The White Lion | Blackshale Bar & Kitchen
This bar of two halves needs a little bit of explaining! Beeston’s new Lincoln Green Brewery establishment is sited in the 1930s Art Deco style former Home Ales building on the corner of Middle Street and Station Road.
The premise has been split into two with a dividing wall, separating the real ale focused White Lion Pub on Middle Street from the Blackshale Bar and Kitchen on Station Road. Access internally through to the other side of the business is through a ‘secret door’. The White Lion has been decorated in a more traditional style with a variety of seating but maybe could do more to reflect the character and history of the building. The Blackshale’s fit out follows recent interior design trends and is more contemporary, with a light and airy feel during the day. It also has access to the beer garden and outside seating area.
Somewhat controversially locally, the White Lion statue over the Station Street entrance has been painted green to match the Blackshale Bar & Kitchen colour scheme. This has led to many people now calling it the ‘Green Lion’.
The White Lion
24 Middle Street, Beeston, Nottinghamshire NG9 1FX
Mon – Thurs: 12:00-23:00
Fri – Sat: 12:00-00:00
Tel: 0115 837 8735
Blackshale Bar & Kitchen
Station Road, Beeston, Nottinghamshire NG9 1FX
Opening Times: As above.
Tel: 0115 837 8735
Online Bookings (recommended):
BEER, LOTS OF BEER
On offer in the White Lion were seven of Lincoln Green’s own handpull cask beers alongside a single guest ale. The keg range is limited to Heineken’s subsidiaries and Guinness. If you are used to Beeston’s freehouses and independent craft beer pubs the source of the beer on offer felt a little bit limited. This is understandable, when you realise that Star Pubs & Bars (Heineken’s Pubs business) owns the premise and Lincoln Green are running it. With Nottinghamshire featuring some great micro and craft breweries it would be a shame if these don’t feature more in the future.
The range of beer in the Blackshale Bar & Kitchen is different to that available in the White Lion. It has some of the same cask beer, alongside Lincoln Green’s own range of keg beer and more craft keg beer from Heinekens brands such as Beavertown and Brixton. There is also a wine list and soft drinks available. Given that much of the marketing surrounding Blackshale is about food and beer pairings, we were surprised that there wasn’t a beer menu available or that some specific parings weren’t given on the food menu.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD?
We went for Sunday dinner as this can be hard to find in the centre of Beeston. We had made a mistake with the booking but the staff were able to fit in another diner without any problems at all. We were seated quickly and promptly and left to look at the menu. Stephanie is vegetarian so it’s always interesting to see what the options are for her.
There are extra side dishes to choose from on the menu to go with your main, and an attractive looking range of starters to suit all tastes To start we choose the Roast Pepper Hummus (£5.25) and the Mixed Olives (£4.95) between us to pick at, the Hummus was especially tasty, so much so that we asked for some more bread to finish it all. Very rich with oil and spices, we all tucked in and enjoyed it very much.
For main, the meat eaters had the Roast Topside Beef (£18.95) and the Lamb Shank (£23.95), Stephanie choose the Vegan Seitan Roast (£17.95). These came plated with roast potatoes, buttery mash, a large Yorkshire pudding, red cabbage, stuffing ball with a side dish of vegetables and a red wine gravy boat. The vegan dish came with suitable substitutions. Although the individual gravy boats came nice and hot, a handle would have been helpful so we didn’t have to use napkins to pick them up.
So what was the food like? The red cabbage was very pleasant as was the buttery mash. The beef though advertised as being served pink could happily have been more so for my tastes. The buttery seasonal veg was good and still had a bite to it. The Lamb Shank was the highlight, very tender and fell off the bone. I would have liked the roast potatoes crisper and fluffier though.
The vegan Seitan Roulade was interesting. Seitan is often used as a substitute in products as it has a meaty texture though isn’t by itself especially flavoursome. Rather than being a roulade rolled with another product it was a slab of Seitan and ended up being somewhat one dimensional like the inside of a vegan sausage. Perhaps frying it off would have given it more texture, making it a more interesting eat?
We would have liked to try the deserts but by this time we were all full!
All in all it was great to go out for Sunday dinner in the centre of Beeston and to a place easily accessible by public transport. It’s only a very short walk from the interchange. It’s also a stumbling distance from some of the towns other popular pubs if you fancy carrying on your afternoon festivities. We largely enjoyed our food and would like to return to sample the normal menu too.
OTHER PLACES FOR A SUNDAY LUNCH IN BEESTON
The Victoria Hotel
85 Dovecote Lane, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1JG
The Victoria Hotel (The Vic) is a genuine freehouse. This popular pub has a great reputation locally for a large independent beer and wine selection. They also have an extensive menu which changes on a regular basis. On Sundays The Vic will offer roast dinners with vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Booking is highly recommended. Prices vary but are generally between £13-£18.
Tel: 0115 925 4049
177 Derby Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 3AE
A Greene King pub on Derby Road, the Nurseryman has a large menu with something to suit even the fussiest of eaters. It’s Sunday roasts menu has a variety of offerings varying from £13 – £14.49, has veggie, vegan and unusually, kid sized portions as well.
Tel: 0115 917 0021
Tom and Stephanie are co-hosts of the Food Glue Podcast. Our focus is on independent local businesses that bring people and places together. Food Glue is available on all podcast players.