with mixed ages and noisy electronic gadgets. As a parent myself it’s always advisable to press the mute button on your child’s gadget when they’re in a public space!

The restaurant and small bar area were both full when we left just before 9pm but mainly diners. This is a real ale pub and I would have hoped to see more pints than glasses of wine but think the wine won on the night! Was also disturbing to see a waitress have to check colours on pints she was serving to a table and then still had to ask for help from her colleague obviously not knowing a pint of real ale from a pint of lager from the look of it!

Hate sounding negative about a pub/restaurant but sometimes it’s best to be honest.

Their website that doesn’t really mention the Brownlee Arms much at the moment and their facebook page isn’t up to date and no twitter account could be found.

www.gctaverns.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/BrownleeArms?fref=ts



I have not been asked or paid to make this review and all comments are my own.

http://humbugshouse.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/the-brownlee-arms-long-row-horsforth/

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank yorkshireangel2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CpgBradford, Owner at Brownlee Arms, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Dear yorkshireangel2010,

Thank you for your comments. Yours sincerely,

Tracy Carroll
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great”
Reviewed 9 April 2014

My wife and I went for a meal with two family members on 4/4/14. We all.ordered starters which we all thought were delicious, and then four main courses which were delicious as well. The staff were attentive polite and efficient throughout the whole meal.The menu is a little restricted , but what is avaliable is worth a visit. the ambience is pleasant and friendly, and I heartily recommend you give it a try.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank watchboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CpgBradford, Owner at Brownlee Arms, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Dear watchboy,

Thank you for your lovely review. Delighted you enjoyed your visit with us.
Best wishes,

Tracy Carroll
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
“Disappointed!!!”
Reviewed 3 April 2014

Went for a meal hoping to cheer ourselves up after what has been a very hard couple of weeks!! The service was great but the food was terrible!! First my husbands came wrong! So I had mine n he was sat with nothing!!! Then his came and I couldn't eat mine!!! So again one was eating and other not!!! From what we had been through we really needed a good relaxing meal!!The beef was pre packed and warmed through, definitely not proper roast beef and grizzly and hard to chew!!! The Yorkshire pudding wrap was solid and obviously one from a freezer n microwaved!!! The staff did look after us and checked back and replaced but again brought the same standard out!!!! By this point we were stressed and fed up so no point saying anything as obviously we would get the same again!!! The meal ended in us being upset and falling out!!!no more stress was needed when we are dealing with so much stress right now!! The staff tried to sort it but they couldn't!! Very disappointed!!!!

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Loubylou17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CpgBradford, Owner at Brownlee Arms, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear Loubylou17,
Thanks for your review. We appreciate your feedback and can assure you that all the food is cooked to order and homemade. Sorry to have disappointed you.
Best wishes,
Tracy Carroll
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shipley
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“fantastic”
Reviewed 29 March 2014

Called here early on a friday at the start of the early bird special. we received excellent service throughout our visit and thought all staff were very friendly and very professional .Superb food at a very good price. Was quiet we arrived but by the time we left the restaurant and bar area was busy. lovely place to go.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank bell71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CpgBradford, Owner at Brownlee Arms, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear bell71,

Thank you for your kind words. We are delighted that you enjoyed your Early bird visit and look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Kindest regards
Tracy Carroll
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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