Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Four days in Leeds
Last week I was sent to Leeds with my work. All the folk I needed to see are based in the same office & it made sense to pop down to them rather than try to get them up to Glasgow or try to hold blocks of 2hr+ conversations on the phone.
I stayed in the Jury's Inn which was delightfully situated in Brewery Wharf (see above). The view from the hotel was a delight & the area had a pleasant ’eatery’ vibe about it. I would take Olwyn there ... and plan to. It's that nice. Not boutique-nice but still very nice indeed.
Prior to going ... I put an appeal out on Twitter for places to go for coffee, food & drink, and music.
First on my list was Laynes ... a fab wee independent coffee shop near the station. They served Square Mile’s ’red brick’ seasonal espresso blend that I simply adored. It's a very tasty blend of 3 beans and was delicious hot and cold.
Next on the list was Jumbo Records ... an institution in Leeds with ’leftfield’ and ’electronica’ sections that I had trouble leaving. I picked up Low’s latest album there.
After visiting Jumbo then heading back to Jury’s to get changed ... Scott, my colleague and companion for a couple of days, and I headed out for food. With Scott being a vegetarian and me having a thing for noodles, we headed to Wagamama. Yes, there were probably more indie places to visit but we were hungry & nothing beats ramen. The food & the service was so good there that we went back on the Wednesday night ... and I returned on my own on the Thursday too.
From Wagamama, we headed to Friends of Ham ... a small indie pub & charcuterie that had some amazing craft beers on tap. Their selection of ginger beer was less amazing but I was able to have one while Scott tried something from the States (I think). It was a delightful venue ... small & intimate ... the kind of place I'd take Olly.
The following day - Wednesday - we headed to Crash Records for a browse. Crash is another fab indie recordstore ... possibly less diverse in selection than Jumbo but still offering up some goodies. I picked up Brad's latest album in there on sale ... which was both a surprise & a pleasure.
After getting changed at Jury's ... we headed back into town and went to The Reliance. A pub / restaurant that sold some interesting craft / micro beer on tap. They did ’shabby chic’ very well. I found The Reliance a warm, welcoming place with a real buzz ... and would have stayed longer if it wasn't for the fact their menu wasn't as appealing as Wagamama's.
Wednesday's dinner, above ... and Thursday's dinner, below ...
On Thursday, after another evening meal in Wagamama ... I met up with Ed Rotheram and grabbed a couple of ginger beers in an interesting place - 1871 - a place that wasn't on my list. It had a fab interior with a number of vintage film posters on display along with old toys and the like. I was shocked to find out this pub was part of the Marriott Hotel in Leeds. It wasn't branded as such & I did feel a bit cheated somehow ... albeit their ginger beer was nice enough & the conversation with Ed was inspiring.
I loved Leeds and hope to go back ... its a fab city with lots available to do. I will be back.