The Stansfield Arms – Restaurant Review
The Stansfield Arms
by Matt Callard
The Stansfield Arms has been around for much longer than that fairly horrid modern culinary term ‘gastropub’. It’s been known as a trustworthy and picturesque stop-off point for decent pub grub for many a year.
The 1543 building and riverside location will always tempt the summertime boozers but there’s a whole lot more competition in the pub food market to contend with than there used to be for this place. But the Stansfield’s owners have a good pedigree and clearly take a great deal of pride in their food. After all, they also look after a couple of other famous Yorkshire eateries, The Chevin Inn and The Black Horse in Askwith.
The interior retains some olde world charm and it’s surprisingly busy and boisterous this particular Saturday afternoon. Although we didn’t take this as a guarantee of good food as the nearby Wacky Warehouse was positively overflowing! So, it’s rustic charms and big oak furniture and a fairly interesting looking menu offering gastropub specialities with the occasional unusual twist. The smoked salmon comes with a lemon and lime crème fraiche. The duck breast is alongside pak choi and a mushroom and herb ravioli comes with an intriguing-sounding brandy béchamel sauce.
Starters arrive briskly and that Wild Mushroom and Herb Ravioli (£5.75) is a delight. Nutty and sweet, the brandy kick nicely under control and not too harsh. A Platter of Smoked Salmon (£5.95) envelops a delicious mousse of crayfish and prawns. Extra marks too for a zinging rocket salad. A fine start.
An 8oz rump steak (£10.95) is, as hoped, tasteful and surprisingly tender for mains. My Cod Loin (£12.95) is nicely cooked. A perfect poached egg sits on the pale fish oozing deep yellow yolk into an exceptionally cheesy Mornay Sauce. Enjoyment is tempered only by a slightly lukewarm leek mash, suggesting some timing issues in the kitchen. Sides of hand-cut chips and vegetables are all good and well cooked.
The Stansfield Arms is, or at least was on this particular day, a hectic place. Customers buzz in and out, the nearby bar hosts a few irritatingly over-exuberant punters and service is busy, if never over-strained. It doesn’t seem like the right place if you’re after a quiet tête-à-tête. But it’s kind of exciting to see such a long-standing establishment coping so well in the current economic climate.
If you’re after an old reliable eatery that’s known good pub grub since before Gordon Ramsay had even made chocolate krispies, you could do a lot worse than (re)discover The Stansfield Arms.
The Stansfield Arms, Apperley Lane, Apperley Bridge, Bradford, BD10 0NP
Tel: 0113 250 2659
Opening Times: Sun – Thu 11am – 12pm Fri – Sat 11am – 2am
Starters and mains for 2 approx £35