The Horse & Trumpet is another Headrow pub we’ve never considered going in before. We were surprised to see that it’s one of the recommended nightspots in The Rough Guide to Yorkshire so we were intrigued.
Well, if you were a tourist visiting Leeds from some far-flung reach, you might stand out a bit. The Horse & Trumpet is a chain pub and it is incredibly popular with locals, especially the after-work and after-shopping crowd. We visited at 6pm on a Tuesday and it was absolutely heaving; very close to standing room only.
There are 7 cask ales, which are well kept. When we visited this included beers from Greene King, Ossett, Two Roses, Timothy Taylor, Copper Dragon, Tetley and Thwaites. Cask ale is all you get here, with only mass-produced junk as other options. The prices are very reasonable indeed and I suspect this contributes to its popularity.
Other than the beer, this is your standard chain pub. There’s live sports, a full (boring) menu, traditional décor with pictures of beer-related history, an internet jukebox (love those things!) and some fruit machines. The staff are friendly and good at their jobs and everything is clean and well maintained (which seems to be a rarity on the Headrow).
We found nothing to dislike about the Horse, but we won’t be back. If we’re looking for a chain pub it’s not a patch on a Wetherspoon’s, and if we’re looking for the atmosphere of a traditional pub we’d be much more likely to pick somewhere independent and a bit more interesting, like The Pack Horse.