At first glance, it looks like the iconic pub it’s always been, but The Beulah has been through one hell of a transformation.
Once a landmark pub, The Beulah has a very different future ahead of it as Nicola Norris has taken over the space and turned it into the next step in her family-run empire. It’s now a multi-tasking venue that will see you plotting your next bathroom makeover while you indulge in afternoon tea or do a spot of shopping. Baffled? It’s actually a surprisingly good idea…
“We had a bathroom and kitchen showroom, but the lease was up and we had to decide what to do next. When we found this, it was a lot bigger than we originally anticipated – but a lot of our customers come in for three or four hours when they choose a bathroom, and they always like to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake, so we thought it would be good to do a tearoom on the side,” Nicola told us.
Of course, you don’t have to buy a bathroom to use The Beulah tearooms, but it’s definitely a perk when you need a little home inspiration – and they’ve already proved to be a roaring success (they’ve actually had to turn people away).
Inside, it’s very on trend. They’ve gone down the industrial route with the furnishings, but they have warmed it all up with fluffy carpets that make it feel homely and lots of lovely real wood. Here you can enjoy a little bit of what you like, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or a cheeky slice of cake – and it’s all made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Start the day with Leodis coffee and one of their breakfasts. They do simple dishes like fruit salad and cereal, but if you want something a bit more filling, they have Crushed Avocado on Toast, their own ‘What a View’ fry up and the highly recommended Eggs Benedict.
Later in the day, they switch to gourmet sandwiches. Try the Houston, with its mix of grilled chicken fillets, chopped bacon, BBQ sauce, cheddar and red onion or go for something a little more traditional, like the Prawn Marie Rose, which comes loaded with fresh water prawns, sauce and salad.
On Sunday, they’re trying something a little bit different. “Rather than doing a big Sunday lunch, we’re doing rare beef wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding with horseradish sauce and vegetables,” Nicola explained, but no matter what day of the week it is, they’ll always have cake. “We have lots of different cakes. There’s a lemon drizzle cake, and Brown and Blond brownies as well. They’re literally made just a mile away.”
If you’d prefer something savoury (with something a little stronger than tea), they also have a deli menu, which you can match with something from the bar. Think Iberica ham and chorizo with a nice red, caprese salad with a crisp white and a proper pork pie with a bottle of Saltaire’s finest – hell, why not go all out, their deli platter gives you a choice of 4 items for just £7.50.
It’s not just the tearoom that makes The Beulah worth a visit. They’ve turned it into a bit of a one-stop shop, so you can do a family lunch, meet the girls for drinks or pick up a few bits and bobs for your home. They’ve got a huge car park, which makes it an easy pitstop, and they’ve loaded up on cards, flowers and gifts, just in case you have an emergency birthday or anniversary to buy for.
You can buy anything from cushions to candles for your home, so if you’re giving the rest of your home an update, alongside your bathroom, you’ll find plenty of ideas here. They don’t sell anything you’ll find on the high street, it’s all rare, one-off pieces that will change depending on what’s available at the time.
The Beulah is an unusual concept, a kooky, multi-tasking venue that has its fingers in a lot of pies, but we’re rather partial to multi-tasking ourselves, so you won’t hear us complaining.
The Beulah, Tong Rd, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5EP. Open 9am to 7pm Wednesday to Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sundays – later openings coming soon.