Monday, 25 May 2015

Leeds Indie Food Festival - A photo blog round up

A festival born to showcase the independents in Leeds. I'm not sure they expected it to be as big as it was, it's been a busy fortnight on the Leeds food scene.

Here are my highlights from the fortnight that was.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Thai Edge - Leeds City Centre

Thai Edge has been open in Leeds for as long as I can remember. It's never really struck me as the place to go, no one really raves about it. That's until my housemate moved to Leeds and found out about their early bird two courses for £12 deal. Cue a birthday night for 17 people all trying to eagerly order food before 7pm. We told to rest assure by the waiter as he generously offered to let us order until 7.05pm. Very gratuitous.

Cocktails were ordered around the table, but I myself ordered a large bottle of Tiger to flex my masculinity. The Bellini's looked curious and rather than peach puree there appeared to be peach gel. That's new. It seemed to go down well with the Bellini drinkers.

The food menu is pages and pages long, goodness knows how anyone decides what they want to eat. Thankfully, I think, as we were dining on the early bird menu we were given a much smaller menu to chose from.

This resulted in most people ordering either chicken satay or spring rolls for starters. That would be exactly what D and I ordered.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Bar Soba - Leeds

Bar Soba opened a few weeks ago on the ever growing popular Merrion Street in the city centre. Bar Soba has travelled down from Scotland where they have four joints, this being their first in England. I always find it exciting when a well loved/famed establishment decides to make Leeds their second home and I was intrigued to see what the Scots had been eating that we hadn't.

Bar Soba describes itself as "An award winning Cocktail Bar & Restaurant, serving the finest pan Asian street food in Glasgow".

Friday, 8 May 2015

Pieminister - Leeds City Centre

Love or loath the latest election results and the appointment of the new/old prime minister, I can guarantee that you will love Leeds' new  PIEMINISTER.

Okay, yeah I admit that was a bad joke.

Seriously though, Pieminister had already won my heart and vote before their doors had opened. Pie, chips and gravy. What more could a Yorkshirain want?

Peas. Yes, they do peas too.

Pork scratchings. You're just spoiling us now.

Wait, they brew their own beer too?

What took them so long to migrate north?!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Tiled Hall Cafe - Leeds

Tiled Hall Cafe is located in the previous reading room of Leeds library and connects both the library and Leeds art gallery in a grand building on the Headrow. When the extension of the Municipal Buildings was added in 1888 the room was transformed from a reading room to the 'Sculpture Gallery' for the newly added art gallery. In 1955 the Commercial and Technical library was moved to the tiled hall for expansion reasons. The ceilings and walls were then hidden from sight by false ceilings, panelling and book shelves. There it remained hidden for 50 years until in 1998 when the room was stripped of the 1950s plaster and the tiled hall was uncovered and brought back from it's grave. Sadly with its reveal it was found that much of the original tiles were damaged from the work carried out in the 1950s. The room was left almost unused for 8 years as restoration would prove costly. 

Thankfully in 2007 the room was restored when a £1.5 million refurbishment took place and the beautiful tiles, marble columns, gold detailed ceilings were brought back to life again. You will now find here a contemporary cafe and great place to eat from breakfast through to late lunch. 

If you fancy reading a bit more about The Tiled Hall's history and seeing some pictures I found a great source here. 

It's definitely one of Leeds' hidden gems. 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Beehive - Thorner, Leeds

Thorner is a small village on the outskirts of Leeds heading towards Wetherby. An interesting fact about Thorner is that it has no street lighting (!). I'd never visited Thorner prior to my trip to The Beehive but I instantly fell in love with the place, even having no phone signal for a few hours didn't deter me. As soon as I got home I looked up Thorner on Right Move... and then realised it will be a few years until I can afford to live in Thorner, the only places in a first time buyer's price range were some tiny apartments. Not exactly my dream home in the country. I should have guessed it would have been out of price range by the super-cars that kept driving past..

Nevertheless Thorner is only a 15 minute drive away from North Leeds so I'm sure I can keep visiting and keep dreaming.

I visited Thorner and The Beehive on a bizarrely sunny and warm Wednesday evening in April. We jumped at the chance to eat outside, and what a good idea that was. The views outside the beehive are stunning. Staring across fields you can watch the sunset and the sky dance in colour. The best backdrop to any meal.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Whitelock's Ale House - Sunday Lunch - Leeds City Centre

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Whitelock's it might interest you to know that it is the oldest pub in Leeds dating back to 1715.

I was introduced to this pub when my interest in craft beer/real ale flourished and I immediately fell in love. The taps are always changing with local beers and some further afield brews too. The atmosphere has never felt threatening and the staff have always been friendly and welcoming. I also have a massive interest in history and this pub is full of it. The bar has ceramic tiles decorating the sides, there is stain glass, wooden cladding, mirrors with writing on, iron table legs displaying the pub's name, leather bar stools, open fires and lots of other hidden little historical treasures.

