Thursday, October 25, 2007

Whitelocks, Leeds

A slightly overdue post, this, but I thought I'd take a break from blogging about Brighton in order to dodge backwards in time and reflect a little more on my recent trip to Leeds. In particular, to laud one of the best pubs I've ever been to, the wonderful Whitelocks, which is located down a narrow lane in the centre of the city.

I shan't bore you with a history lesson, but... oh alright, but just a quick one. A listed pub, Whitelocks (which was originally called The Turk's Head) was first granted a license in 1715, and while it may have changed a fair bit since then, it retains the essence of a proper English public house. It's dark, ornate and friendly, serving a wonderful selection of cask ales, beautifully decorated, and pulsing with life as if it were the very heart of Leeds. Although if the wall murals outside are anything to go by, it is a Leeds which is greatly changed.

Sitting with a pint of ale one afternoon on my recent trip I was interrupted by a passing customer, who needed me to move a chair so that his wheelchair could continue through the pub. Engaging him in conservation, it transpired that he had drunk in the pub after the war, and he was visibly touched to see that so little had changed. Despite his advanced years, he was as sharp as a needle, looking for ornamental details and signs of permanence and finding plenty to delight him. He had been an artist and explained that he had drawn the inside of the pub from exactly where I was sitting. I was moved and happy to be sat in a place so tangible and real, so resistent to change.

I heartily recommend a visit next time you're in Leeds.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

Ahoy, mate! I've been there. Lovely pub. How ya like them apples?