11a launch sharing board menu after ‘coping well’ throughout pandemic

Sophisticated, intimate and welcoming - 11a on Fore Hill is the place to go for weekend cocktails, a celebratory afternoon tea and now, with friends to test out some of the tastiest food the city has to offer.

The brainchild of owner David Toulson-Burke, who lived in Sheffield for 25 years before moving to Ely and transforming the former nightclub into a sophisticated bar/restaurant two years ago, his original idea for 11a was to “bring a taste of the north down south”.

His hope was for 11a to become Ely’s go-to place to enjoy some cocktails while also experiencing locally-sourced food to accompany their drinks.

He said although lockdown has been “a very strange time”, they have seen a surprising increase in the number of people coming through their doors.

“We’ve coped well throughout the pandemic, given the circumstances, and adapted to all the changes,” he said.

“Whilst we have lost 50 per cent of seating and had to adapt significantly from the way which we operated previously as a late night/entertaining venue, we have been supported well during this time.”

MORE: 11a reopens post-lockdown with staff temperature checks, partition screens and recording systems

They have also seen a change in the demographic visiting 11a “because we’re now getting an earlier crowd due to the 10pm curfew, and because people are now going out in a smaller compact groups”.

The past few months have also allowed the team to “really re-think what we wanted to do.

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“We’ve been working on this new concept for two years but now we’ve hit the spot and it’s where it needs to be.”

Following the success of their afternoon teas, David and the team came up with the idea of sharer boards - a relatively new but clever idea that really caters for all tastes.

MORE: 11a’s festive afternoon tea is a tasty seasonal take on the classic British tradition

Ideal for popping in after a morning of shopping in the high street, or to accompany some evening drinks, the boards are perfect for indecisive guests (like myself) who struggle to make a quick decision when faced with a menu that’s full of tempting choices.

This month, they’re taking the sharer concept one step further by launching the banquet board: where guests get to sample a range of the main boards, delivering portion sizes that will have your eyes popping out of your head.

It will undoubtedly be huge hit - purely for the sheer variety of food; goats cheese and rice stuffed peppers, gammon steak, Lincolnshire sausages, muscles, salmon, scotch egg, homemade coleslaw, chips, olives, corn on the cob.

Book a table via the 11a Facebook page.