The Deer Park in Leeds has had a refurbish. I’ve not been before so I can’t say how it looked previously but who cares when the new interior is this fabulous?! The Deer Park reopened a couple of weeks ago and prior to that, I was invited to check out how they had done up the place, over tasty food and refreshing cocktails* (of course).
The Deer Park Interior
Already from the outside you can tell that The Deer Park isn’t your regular local pub. Leading up to the entrance of the grand white building you’re met with an outdoor seating and glassed in patio. Both looking very cosy, especially on sunny days to come. On entering, you’re greeted by a massive bar area and to the right and left hand side of it, plenty of table seating. Each area with its own touch and quirks but overall with a cohesive design.
*Interior images courtesy of The Deer Park
The Deer Park Drinks Menu
We started the evening with a drink in hand. I had spotted on their website that they serve cocktails in fun looking glasses so obviously had to ask to try one of these. I got what I think is a Mai Tai served in this cheeky Aztec face glass. Isn’t it cool? I do find cocktails taste better if they also look interesting.
For this evening especially, The Deer Park had set up a gin cocktail area where we could decorate our own gins and also pose in front of a massive flower wall. Tanqueray gin was on offer and I got excited trying their latest flavour – Flor de Sevilla (Seville oranges and orange blossoms). It’s best topped with non flavoured tonic and not too much garnish to overpower the citrus taste. I added mint, cucumber, dried mango and lemon to mine and it tasted like a zesty summers dream. This will be my go to gin for warm summer days.
During the meal, I spotted another cocktail with this gin which I had to try. Blood Orange & Passion Fruit Collins – Flor de Sevilla gin, passion fruit, lime, vanilla, topped off with soda. It is one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. I absolutely loved the refreshing taste, very moreish. It could easily be mistaken for lemonade so be careful if you order this. To finish the evening I rounded off with a refreshing Cucumber Ribbons – Hendrick’s gin, rhubarb and cucumber bitters, topped with cloudy apple and lemon juice.
The Deer Park Food Menu
To accompany our welcome drinks, a wide range of canapés were served. A perfect opportunity to get a taste and idea of what to order from the main menu. The food menu is heavily featured with seafood and meat (my dream) but also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options if you prefer. Again, this isn’t your regular pub food offering, more a modern British dining experience with Mediterranean influence.
After enjoying the fishcake canapé I decided to also have that for my main. I wanted to keep my meals light so ordered the Truffled Goats’ Cheese on sweet chilli beetroot, with diced pear, an orange & honey dressing and a rice paper cracker for starters. It looked cracking but flavour wise it was sadly a mistake to order. The goats cheese disappeared and its flavour was overtaken by all the beetroots, even though I hardly ate any. I would like to have seen something more exciting being made with the beetroot. I should have gone for the scallops starter instead, which was highly recommended across my table.
My main made up for my starter mistake. Lobster & Devon Crab Fishcakes with asparagus, pea & truffle oil velouté topped with crispy seaweed. Perfectly cooked and nicely accompanied by greenery. It’s as gorgeously tasty as it looks. It works really well on its own but I ordered a cheeky side of Sweet Potato Fries with Gran Moravia cheese & rosemary, which it comes with, or a salad should you wish.
The Deer Park Dessert Menu
The dessert menu is full of mouthwatering options but again, I stuck with light options and tried both the New York-Style Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with a forest fruit compote and whipped cream and the Blackcurrant Mousse on a biscuit base, served with crushed mango and fresh strawberries. I really enjoyed the Blackcurrant mousse and fresh fruit. It’s the perfect palette cleanser. I must say the Melting Chocolate & Peanut Bomb filled with sticky toffee pudding and peanut butter cream and served with Bourbon vanilla ice cream & hot salted caramel sauce however is probably the most pretty looking and instagrammable dessert on offer. Definitely a mouthful so make sure to leave room for this should you want to try it.
*I was kindly invited to The Deer Park to try their food and cocktail menu in return for this post. Photos (if otherwise stated), words and opinions are as always my own.