Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sunday Lunch at The Deer Park - Roundhay, Leeds

One of my favourite things in life is Sunday dinner.  I'm pretty sure I can be quoted on saying, on more than one occasion, that my last supper of choice would be a Sunday dinner. I was pretty much brought up on a roast dinners as a child, and as a child, roast dinners weren't just for Sundays. I remember friends coming round for tea after school and being in awe that they were being fed a roast dinner mid week. I wasn't aware at that point that people save this special meal just for Sundays.

At the tender age of 18 when I was forced to live on my own (went to uni) the only meal I could cook (well) was a roast dinner, albeit my Yorkshire Puddings needed some work and I all but gave up during my uni years resorting to (warning some may find the next few words may be offensive) Aunt Bessie's frozen Yorkshire pudding batter in tiny tins. Although I'm still working on my Yorkshire Puddings the frozen batter is but a long and distant memory.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Square and Compass - North Rigton, Harrogate (Parish of) LS17

The Square and Compass has been around longer than I would have thought had I of thought about it, with its clean decor and modern branding it's far from the old traditional Yorkshire pub. The Square and Compass was a regular haunt of D's parents when they were younger and their fondness for the place was stretched so far in that they held their wedding reception there 30 odd years ago. I'm almost certain it has changed hands a few times over the years. Currently however The Square and Compass is owned by Malvern Inns and in addition to this they also own The George at Blackwell in Bristol.

The Square and Compass has a Leeds postcode but lies on the edge of Harrogate in a small village called North Rigton which is included in the Parish of Harrogate.  

We'd had a recommendation from a friend that The Square and Compass did a great Sunday Roast, after a walk around Swinsty reservoir we'd decided it was a more than apt time to check them out for ourselves. 

We arrived around 3pm this particular Sunday afternoon, more restaurant than pub the place was packed to the rafters and when we were asked if we had made a booking I was starting to get a little nervous that we would be turned away. Luckily there was room to squeeze two on a small table beside the bar. 

The choice of roasts include chicken, pork, lamb, beef and a trio of meats. For something a bit different they also offer a fish dish or vegetarian options such as bean Wellington and aubergine gratin. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Caffeine & Co, Leeds Dock

Leeds Dock, previously known as Clarence dock and informally known as the Royal Armouries place. For those who don't know, Leeds Dock is slightly out of the city centre it's a nice peaceful place with canal boats moored and the Royal Armouries dominating the horizon. Due to its location it has seen a number of failed attempts to rejuvenate and attract people to the area. Fashion retailers haven't fared too well and have fled the scene; casinos haven't had much luck either. What are left amongst the empty units are Pizza Express, Tesco, Mumtaz and a little(ish) coffee shop call Caffeine & Co.

Caffeine & Co started life in Manchester with the aim of delivering specialist coffee and flawless food from their bakery and kitchens. They're incredibly humble but massively passionate about what they do.

"We think we serve classic third wave coffee, always trying to extract the maximum sweetness from the shot and mixing with perfectly micro-foamed milk to capture distinct notes of caramel and chocolate. " Caffeine & Co, website 2015.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Bundobust leaves you fit to burst with their new menu

Blue Monday's are a thing of the past when Bundobust are around, better still they are completely banished on Monday's when they launch a new menu!

With 5 new items to try I was delighted to be invited by Bundobust to give them a try. So what's new?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Railway Inn - Rodley, Leeds

The Railway Inn is a pub that pays homage to the old railway which used to be situated at this cross roads between Rodley and Calverley, if what I read is correct the railway opened in 1846 but then sadly closed in 1965. Throughout its years it was known interchangeably as Rodley Station and Calverley and Rodley Station.

The railway line spanned from Leeds Wellington Street Station and ran through Kirkstall, to Rodley, to Apperley Bridge and Rawdon, and terminating in Bradford. With the congestion along Leeds road from Shipley and on Kirkstall Road on the way into Leeds I think there are a fair few people in Leeds that long for this railway to be reopened again. Tales of 2 hour commutes in 9 miles of road traffic is beyond absurd. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

Boss Burgers - Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Boss Burgers has been on my food-radar for a little while. Their original joint in Hyde Park had caused quite a stir, not only with students, as I've seen it appear on lists of the best burgers in Leeds and tweets appearing in my timeline with some absolutely stunning pictures of the burgers they have to offer. When I found out that they were expanding and opening up in Chapel Allerton I was excited to give them a try.

Feeling lazy after a week at work we decided to head down one Friday evening arriving around 6.30pm. Parking isn't great in Chapel Allerton and we ended up in Lidl's car park, although this was at risk of clamping so I wouldn't recommend it, there is another car park behind co-op further up the road it's a bit of walk but it will avoid clamps and fines.

Boss Burgers' place in Chapel A is relatively small, seating at most 15-20 people. When we arrived I was worried we might not get a table and was starting to wonder if they took bookings, fear not however as there was a table just vacated in the corner.

BB sells pulled real ale, tick. D and I ordered a pint and a half of Saltaire Pale Ale, one of my favourites having lived next door to the brewery for 18 months and I believe the true introducer to my love of beer.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Brasserie Blanc - Leeds City Centre

Did you know there was a Raymond Blanc restaurant in Leeds?

