This unusual quayside restaurant was known as Le Chateau for many years and, following a period of closure, it re-opened in 2012 with new owners and a new name - and all of the old character intact. It’s in a former Presbyterian Church and, when converted to its present use, the two-storey interior was imaginatively designed around the joint themes of church and river.
On the ground floor, the cosy bar is an appealing place for an aperitif, or to come back to for a drink after dinner (live music on Saturday nights).
Stairs leading to the first floor restaurant are designed to create a sense of anticipation - and when you reach the top, you find yourself in a very unusual room with raised floors at each end, like the deck of a galleon, while the church theme is reflected in the windows, notably an original “Star of David”.
Only a few tables have a full river view, but the whole interior is so full of interest, and staff are so friendly and willing, that this is quickly forgotten - and Head Chef, Seamus Jordan, and an excellent kitchen team are well able to match the unusual surroundings with impressive food.
An early dinner menu offers good value, but this is a place that’s at its theatrical best for an occasion, so the à la carte menu - which is wide ranging, but has the great red meats that are so popular in the midlands at its heart - is designed for this, in both style and price.
While fine dining is the style, everyone is welcome at The Locke and a meal here should be a memorable experience.