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Wakefield’s Hidden Gem | Carpenters Arms Ossett Review

Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: A drive away from Yorkshire’s bustling towns and cities, hidden away in one of West Yorkshire’s market towns is a family-run bistro in the heart of Ossett, Carpenters Arms.

Offering so much more than a quick bite to eat or a pint for the road, the wonderful team and head chef behind this operation are proud to show off the very best, beautifully crafted dishes. Think of bistro fine dining on another level, that’s what Carpenters Arms is all about.

As part of its charming history, the building was acquired in 2010, where a significant renovation created a contemporary bar and restaurant while respectfully preserving many of the historic quirks and interiors. The original brewhouse was built in 1768 and the adjoining cottages are much older.

Dine on three tapas dishes for £10.50, slider platters filled with four mouthwatering burgers and sides for £14.95, or take your pick from their elegant ‘Night Menu’, with gastropub favourites like Pork Belly and delicate Tuna Steak coming in at less than £20.

Carpenters Arms Ossett Review - tuna steak with mushrooms and peas and pistachios
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Tuna Steak with pistachio crust, Israeli couscous & mushrooms

Interview with Owner Constantin Pasca & Head Chef Niki Lupsa

We spoke with the power duo, Owner and Head Chef to get an insight into the world of the Carpenters Arms. How it came about, plans for the future and everything in between. Giving customers the ultimate experience before they even step through the door.

Constantin, what’s the Carpenters Arms back story?

Originally, Carpenters Arms opened many years ago, standing here in Ossett since 1756 – with a never-ending history that we hope to continue. Around 20 years ago, the space was shut and closed down for around 5 years before a company called 42 bought it.

They kept it running for around 10 years before I then purchased the space last year. I’ve helped bring Carpenters Arms back to life again – a pub everyone knows and loves in the area.

Niki, where have you worked previously & how did you get into the culinary world?

Previously I worked at Abode Hotel in Canterbury. During my time working there, they were awarded 3 AA Rosettes. After that, I studied near Canterbury and worked at Kathton House in Sturry, which was also awarded 2 Rosettes but has now sadly closed.

When I moved to the north, Constantin contacted me and I took the job here at Carpenters Arms in Ossett.

Carpenters Arms Ossett Review - sliders and tapas sharing boards
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Sliders Platter with beef, battered cod, Southern fried chicken & grilled halloumi

So what inspired you to become a chef?

Many things. I like to eat, I like to cook – it was a simple decision. I use the freshest ingredients because back home in Romania where I am originally from, my parents had a big garden at home so I grew up eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day. After that, I started culinary school back home for 3 years, and from there I’ve been in a fair few places.

For anyone who hasn’t visited Carpenters Arms, what can they expect?

Great quality produce using the freshest products. Everything is made in-house and has such great value for money. I think we’re very well-priced for what we actually offer. Customers just need to come in and see for themselves.

Carpenters Arms Ossett - breaded goats cheese with beetroot
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Breaded goats cheese with confit beetroot

Would you say you have any signature dishes on the menu?

Our menus are very seasonal so they change regularly. At the minute we’re serving the winter menu but yet again, our menu doesn’t repeat itself. Next winter won’t be the same. Every time we change the menu, people get used to certain dishes, but they won’t be available for very long. It will be replaced with something nicer or similar, but not the same.

Spiced Apple Cheesecake and Strawberry & Chocolate Tart
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Spiced Apple Cheesecake & Chocolate Tart with Passionfruit Sorbet

How would you describe the style of food?

We describe ourselves as bistro-style food. Bistro towards fine dining, and in the daytime it’s more casual dining so it’s quite a big split. Lunchtime is quick bites then from 5 o’clock onwards, it changes the world altogether. The dishes, presentation and flavours are completely different.

When you’re creating the menus, what inspires you?

The seasons are our biggest inspiration. Looking at what the fresh produce is at the time, what is available at the markets this time of year – this inspires how we craft our menus. We use a schedule for each month to see what is in season and follow it.

Pork Belly with mash and gravy, prawn tagliatelle, tapas and cocktails
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Slow-cooked pork belly, king prawn tagliatelle and tapas

Constantin, you mentioned using a lot of seasonal produce, do you use any local suppliers?

As we have such a big demand for the amount of product we need, sometimes finding repetitive suppliers can be a struggle. Our busiest periods are summer, then again around October to December – our demand for produce is at its highest here.

We’re currently using some big suppliers, for example, I source steaks from Wetherby – they have such amazing, good-quality produce. I prefer to visit my suppliers in person to see how they work, operate and how the produce is kept to a good quality level. That’s how we pick all our suppliers, Niki likes to go and see the farm, the butcher and the baker to see if they’re the real deal.

Carpenters Arms Ossett Review - restaurant exterior
Carpenters Arms Ossett Review: Restaurant Exterior

Do you have any big plans for the future?

We’ve been open under my operation for a year, we’re still new to the scene and introducing ourselves. But I’ve seen a massive improvement in footfall, in reviews and overall customer feedback, which has improved drastically from January 2023 to January 2024.

Whether you’re looking for a new spot to celebrate a family occasion, a romantic evening for two or somewhere that’s simply great value for money with amazing food, the Carpenters Arms should be your next choice. A strong contender for Wakefield’s best restaurant.

Dine on three tapas dishes for £10.50, slider platters filled with four mouthwatering burgers and sides for £14.95, or take your pick from their elegant ‘Night Menu’, with gastropub favourites like Pork Belly and delicate Tuna Steak coming in at less than £20.

Book your experience at The Carpenters Arms, Ossett

22 Bank St, Ossett WF5 8NL – 01924 267746 – Get Directions

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Written by

Georgia Suggitt


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