The pub has seen a regeneration in recent years as more and more people are turning back to the pubs, and beer, and turning their backs on wine and cocktail bars with loud music. It feels like we're going back to British. This in hand with it's recent takeover in 2012 has propelled it in to the light of Leeds city centre's culture scene... and food scene.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Leeds Indie Food Festival - My Wish List

Leeds Indie Food Festival described by themselves as "A new collaborative independent festival of food and culture". It's running from 7 to 24th May with events across the city in a variety of locations.

I've compiled my very own wish list below.  It sort of feels like writing a  Christmas list, writing everything you would like and can dream of but knowing your parents aren't millionaires (or at least in my case) so you're not going to get everything but some of it would be a treat and gratefully received. 

At the time of writing some events have already sold out, I have not included these in the below list. The events are selling out quickly, at the time of reading these events may already be full! 

Without further a do.....  

Monday, 20 April 2015

Gorse at Mrs Atha's - Part of The Leeds Indie Food Festival 2015

If you haven't heard of Leeds Indie Food Festival and you like food and drink you're in for a treat, if you have skip the next two paragraphs.

Leeds indie food festival was an idea brought about to showcase the truly wonderful independents we have here in Leeds. What's even more wonderful is that the idea is a project from people of Leeds who are passionate about food and the independent businesses within the city and it was funded by the people of Leeds who are passionate about food and the independents within Leeds in the form of a kickstarter.

There is another food festival which runs each year but I don't think I am alone in thinking that the chain restaurants get all the top spots and therefore the footfall at this festival. It's most likely because they have the cash.

The indie food festival isn't a one or two dayer, it will start on 7th May and end on 24th May and take place over a variety of different locations. Some of the food events include rum tasting, beer and ice cream pop ups, Victorian-esq dinners and Leeds Feast which will be over two days at Tetley's. Events are already selling out so I'd advise you book sooner rather than later. If you think you can attend more than one event it might be worth you investing in a festival passport as these will give holders discounts and a few little extras not available to Joe Bloggs (unless Joe has one too). 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Bridge - Horncastle, Lincolnshire

Horncastle is fast becoming one of my favourite towns. It lies on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and it won antiques town of Britain in 2001. It doesn't surprise me either as the town has an abundance of antique and junk shops. I don't think I've ever seen so many in such close proximity to each other. It's amazing. I love junk shopping, finding little treasures and fixing them up again. Finding that classic piece of kitchenalia long forgotten and bringing it a new lease of life. The cache of junk and antiques is so good here that people flock from all over the world to grab a bargain.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Forzza (Everyman Cinema Pizzeria) - Leeds, Trinity

The pizzeria at Everyman Cinema is a prelude to a main attraction, but it is often skipped and unnoticed. I however I seem to have done things a little backwards, which admittedly is not uncommon for me, I have been to the pizzeria twice now and have never visited the main attraction - the cinema. Although I hear glorifying reports from others on the unique experience.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Grub & Grog - Brunch - Leeds

Last weekend I went in search of an non-traditional breakfast, and by traditional I mean your full English fry-up, or your regular bacon sandwich. This mission led me to wander around a virtually deserted Holbeck Urban village, admiring old mills and buildings until I found - Grub and Grog.

Grub and Grog have made their home in Northern Monk Refectory, a brewery in the site of a disused mill in one of Leeds' most industrious areas. The building is a beaut, strong and asserting. 

I've heard good things about Grub and Grog, from bloggers and locals alike. They've also made an appearance in the press recently. Namely The Guardian, or its weekly companion The Observer. This worried me. Would their new found fame mean they were full to the rafters, would I be later told  that they were much better when they first started out. Neither was so. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Five Guys - Kirskstall, Leeds

I'd never heard of Five Guys until they landed in Leeds a few months ago. In my ever continuing quest to explore new eateries in Leeds and find out what they're all about I've read up on them and found a consistent trend of them being referred to as a 'Cult Burger Chain', from America no least. I read an article which compares their arrival in the UK to that of McDonald's in the 70s, I wasn't around when that happened but apparently we went mental for it. It certainly seems we are going mental for Five Guys when I read reports of people queueing for TWO HOURS at the new opening in London. Come on people get a life, it's only a burger. Clearly the good people of Leeds are going mental for them too when on a Wednesday evening at 7pm they run out of bacon, but more on that later.

The guys behind Five Guys who have been enjoying their successes in the USA and Canada have been paying attention to this little island across the sea. We're having a burger revolution, or revult-ation dependent on where you dine/your preferences in food lie, nevertheless burgers are everywhere whether you like it or not and Five Guys have chosen the opportune moment to jump on that. Clever.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Gousto Recipe Kit Box

Sponsored post 

I was kindly asked by Gousto to try out one of their recipe boxes and post my efforts on my blog. 

Gousto deliver weekly boxes to your door with (*almost) everything you need to cook three healthy meals for two or four people. There are 10 recipes to choose from each week and you choose the three recipes that take your fancy, these are then brought to your door pre-weighed and measured ready for you to cook.  The ingredients are fresh from British farms, the veg is organic and they promise to only deliver quality ingredients.