Food | Gastronaut travels out of town to Ilkley Moor Vaults

If you’re missing the Sunday roast you used to take for granted at home, and are frustrated with the familiar cheap sticky-carpet pubs, then it is well worth a visit to Ilkley to the Moor Vaults pub. With a homely, informal atmosphere and friendly staff it is ideal for a cosy winter afternoon. Escaping from the sirens of the city, the deep house bass from your neighbours – and not to forget the arctic temperature of your student house, when you walk in to the Vaults you feel immediately relaxed. The log fire, floral vintage curtains and antique wooden tables and benches are reminiscent of an old English country cottage, perfect for the setting of the rolling Ilkley moors outside.

What is exceptional about The Vaults however, is the food. It is all what I call real food; everything is made from scratch from their kitchens with the pub garden supplying their own herbs and vegetables. And if it’s not grown by them it’s all locally sourced. The meat is particularly outstanding; all from the award winning butcher, Lishman’s of Ilkley, which sources high quality meat from local farmers. The roast beef is delicious, reared traditionally on the pastures of the River Nidd near Harrogate – you can visibly see the quality of the meat even after it has been cooked. Also unique to the Vaults is their smokehouse where they produce excellent smoked meat and fish, the pub smoked sausage in particular comes specially recommended. It is always fantastic to be able to ask where your meal comes from and have the waiter able to proudly answer without walking away murmuring something about asking their manager.

So if you are someone who cares about where your food comes from then the Vaults is highly recommended, and if you can’t make it to Ilkley, Lishman’s butcher also stock the restaurant in Harvey Nics. All in all I think my Sunday roast at the Ilkley Moor Vaults was the most organic, seasonal and good value for money meal I have ever had in Leeds, it really was unfaultable!

Josie Nash



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