9:57 AM 22nd September 2020
The Potting Shed, Guiseley - Is All In The Garden Still Rosy?
The last time I visited the Potting Shed in Guiseley it was packed, surprisingly so for a mid week night. That was all pre COVID 19, workers were arriving from the nearby train station for a pre-evening drink and the whole place was buzzing, even for a winter's night.
Fast forward 18 months and we are living in a different world and to be honest, so is the Potting Shed at Guiseley. It might be a sunny early autumn night but the Potting Shed is eerily quiet. The air conditioning is on at an uncomfortable level, maybe to keep the virus at bay, but it could be keeping the customers away. It might be a better idea to keep the doors open. I witnessed more customers arriving who had to move tables to get to a warmer spot. For your plants to grow they do need a bit of heat.
Things began to improve when I asked the manager to turn down the air conditioning making it a more comfortable experience.
There is a new chef in house. When we visited previously the food was excellent - with him not being in the job long it is early days for the new chef and depending on what you eat, it shows.
Tempura King Prawns Jalapeño Poppers
The starters were well presented and tasty. My Peri Peri Battered Chicken Strips were lightly battered and cooked just right. My partner chose the Tempura King Prawns which are one of the things the Potting Shed does best and this was no exception. My friend thought the Jalapeño Poppers were some of the best he has tasted.
After nearly a 30 minute wait for our mains though things took a tumble. I asked for my 28 day aged 8oz Rib Eye Steak to be well done - it arrived medium to well done. I could have sent it back but my chef friend looked horrified when I asked for my steak to be cooked well done, so I tried it cooked as it arrived and it was a real eye opener for me. Very tasty. The chips though were over cooked and not very tempting.
Rib eye steak Freshly Battered Cod Crispy Duck pizza
My partner chose the Freshly Battered Cod served with fat chips and garden peas. The fish had been cooked too much and was dry and not really edible - the chips were over cooked too. The manager did offer to get another meal cooked for her but she didn’t want to waste any food. More freshly cooked fat chips arrived and they were a vast improvement on what was originally served.
My friend tried the Crispy Duck pizza which might seem an odd thing to serve on a pizza. Shredded duck, spring onions and Hoi Sin sauce all made for a great, if different pizza.
Chocoholic 4 Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake
The desserts were a vast improvement. My sticky toffee pudding served with clotted cream ice cream was soggy and moreish whilst my partner’s Chocoholic 4 Layer Choc Fudge Cake was just as tempting.
The whole concept of the Potting Shed is brilliant. We went to the Bingley Potting Shed just after lockdown ended and the food, service and atmosphere were brilliant. A well run establishment with great staff and food to match. I can highly recommend it.
I got the impression that the Guiseley Potting Shed needs a bit of attention and direction. There is competition nearby and that was very busy. Give the customers what they want and they will come back again, but at the moment there are several issues that need sorting, primarily in the kitchen.
If this was my first experience of The Potting Shed I might have a different view, but I know how good it should be - and can be. Get the right staff in, who are experienced and enthusiastic and your garden will bloom.
Until the garden is dug over and new seeds planted at Guiseley the garden will not be rosy. The garden though is in full bloom at the Potting Shed in Bingley, perhaps they should uproot some of the Bingley staff and plant them over in Guiseley and then new shoots of recovery will appear, otherwise I can foresee that the door could become permanently closed on this particular potting shed.
The Potting Shed Guiseley, Old HSBC Bank, Oxford Road, Guiseley LS20 8AB
Telephone 01943 871287