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Exceptional Chequers

Nestled in the picturesque village of Ledsham, The Chequers has long been a favourite of Excelle Magazine.

Recently, it has taken a remarkable culinary leap under the direction of its new chef, Ainsleigh Pickard. Known for her creative flair and attention to detail, Ainsleigh has introduced a new menu that showcases her exceptional skill. The specials board changes every few days, ensuring that there is always something fresh and exciting to try.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Amanda, the owner of The Chequers. Her welcoming demeanour and the cosy, rustic ambiance of the pub set the tone perfectly.

For starters, I opted for the King Prawn & Spicy Chorizo Skewers, served with creamed corn, pico de gallo and coriander (£9). This dish was a delight. The prawns were perfectly cooked, succulent and juicy, while the spicy chorizo added a smoky depth of flavour. The creamed corn was smooth and rich, providing a contrast to the spicy elements. The pico de gallo brought a refreshing burst of acidity, and the coriander tied all the flavours together beautifully. It was a vibrant and flavourful start that left me eagerly anticipating the next course.

Jamie chose the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder Fritter with Crushed Minted Peas and Harissa Aioli (£7.50) from the specials board. The lamb shoulder was tender and flavourful, encased in a crispy fritter that added a satisfying crunch. The crushed minted peas provided a fresh and vibrant counterpoint, while the harissa aioli added a subtle, spicy kick that elevated the dish. It was an innovative and comforting starter that set a high standard.

For the main course, I decided on the Steak and Stout Pie with Skin-On Fries and Proper Meaty Gravy (£19). The pie crust was golden and flaky, encasing a rich filling of tender steak and stout. The depth of flavour was exceptional, with the stout adding a robust, slightly bitter note that complemented the meat. The Proper Meaty Gravy was perfect for dipping the crispy, skin-on fries. Each bite was a comforting embrace of rich, homey and satisfying flavours.

Jamie opted for the Panko Crispy Chicken Burger, complete with cheese and bacon, a brioche bun, sriracha mayo, tomato, and gem lettuce, served with skinny fries (£17). The chicken was crispy on the outside while remaining juicy and tender inside. The panko coating added an extra layer of crunch that was incredibly satisfying. The combination of cheese and bacon added a richness, while the sriracha mayo brought a tangy, spicy element that balanced the flavours beautifully. The soft, slightly sweet brioche bun held everything together perfectly.

To finish, we shared a Bittersweet Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Fudge Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream (£7.50). This dessert was the perfect ending to a wonderful meal. The brownie was rich and dense, with a deep chocolate flavour that was perfectly complemented by the warm, gooey chocolate fudge sauce. The vanilla ice cream added a creamy, cool contrast that balanced the dessert beautifully. It was decadent and indulgent, a true treat for chocolate lovers.

Our evening at The Chequers was exceptional. The combination of Ainsleigh Pickard’s innovative menu, the warm hospitality of Amanda and her team and the cosy, inviting atmosphere makes The Chequers a must-visit. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’re sure to be delighted by the delicious food and welcoming environment.

Contact us

The Chequers

Park Lane, Ledsham, Leeds LS25 5LP

Tel. 01977 683135

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