Nestled in the chocolate box, picturesque village of Ledsham lies The Chequers Inn. With a history that can be traced back to 1540, this is a pub bursting with character and charm. There are log fires in several low beamed rooms, local ales on tap and a pretty, spacious courtyard outside, perfect for soaking up the spring sunshine.
Surrounded by countryside, with so many scenic walks on their doorstep, it’s the perfect place to go for a stomp with your four-legged friend before filling your belly with proper homemade, locally sourced, good pub food. The Chequers uses local suppliers wherever possible to source quality, seasonal ingredients - such as Sykes House Farm in Wetherby.After a warm Yorkshire welcome, we were seated at a table next to an open fire, which was welcome and cosy on the drizzly, cold early March day we visited.
Although they have a fab selection of warm and cold sandwiches priced from just £6.50, we decided to go all out and have a starter and main from the main menu. I wanted to try something different so went for the Old Peculiar Braised Ox Cheek, Roasted Cauliflower Puree, Beef Jus, Crispy Onions at £8.95, while Phil opted for the Crispy Halloumi Fries, Cajun Tomato Relish. The latter is a great vegan option.
The starters, like the mains were very generously portioned. This is proper hearty, homemade food. The ox cheek was rich, flavorsome and meltingly tender. A favourite in French cooking, ox cheek is becoming increasingly popular in British kitchens and its easy to see why. This was followed by the Butterfly Chicken Breast, Creamed Potato, Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce, Crispy Pancetta, which is a gluten free dish at £16.50, and Phil chose the Venison Haunch Steak, Butternut Squash Puree, Confit Baby Potatoes, Red Currant & Rosemary Jus at £21.95. They serve this medium/rare as standard, and it was indeed perfectly cooked and succulent.
We spoke to head chef, Tom before we left and he explained that all sauces are cooked in house, all desserts homemade, and everything is freshly created, prepared and cooked by him and his team. You can definitely tell. I couldn’t find any room for one of their homemade desserts, but never one to be beaten, Phil managed to polish off a generous helping of Steamed Jam Sponge with Custard. Had I have found room to squish in a dessert it would have been the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Custard, but there’s always next time.
Their menu was well stocked with a few tempting vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings. It contained pub classics such as Steak & Stout Pie, Sausage & Mash, and Yorkshire Beef Burger, not forgetting an 8oz Yorkshire Sirloin Steak. The Chequers Inn is one of England’s true traditional pubs, welcoming both dogs and children. Although they don’t have a specific children’s menu, they will do half portions from the main menu for the little people. I can’t believe I haven’t visited this gorgeous village before. I can imagine my next visit, sat with a cold glass of white wine outside with a Prawn Marie Rose and Baby Gem Sandwich after a nice walk. I just need the sun to shine.
The Chequers Inn
Ledsham, Leeds LS25 5LP
Tel. 01977 683135