Lockwoods has gone from strength to strength
It has been a decade since Lockwoods, on North Street, Ripon, first opened its doors and a lot has changed.
When the restaurant opened in December 2005, owner Matthew Lockwood put his self-taught cooking skills to the test. He started with a café and deli that served simple, good quality food including pizzas and pasta dishes. But the restaurant has grown up and learned that diners are looking for in the last decade, and tastes have changed. The food is now a very grown up affair offering such dishes as pan-fried sea bream with chorizo and homemade potato gnocchi to 45-day dry aged Farmison & Co steak. Lockwoods also produces its own black pudding, cures its own meats, and makes it own chutneys, to ensure everything is made from scratch using as much local produce as possible.
Since 2005 Lockwoods has gone from strength to strength, winning accolades from its diners and the industry. It’s been, Neighbourhood Restaurant of the Year and one of the best places for Sunday lunch in the first few years. Then in 2015 it was named Best Restaurant in the North East by the Good Food Guide and given an award for Best use of Local Produce. Lockwoods is currently entering The Observer Good Food Awards (you can enter them Lockwoods here: Vote Lockwoods
“We’re still learning, we’re still growing, and we’re still loving what we do.”
Having been involved on the set up of restaurants such as Babylon and Manrai in Leeds and working at many other Yorkshire eating establishments, Matthew noted that the one ingredient for success was to never lose your passion, enthusiasm and absolute commitment.
“I remember seeing how important the little things were. How attention to detail matters just as much as the recipes and flavours.”
The aim of Lockwoods when we set up, and now, says Matthew, is and always has been to create a relaxed atmosphere where people can enjoy quality food using the best seasonal ingredients, while really giving people what they want when they dine out. Too many other restaurants talk the talk but don’t deliver in their service and food offering. We do and are always looking to improve and learn and take new ideas and comments on board.
Along with the developing menu, Lockwood’s interior has changed too. With thick fur throws, dark wood tables and little cubby holes to tuck yourself away in at the bar. Gentle lighting and trees growing out of the floor add to its charm, and a warm, welcoming interior adorned with paintings by local artist Amy Carr. It’s a blend of traditional and contemporary that makes everyone feel at home
Lockwoods remains a family affair, with all members helping out. Matthew’s mum is still a very important part of his business, baking cakes and offering comment on any new dishes. And his Dad advises on the restaurant’s marketing and business strategy.
Events are an important part of giving the customers something new to try. Lockwoods has many events each year, including Call my Bluff wine evenings, tapas evenings and its seasonal favourite, The Summer Festival. During this time Lockwoods teams up with the local Workhouse Museum to offer its diners heritage produce during a special month long menu, culminating in a pop-up restaurant in the grounds of the museum. This year this will take place on 23rd July. Call to book your table on 01765 607 555.
“It’s been a real journey, sometimes incredible and sometimes fraught with challenges; but it has been great to see the restaurant change and grow up, and to keep so many of our customers coming back. That has to be the best sign that we are doing something right!”
Lockwood Restaurant | 83 North Street | Ripon | North Yorkshire | HG4 1DP
01765 607 555