Leicester’s Queen unveiled in the city’s royal quarter
A unique new drinking, dining and interiors concept has opened on Leicester city centre’s High Street this week, just a stone’s throw from the soon-to-launch Jubilee Square. With a strapline of ‘eat, drink, furnish’, Queen of Bradgate offers casual dining at its finest, great drinks including a wide selection of real ales and cask beers, plus off-the-shelf, bespoke and upcycled dining furniture and furnishings.
Queen of Bradgate was created by Leicestershire pub entrepreneur, Matt Saunders, who also founded the Fat Cat Group, bluu group and is now a partner in the award winning Moleface Pub Company and Leicester’s Candy Stripe. Matt said: “After 22 years in the pub industry I’ve realised that the three things I’m most passionate about are fine ales and beer, great pub food and eclectic interiors. The Queen of Bradgate uniquely combines these elements in a relaxed atmosphere with great service.”
In keeping with his local roots and beliefs, Matt has given the business a strong ‘local’ and ‘crafted’ theme. The food menus are based around good local produce, all the beer has been carefully selected, and the furniture on sale is all top quality and made or sourced in the UK, predominantly in the Midlands.
There’s a great selection of drinks to choose from. There are eight real ales, many of them brewed nearby, and a wide choice of lagers, all of which are from the craft beer movement. Matt explained: “We only stock lagers if we believe they’ve been brewed properly and with true provenance. There’ll be no Asian beers brewed in Tadcaster or Danish beers brewed in Northampton, but there will be plenty of choice. Global icons brewed by monks, fruit beers on tap, London stouts and our house lager brewed just up the road in Burton.”
The wine list is simple and good, and the cocktail list features ten well made classics. Customers can also choose from an assortment of soft drinks, teas and coffees including coffee that is freshly ground in the Midlands.
Queen of Bradgate’s food offering has been created by chef and partner in the business, John Molnar, and is in the style of an English brasserie and bar. Dishes range from informal sharing plates, a selection of dips and local bread, open sourdough sandwiches, a salad or fresh fish, burgers or locally sourced meat dishes. Salads are served in jars, pies made in mugs and tins and much of the presentation is highly original, so that everything is pleasing on the eye as well as the taste buds.
Food is served from late morning through to evening Monday to Saturday, starting with a special brunch menu. Traditional roast lunch is available all afternoon on a Sunday.
In addition to providing stylish and comfortable surroundings, the premises also act as a living showroom for the Queen of Bradgate’s interiors business, which promises to offer top quality products at highly competitive prices. Many of the items available for purchase are on display as part of the existing furniture and will each have a price tag attached. Lines include dining tables and seating, lighting, mirrors, ice buckets, mugs, dining ware and more.
Customers can either consult with the on-hand interiors team about the bespoke furniture ranges or purchase items directly off the pub floor and walls – meaning you can literally own and walk out with the seat you’re sat in! All items can soon be viewed and purchased online at www.queenofbradgate.co.uk. An interior design service is also available as well as pre-loved upcycled ranges.
“Have you ever wanted a table or chair but couldn’t quite get the size or the colours you wanted?” asked Matt. “Well here at the Queen of Bradgate our plan is to change all of that. Some of our furniture can be made exactly as you want it, in almost any size, shape, colour or finish. Alternatively, tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll try and source it just for you.”
The pub interior offers a whole host of options as to where to sit. Customers can watch the world go by from the dining shelf in the front window or perch at the front room sit-at-bar and enjoy the unique experience of eating and drinking at a bar that is built solely for that purpose, with the bartender as your own personal server.
For those looking for comfort there’s also a lounge area with low level sofa seating or venture further into the more formal dining areas with tables suitable for couples or parties of ten or more – perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch, a lazy lunch after shopping or an evening out for dinner.
The impressive bar area to the rear of the building offers a great space to enjoy one of the many fine ales or two and in the warmer months there will be outdoor seating for alfresco dining.
Matt concluded: “What a great way to shop for furnishings – with a glass of wine or a cask ale in one hand and a sharing platter in front of you!”