Hello, Rebecca here! Sorry for the long silence between blog posts – the lovely irony of a (former) marketing consultant not following my own advice!
Regular visitors might have noticed that our restaurant looks a little different now! We now have original late-Georgian oak floorboards, a lovely fireplace, better lighting, and a fresh lick of paint on the walls. We also have an original ceiling which you will either “get” or not get – if it looks unfinished, that’s just our style – we like it, it’s historic!
Aside from the visual look of the restaurant, one of our main goals was to change the feel and atmosphere. We want to create a lovely space which is relaxed, cosy, rustic, friendly, welcoming, and warm, and we hope that a result of this is that we become even more popular for evening meals.
The new-old décor is honest – we haven’t paid a fortune for faux-antique flooring – those are the original late-Georgian floorboards that were hidden away under the horrible laminate. It was always the plan to redecorate the restaurant, but on one very quiet day in January, we just couldn’t wait anymore, and the laminate was history! We then scrubbed away years of dirt with a wire sourer, followed by a wash with warm soapy water, then waxed each board by hand – Chris and I were on our hands and knees completing the work, taking real care to make the beautiful floor look as good as possible. The ceiling was covered with layers and layers of 70’s lining paper, some of which was peeling away after heavy rain had cause a leak – we gently took it off by hand and uncovered the historic ceiling: You can see through the layers of paint and we love it – it looks unfinished, but it’s staying like that! We also stripped the glossy paint off the ceiling beam, exposing the lovely oak log running through the centre of the back-restaurant.
We know that our style is not unique, it’s very of-the-moment (or even slightly “so 2018”) to call yourself “rustic”, but the difference is that ours is real – we’ve not faked it, we’re not taking the easy route to buy new stuff that looks old, ours really is old! We love historic buildings and getting to find and save the original elements of this lovely townhouse is part of the fun.
Chris and I eat out often, and in many ways we are our own target customer: We have busy lives and dining out is one of the few ways that we can relax and chat, plus it saves us having to cook at home (with the non-existent food in the fridge, because we also don’t have time to shop!).
I think that Chris and I fall under the category of a “casual diner” (that may be an industry term, but it basically means that we choose to dine out fairly regularly, not necessarily for a special occasion). We want to go to a cool place with a good atmosphere and nice food. We don’t want to have to factor in time to “get ready” – eg not too much time spent changing into fancy clothes, and no hair/make-up time for me – so we want somewhere relaxed enough that nice jeans and/or smart daytime wear are appropriate, but with nicer food than your average pub. The quality of food is important to us, so we tend not to visit chains, preferring independent options as they generally serve home-made dishes, and even better if there’s a bit of a story about the place. Chris loves a nice beer, and I love a random G&T – we both tend to order the most unusual options available, and we’re always a bit disappointed when the options are only Gordon’s or Bombay Sapphire! We order what we want from the menu without worrying too much about the price, we always have at least one drink, we’re generally pretty chilled out. Then, we pay, we leave, and we’re happy
We want to create a place that we would love to dine in – on those days when you’re tired, grumpy, or just can’t be bothered to cook (I’m hoping that other people feel like this also, and that it’s not just me?!) – we want somewhere easy, where you know you’ll be looked after, you’ll have a nice meal, tasty food, friendly staff, not too pricey (but also not a budget meal), and a bit of an atmosphere, with music or general background noise so that you don’t feel that you have to talk in a whisper.
During the daytime, Galtres Lodge is a lovely and relaxed place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, home-made cakes, daily freshly baked scones, or even our “forest” afternoon tea. Now, in the evening, the lights go down and the music goes up: Walk through the door and it’s warm; you’ll get a nice smile for one of our team who will help you find a table; we’ll get you a drink, and you can look at our menus. The A La Carte Menu is best in the evening, as it’s full of dishes that you probably wouldn’t make for yourself at home. We’re aiming for great quality food, but we’re not trying to be pretentious: Our meals come with veg so you are not forced to order sides to make your plate full, and we try to add in extras that we think make the meal better without you having to ask. For example, our steak comes with onion rings and a choice of sauce, whereas many places might make you pay extra for these types of things. Chris and I went out for Sunday lunch yesterday and ordered cauliflower cheese as a side for £4.95 – a small bowl of Cauli C (name I just made up whilst typing!) is included in all our Sunday lunches free of charge! Favourite dishes on our menu are the Rack Of Local Lamb, or the Crab Thermidor - using meat from Swains Butchers and fish from Cross of York, both on the Shambles market.
As always, this post is much longer than I planned when I started! Please come and see us for a meal one night; people who visit us for an evening meal really enjoy themselves. Occasionally I work in the restaurant myself, and the comments are brilliant, people love our journey, and really wish us well – come on, pop in!
Thanks, Rebecca X