No neither did I.

Hidden away, almost from sight, on the banks of the river Aire in an old mill on Sovereign Street sits Brasserie Blanc. It's sat there for 8 years.

Once again I begin to think of the city's preoccupation with all that is new and trendy, with places of old being forgotten. Granted BB is not as old as Bibi's, Salvo's and the Olive Tree but it's definitely being overlooked.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Homage 2 Fromage - Leeds' First Cheese Cafe

You've gotta brie kidding me there is a cheese cafe in Leeds? I'm gonna lose my rind!
The people who thought of a monthly cheese club and put it in to action are geniuses. The people who thought up and implemented the idea of a cheese cafe deserves a noble prize, or the cheese equivalent at least.

Homage 2 Fromage, for those who are not aware already (where have you been!), is a cheese club that was founded four years ago in Leeds. I have watched with eager eyes their club blossom and grow on Twitter with it now expanding to Sheffield, Manchester and Bradford too.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Bill's - Leeds City Centre

I am not the chain restaurant's biggest fan. There is a time and place for them in my life but Friday night is not usually one of those times. However, when Bill's asked me to pay them a visit I accepted. Why? For the simple reason that I had never heard of them before and I was intrigued. A quick scout of their website tells me they have quite a few joints dotted around the country, I've clearly been walking around with my eyes closed, that or I don't visit that there London quite as much as I should. 

Bill's started life as a green grocers, which met its fate with mother nature when it was flooded. They opened a new shop but bolted on a cafe, it then became just a little bit popular and now they have 70 plus restaurants. Their USP is simple, honest great food and making sure everyone is treated like an individual. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Nourish - Leeds City Centre

I really really like the concept of Nourish. I really really like the guy behind it. There is a but, but (not that one) you'll have to wait for it. 

Nourish started life in Sheffield in 2013 and has since moved to the better side of Yorkshire (wink wink) with it's first place opening in Leeds a couple of months ago. Dave Stache runs the joint, he's a nutritionist by profession but is passionate about the food market and getting good food in to the mouths of the people of Yorkshire. 

There's so much thought and effort going in to the meals, with local suppliers on hand where possible and ethically sourced ingredients. The meals themselves are packed with the most nutrients possible and (as quoted by Nourish) "no calorie is wasted". 

There are a lot of places opening in Leeds that are focusing on lad food, overindulgence and general American overloaded junk food. To see a healthy based option open in Leeds was quite novel. 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Did you know Mojo's do food as well as rum?

No neither did I until their lovely PR team welcomed me and a few others to try out their wares.

This isn't gourmet dining. This isn't the next Michelin star restaurant.

It's dirty guilt food, the food that you eat after a few rums, the food that you eat when you're feeling rough and ready for hair of the dog, the food you eat when the diet has gone out the window and you just want some food loving.

I bloody love a dirty burger.

Here's a few things they have on the menu:

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Great Victoria Hotel - Bradford

The Great Victoria Hotel is often overlooked by those who stream in and out Bradford each day. If only commuters and visitors looked up from their busy worlds for a second they would see this great historic building before them. In 1867 The Great Victoria Hotel came to life during Bradford's growth spurt which saw the tiny town grow in to a city, with the industrial revolution in tow. It was also around the same time that Sir Titus Salt was building his model village not so far away in Saltaire.

The Great Victoria Hotel is situated next to Bradford Interchange which makes it a top spot for people to stay who are spending the night, either for business or for pleasure and want something more than your run of the mill Premier Inn.

Pizzeria Nono - Porec, Croatia

On our last night in Croatia we decided to end things how we started it, with pizza. 

Pizzeria Nono is also voted the number one place to go by the blog we were avidly living by whilst in Croatia, if you've read any of the other posts in this Croatian series you'll know that blog is Frank About Croatia. 

Popular with the locals, it also doesn't fair to bad on trip adviser either. When we arrived just after the sunset, say 7.30pm the place was bustling and there was no way we were getting a seat outside. As we stepped inside I worried that we wouldn't get a seat inside either, however deceptively spacious we were shown through to a room towards the back of the restaurant. 

Menus were handed to us and before we could even glance at them we were asked what we would like to drink, I ordered a wine and D a Sprite. 

The choice of pizzas was good but not overpowering, and I found the pizza I was going to have almost straight away. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Sv. Nikola Restaurant - Porec, Croatia

Our second to last night in Porec and we were ready to splash the cash, we had managed to have quite a bit left over not expecting food and petrol prices to be so very low in Croatia. We decided to dine at San Nikola as it was described on Frank About Croatia's blog as the closest to fine dining you would get in Porec. We had also had a glance at the menu the previous night before settled down to eat next door at Divino.

We were greeted by a very friendly waitress who served us for most of the evening, she was always gracious and said please frequently, especially when giving us something such as more wine or our orders. 

We ordered a bottle of wine, a Pinot Grigio, which was kept on ice away from our table and served to us frequently throughout the meal. A nice touch which kept our wine chilled too, the only downfall was that we had no idea how much of it we were drinking!