IT has been reported that Sir John Betjeman, a former Poet Laureate, once stood in front of the Golcar Lily, and likened the view to that of Provence, with the cottages terracing the hillside and St John’s Church in the centre.
Now being a bit of a ‘local’ I tend to be a bit biased about the outstanding views and to celebrate a special occasion I had no hesitation in suggesting a visit to the Golcar Lily at Bolster Moor for a treat.
My boyfriend Dale and I visited the pub/restaurant on a Saturday night . . . and (due to a slight oversight on my part) had not thought to book.
However, after a few nervous moments, wonderfully eased by a couple of guest pints of real ale from the Elland Brewery, restaurant manager Heather said they could accommodate us.
Oh joy, because I had previously checked out the menu on their website, which had caused much anticipation.
And I was certainly not disappointed as we were handed an additional menu listing three extra treats – New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels Mariniere cooked in white wine, garlic, onions and cream; King prawns sautéed in garlic butter served on a mini naan bread or warm chicken, chorizo and bacon salad.
In fact, a quick look through the whole menu and confirmed that both of us would go for the same dishes so, in the interests of this review, I opted for my second choices.
Mushrooms deep fried in beer batter served with garlic and chive mayonnaise tickled my fancy while Dale went for the New Zealand mussels. Mmmmmmm.
In fact, you have the option that if you’re not feeling too hungry, you can try a larger starter portion, or a smaller main course as the restaurant can tailor most meals to your appetite.
These were good, solid, hearty starters – a fantastic enticement into what was to follow.
The mushrooms were big, beefy and juicy, coated in the lightest of beer batter with a plain salad accompaniment, while the mussels Dale said were really more-ish. He proceeded to mop up the sauce with the empty shells as we cracked into a sumptuous bottle of Jack Rabbit Merlot.
The restaurant, homely and warm in décor, was buzzing with families and groups of friends enjoying dining and being served attentively, professionally yet not obtrusively by a dedicated team of waiters and waitresses.
And now for the main feature and we opted for a fishy theme. Dale savoured the pan fried sea bass with an asparagus and herb sauce while it was the seared salmon teriyaki with spring onion sauce for me.
The generous salmon portion was gorgeous and the seasonal vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and buttered new potatoes all cooked nice and al dente – soaked up the light teriyaki sauce which did not overpower the succulent salmon.
The sea bass, meanwhile, was topped with steamed asparagus spears which Dale described as ‘slightly crunchy, just the way I like it,’ and the succulent, tender sea bass was set off with a lovely seasoned herb sauce.
I don’t always go for a sweet but as we took a breather, we decided yes, let’s go for it.
Sweets are meant to be fun and along with the classics, jam roly poly, mille feuille, and creamy rice pudding was a chocolate fondue – slowly melted chocolate served with a selection of fresh fruit and marshmallows, ideal for two to share – to a brandy and black cherry trifle with the sponge soaked in Courvoisier brandy and set in jelly, smothered with custard, finished with whipped cream. There was also a wickedly tempting chocolate and fudge waffle comprising Belgium milk chocolate and chocolate pieces ice cream on a sweet waffle, smothered with hot fudge sauce.
However it was the chocolate Malteser Torte – a rich chocolate ganache set on a biscuit base and topped with Maltesers – that grabbed my attention. Dale went for the homemade individual raspberry cheesecake which was digestive biscuit topped with a light mascarpone and cream cheese filling, topped with raspberries and served on a bed of raspberry couli.
And blimey they were good.
Bookings are currently being taken for Christmas – you would be wise to get in early.