The newly refurbished King Richard III has opened as a pub and chop house. It is the latest pub from the Beautiful Pubs company in Leicester.
As with all of the pubs from this independent group, the menu is very carefully considered. Local sourcing of high quality meat is the signature of the menu, along with thoughtful options for vegetarians and vegans.
It’s also a proper pub again, with a cosy bar area as well as beautiful dining room. The outdoor area is sure to be a big hit, with plenty of seating and a large covered area to be installed later in the year.
We were on an illustrious list of guests invited to take a look at the King Richard III last night. With acoustic music being played in the garden, a convivial atmosphere was created to celebrate the new incarnation of this beautiful venue.
The pub carries a selection of draft ales – with 3 cask handpulls and a range of more unusual lagers on tap. My preference was the German wheat beer which was light enough to be super refreshing, but still with satisfying body. Spirit lovers will of course want to enjoy the signature Burleigh’s Richard III gin – which was being served with elderflower tonic and rose petals last night. A small but considered wine list is also available, along with a full selection of spirits across the mid- to premium range.
We were routinely given straws with our gin, so a bit of a sustainability blip there. The rose petal garnish made it necessary but to be honest I’d rather just have neither. The Richard III gin is quite floral heavy already, with a nice coriander, woody spice backnote – especially with elderflower tonic the rose petals were perhaps a little overkill. But they do look pretty. Gotta get that Instagram vibe going!
The new decor is light, airy, modern and eclectic. This holds the interest at every point in the building. There is a lot of dark wood which gives a bit of a traditional pub feel, but make no mistake it is very current in design. I like the occasional splashes of colour that draw the eye, particularly the slightly out there wallpaper.
Outside, there is no longer any naff astroturf flooring. Any regular readers will know this is one of my pet hates. However, fake grass has sprung up table side and inexplicably on the top of the outdoor bar. I shall leave it to your own imagination what my thoughts on that are. There is also a green wall of fake plants, strung with fairy lights. I think I will reserve judgement on that too. I do wish we could have a real living wall, but understand that the upkeep would probably be a little overwhelming.
During the event we were treated to samples of the food on the main menu. The highlights for me were definitely the charcoal grilled robata cooked meats. The sirloin steak and the pork were unspeakably tender and moist. The quality of the produce absolutely shone through, with delicate and thoughtful garnishes to bring out the best of the flavour. Another favourite were the tiny scotch eggs – I will be looking forward to having more of those!
There is a main menu, as well as a lunch and bar menu so something to suit all pockets. I think it is definitely worth putting this place in your diary for a meal soon, as the food offering really is something different to what we have elsewhere in the city. My vegetarian friends were also applauding the spiced cauliflower taster we had, so don’t let the concept of a chop house put you off if meat isn’t your bag.
I can imagine being equally happy to visit the King Richard III for drinks or dinner. In the summer, I will certainly be putting the terrace on my go to list of comfortable, inviting beer gardens. And I am very glad to have another carefully thought out and well sourced menu in the city to choose from. Thank you to the team for inviting us to the event and giving us complimentary drinks and snacks. I was really pleased to see so many local small business owners had been invited too. The more we all support each other in Leicester’s independent scene, the better off we will all be and the better our city will become as a place to live and work.