Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Food Academy at Leeds City College




The Food Academy is a student run restaurant at Leeds City College's Printworks campus, it opened to the public in 2013 but I have only heard of one other person I know visiting it... a fellow blogger who deserted us for that London place some time last year. 

It's been on the list but due to location it never quite made it to the top, however myself and a plus one were invited to attend a special blogger night to help give some promo to the site that the students needs. 

Now I know what your first thoughts are, they have been echoed to me by many "students cooking your tea... I don't know about that, what happens if you get food poisoning, wine on your lap, gravy down your back etc etc." First of all the students are supervised and second of all their not idiots and totally incompetent, at least not by this point in the year (joking!!). 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Countess of York - Afternoon Tea at The National Railway Museum



The National Railway Museum is one of the attractions in York that isn't completely extortionate in price, in fact it's free.... although donations are welcome (suggested at £5 per person). I've visited the railway museum before, albeit a few years ago now, but never did I know that inside there was a rather special place to enjoy afternoon tea.

The countess of York is a refurbished dining car that can be booked for afternoon tea or group events, I was lucky enough to be invited by the National Railway Museum to try out their afternoon tea. Not one to say no to afternoon tea or a leisurely trip to York I hopped on the chance to go.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Missoula Montana Bar and Grill - York



Missoula York wasn't exactly on my radar but a trip to York for leisure reasons (not work) was well overdue, so when they invited me to come and try their menu I was glad to help out. Missoula is a chain that isn't present in Leeds (hard to believe I know!) but they have six bars in other cities and three bar and grills (aka they serve food too) in other cities too. York is one of the lucky three.

My pre-visit impressions were created by the name having no knowledge of them before, it was clearly an American food themed bar and grill (Missoula being in Montana in America) and perhaps a lively night spot as it came with 'bar' in the name and it is fairly close to other bar and restaurants in York.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Swine That Dines - Leeds




The Swine That Dines is spin-off of The Greedy Pig, for those of you haven’t heard of the Greedy Pig they are a small establishment on North Street (near The Reliance) who serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. Their daytime offerings are some of the best around, you’re lucky if you can get a seat at the weekend but their real passion for food shines through in their not-so-new concept The Swine That Dines.

The Swine That Dines sees the humble breakfast and sandwich shop turn in to dining room at night (Thursday,Friday and Saturday) with an infamous waiter (in the blogging world) and serving small plates of the highest standard. The Swine That Dines is famous in my Twitter-world but as soon as I step out of that world no one has heard of them, and that’s a shame because everyone should be shouting about them.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

D&D London (The Makers of Angelica and Crafthouse) Launch New Wine Collection



D&D are the owners of both Angelica and Crafthouse which sit in Trinity Leeds and in addition to this they also own a fair few restaurants and bars in London (hence the name). They market themselves as a more upmarket bar and restaurant with the food somewhere inbetween fine and casual dining.

As with many large restaurants and restaurant groups they have a sommelier or two or three... their job is to pick and chose the wines to serve in the restaurants and bars (I'm probably teaching a few of you how to suck eggs but bear with me). D&D's sommeliers have gone a little further and were sent away to vineyards in France to create a special 'D&D Blend'. After much testing, arguing, disagreeing, feedback from the wineries they finally settled on one white and one red.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Khana Bombay Cafe - Headingley, Leeds


Khana Bombay popped up in Headingley some time at the beginning of the year, they had an opening party where they invited the local bloggers and then promoted themselves by offering 50% off food. I hadn't managed to find the time to benefit from the 50% and so when my housemate was struggling to find somewhere 'new' (to her) to go for her birthday I suggested a trip in to Headingley rather than Leeds city centre (again).

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Mugen Tea House - Sheffield




Just when you think spring is on its way Mother Nature loudly declares 'only kidding' and showers you with snow. This happened to me when working in our Sheffield office, I was hoping to venture out in to sunny Sheffield and enjoy the best of the best lunches... but once the snow turned I headed for the nearest place. That place was (apart from Sainsbury's) Mugen Tea House.

