January must be a tough time for pubs.
With everyone still getting over the excesses of Christmas and New Year and counting the cost of all that over indulgence, there’s not a lot of incentive to go out.
It’s hard to drum up enthusiasm for eating out when you’ve still got half a Christmas cake, a dozen mince pies and a box of biscuits for cheese to get through.
So it was hardly surprising that the Leeds Arms at South Anston wasn’t busy when we called in on a Saturday lunchtime.
This is a family run pub offering a traditional menu of home cooked food.
The specials board had such down-to-earth fare as sausage, egg and chips, chip butty, cheese and onion sandwich, and cheesy chips - a delicacy which I can’t quite fathom having never put anything but salt and vinegar on my chips.
I opted for the giant Yorkshire pudding and sausage (£4.99) which came with four sausages and was piled high with new potatoes, peas and gravy.
There were so many potatoes that I ended up leaving quite a lot, which is something I hate doing, having been brought up to ‘waste not, want not’.
A small part of the rim of the Yorkshire was so crispy I couldn’t cut it, but the rest was perfect texture.
The menu has a Kids Corner section with a choice of meals priced at a reasonable £4.49, which include a free ice cream for dessert.
Children can choose a main dish and then they can add on two sides.
My daughter went for chicken nuggets, with sweetcorn and salad, while my younger son chose cheese pizza with beans and sweetcorn.
They were generous portions and both cleared their plates which is always a good sign.
My older son is now of the age (14) when he considers the children’s menu beneath him and, at the rate he’s growing I agreed that adult portions were required.
He chose the chicken fajitas (£4.99) and they satisfied his teenage appetite.
While the younger two tucked in to their ice creams, he and I shared a portion of Bramley apple pie with cream (£2.49) which was delicious.
The pub has recently had a makeover and, although it seems like a typical village pub when you walk in, there is a modern twist with a corner with a settee and easy chairs.
We sat in the sun room at the back which was very smart and overlooks a patio seating area.
The bar man who took our order was friendly and while we were eating the chef came to our table to check everything was ok, which was a nice personal touch.
Together with drinks the bill came to £27.55 which seems like good value for money to me.
by Helen Johnston