29 February 2016

Exploring Leeds


My boyfriend Dan and I recently ventured up north for a long weekend away in Leeds, primarily to visit my friend Katie who lives there, but also to eat lots, drink lots and last but definitely not least, shop lots!

We travelled down on the Friday (I even made a cheesy Spotify playlist to entertain us on the journey!) and checked in at the Novotel which is really close to the city centre and to the station. That evening my friend took us to a really cool place called Headrow House; we went to the cocktail bar on the rooftop but there's also a massive beer hall on the ground floor with huge tanks of ale and lager on display. The cocktails there were delish - mine even had a cute frozen flower on the top - yum!

The next morning we woke up really late (nothing to do with the copious amounts of cocktails consumed the night before I can assure you!) and decided to go and get some lunch at a place called The Alchemist, which is in the Trinity Centre. I'd been once before for breakfast and was really excited to go again and take my boyfriend along. By the time we got there the place was absolutely packed and we had to wait around half an hour to get a table, although we were able to get a drink at the bar. Everyone in there was ordering cocktails, but we decided to wait until we could sit down and order our food before we got any (I think the bartender thought we were pretty strange just ordering a coke - ha! thats a hangover for you...). 

We were eventually ushered to a really nice spacious table and ordered our cocktails. I went for a frozen passion fruit daiquiri - sooo refreshing - and Dan ordered a french martini which was a bit of a sweeter option. We decided to go all out and ordered starters (I know were so crazy!) - I got the battered lollipop prawns and Dan went for Nachos, both of which tasted uh-ma-zing - I mean just look at how cool my prawns look! I was also completely obsessed with how cute the salt and pepper look housed in their miniature science beakers - it's the little things that please me I guess! For mains we both ended up getting sandwiches and mine was the ultimate hangover cure - a steak, cheese and mushroom sandwich with the best chips evuuur and a dipping gravy - so so good! The staff were all really lovely and didn't rush us at all even though we could see they were really busy - this is definitely a place I can't wait to come back to!

After lunch we had a quick look around some of the shops, including (of course) a visit to Lush. I purchased a few of their new Easter & Mothers day bits (keep your eyes peeled for another post when I've tried these out) but the thing I was most excited to see was that they had a Lush Spa there. We were so tempted to go but of course it is very expensive so we decided to save it for a special occasion and go another time (plus I need time to decide which treatment to have!). We then went to Katie's for a more chilled evening than the previous night and cooked a warming pasta bake for dinner before watching Castaway with Tom Hanks - my kind've night if there ever was one!

The next day we were feeling a bit more energised and decided to get up earlier and head out for breakfast. Katie took us to the cutest little coffee shop called Mrs Atha's and I had some of the best pancakes of my life - stacked with blueberries & raspberries with a drizzle of maple syrup to finish it all off. Everything was served on vintage china and they also did my favourite Rose Lemonade - win!

We then went for a walk along the canal to the Leeds Dock where we went into the Royal Armouries Museum. It's completely free to go in (they just rely on donations) and has some really interesting exhibits. We also went to a few more shops that are over that way, including a massive art store called Fred Aldous which has just about every stationary/ creative item you could possibly ever think of all laid out in the most pleasingly organised way. I was particularly impressed with their collection of bakers twine - just look at how many options there are! We also went to a really cool vintage clothing store called Blue Rinse. This really reminds me of Cow in Birmingham and has loads of pretty levi shorts, checked shirts and leather bags as well as a few rather dodgy looking shell suits - ha!

Last but not least we managed to fit in a final lunch at a lovely place called Pieminister before we had to begin our journey home. I went for the beef, smoked bacon & ale pie (otherwise known as the moodog) with the classic mash accompaniment and some onion rings on the top for good measure, alongside a good helping of gravy - pure comfort food at its finest! All in all I had an amazing time in Leeds, it was great to see one of my oldest friends and spend some quality time off work with Dan - I kind've wish I could go back already!

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