Mugen Tea House is situated in 'The Hide' which is an events and art exhibition on Scotland Street. They opened last year and things seemed a little quiet when I appeared one Tuesday lunchtime. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Gaucho Steak Masterclass



I love steak. This is a fact. I don't love eating steak at restaurants. This is also a fact. I am always disappointed when I eat steak in restaurants and the like, there is always something wrong, it is never quite perfect. D thinks that I make the best steaks at home and although they don't always reach perfection more often than not they do tend to beat those that I eat in other people's dining rooms.

One of the main problems I have when eating steak in restaurants is that they all seem to have differing ideas of what medium and medium rare is, this extends to countries also. Brussels air on the rare side whereas Croatian's tend to leave it on the grill a bit longer for that more well done taste. It's a mine field. It's not often I put myself through the torment unless there really isn't anything else on the menu that I fancy. Due to the uncertainty if I've never had a steak in said restaurant I will always proceed with caution and order my steak medium.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Banyan Bar - 2 City Sqaure Leeds



Banyan is the fourth of it's kind to open, with York, Harrogate and Manchester already having one placed firmly in their cities. It takes over the spot in City Square's old post office that used to house Loch Fyne. According to my sources there was a fierce battle over this spot between Arc Inspirations (who own Banyan) a local Indian restaurant chain and another big national chain. Locality won out as Arc Inspirations who are a Leeds based company won the spot.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Little Toyko - Leeds City Centre (revisited)



I never set out to review Little Tokyo, as a rule (unless it's specifically requested) I don't blog about birthday meals... but with shoddy service and the camera in my bag almost screaming out at me I couldn't resist taking a few snaps so I could later rant on social media. 

I was going to leave it at just a post across social media but it sparked a few conversations and I realised that my views of Little Tokyo really have changed since that first time I visited way back in 2012. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Cielo Coffee House - Leeds City Centre



I wrote previously about the Cielo coffee house that is based in Garforth, they're a social enterprise which seeks to not only pump cash in to the local community but also the community in which they buy their coffee from.

They have a soft spot on my heart as they started life in my home town, helped keep the local library open and then moved to a bigger place and set up their own in-house micro roastery. They also keep the local teens in jobs too.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Blue Pig - Northern Quarter Manchester


Manchester, it’s a funny one. As a city it feels like we’re (Leeds) always comparing ourselves against that bigger northern city across the Pennines. When someone or something chooses us over ‘them’ we cheer our victories. Do they compare themselves against us?

I rarely go over to Manchester these days and when I do I'm usually going to see a gig. I always get excited when visiting other cities as it means I can do some research and (hopefully) find some really great places to eat. I struggle with Manchester every time. I think this is combined with the fact that I'm going to gigs, therefore I'm looking for casual dining and I just want something a little bit different than what I can find in Leeds. Manchester (I'm told) has an abundance of fine dining restaurants, but they don’t really suit when you’re dressed in jeans and a band t-shirt. It also has a lot of chains, they’re all over the main shopping districts and more often than not they’re the same chains that we have here in Leeds… I'm not going to venture over to Manchester to eat something I could eat at home.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Iberica - Leeds



It feels like everyone is talking about Iberica. There are pictures of their toilets flying all over the internet, granted they're pretty spectacular toilets but never before have I seen a place famed so much for its toilets (forgetting the sexist incident in Almost Famous...).

Iberica is situated on East Parade in Leeds city centre, in the financial and legal district of town. The owners have taken over Hepper House a grade II listed purpose built auction house that was in serious need of rejuvenation to make the most out of this beautiful building (see the before pictures here). 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Skyr Yoghurt - A taste of Iceland made in Yorkshire



Have I mentioned that I went on holiday to Iceland and absolutely loved it? Well the word seems to be getting out that I am fanatical about all things Iceland as I was contacted by Hesper Farm in Skipton to review their Iceland yogurt - Skyr.

So what is Skyr and why is different from regular yogurt? Well it is much thicker than regular yogurt, it is high in protein, contains less sugar, high in calcium and is naturally 0% fat. Win win if you're on a bikini diet (I'm not but I'm playing with the idea).