An Interview with The Mustard Pot – Chapel Allerton
Chapel Allerton – one of Leeds hidden gems. An inner suburb of North Leeds it is around 2 miles out of the city centre but certainly worth a visit!
If you are looking for somewhere a bit different this vibrant area has got a lot to offer. With an abundance of fabulous food and drink places to choose from and lots of independent shops to browse it’s not hard to see the appeal.
We recently visited the Mustard Pot in the heart of Chapel Allerton to find out a bit more about this popular pub and have a chat with Ben the General Manager…
Firstly, tell us a little bit about the Mustard Pot…
Nicola set up The Mustard Pot 7 years ago, she's got quite a few ventures in town and decided to move out and take over The Mustard Pot. It's got a really good reputation in the local area and it’s got a lovely atmosphere. It's completely different in the summer compared to the winter. We have lots of events, lots of regulars, it's just a really lovely place.
It’s a very cool building – what did it used to be?
The building was owned by the Colman family, but we don't believe they are related to the Colman's mustard. Possibly they might be, somewhere down the line. Then it was turned into a pub in 1979. It had a bit of a reputation back then to be very rough around the edges. Then it shut and changed into the place that it is today.
You have a lot of different menus, a Sunday menu, a lunch menu, a dinner menu, and a Christmas menu. Why? And is it difficult to manage in terms of the produce that you use?
Our lunch and dinner menus are seasonal, so they do change quite a lot which is good. The chefs do specials as well over the weekends. With the produce, we choose it seasonally so everything changes, but we do have some staples that we have all the time: fish and chips, pie, sausage and mash, because they are well known and loved. We wouldn't be The Mustard Pot without them.
You recently had your Christmas menus printed by StressFreePrint, do you find that you start getting Christmas bookings already in September?
Yes! We've begun our Christmas marketing this week and started sending the printed menus out. They look lovely, feel lovely and people pick it up and say “ooh nice paper” and things like that. It's just got a lovely quality about it which then transfers through to bookings which is great. The online version is also already live on the site and social channels.
You change up your menus seasonally – with seasonal produce and monthly guest ales. Do you work a lot with local companies and would you say it’s one of your unique selling points?
With the food, we like to source locally from the area if we can. We recently changed our ice creams to Northern Bloc who are based in Armley. I really love the company and they’ve got great marketing and third party things which is great as that helps us with events.
Suppliers are all based locally as well which is great. Obviously the only thing that comes from slightly far away is fish as we’re nowhere near a coast here! But apart from that yes, it’s good because the suppliers are always willing to help out, they come in and show us things and let us sample products.
If you had to pick just one dish from any of your menus to have every day for the rest of your life, which would it be?
I really like the Mustard Pot burger. I know there’s thousands of burger joints in Leeds, but I just like it because it’s different. It’s not got a kind of barbeque sauce and pulled pork, it’s just a simple burger with lovely meat, lovely cheese, and lovely bread.
You do a lot of events, for example the tepee at Christmas and you also do private hire – do you have a lot of people booking the space for private events? Why would you say people pick The Mustard Pot over somewhere else?
I think it’s the quirkiness of it and obviously the space: the atmosphere and the vibe. It’s different, it’s alternative to a standard wedding venue. We’ve having the upstairs converted to a function room so that allows us to more of different type of events. In the summer people hire the garden outside and at Christmas we hire the tepee out. It’s something different for people. We can do an English garden party with marquees, bunting, and crème cakes, or a BBQ for 200 people. With all of these things we’re really flexible with what we do and we’re very versatile in what we can offer.
What does the future look like for The Mustard Pot?
The future is bright! We’re growing and growing every month and every year which is great. We’re looking to do new events, tweak old events and work new events into our offering. We’re looking for this to be a really big Christmas! It’s constantly evolving, what people want is changing so it’s about trying to adapt to that.