Thursday, 28 September 2017

Esquires - Bradford City Centre

I first came across Esquires in New Zealand, way back in 2009, at the time you had to pay for Wi-Fi everywhere but in Esquires you could get unlimited Wi-Fi if you bought a drink. A good attraction for travellers who need to Skype family members or post envious pictures on Facebook.

At the tender age of 22 I wasn’t yet a coffee drinker and so the furthest my order went was for a cup of tea. I used to alternate between Esquires and Starbucks for my tea and Wi-Fi needs.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Gorilla - Manchester

I always struggle for places to eat in Manchester. It’s either because there is just SO much choice, or that there isn’t anything that inspires me because I can’t find it at home in Leeds. Perhaps it’s a combination of both.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

North Tea Power - Manchester

I love eating out for breakfast. I think the reason why is because you will normally find me eating breakfast at home in my pjs or at my desk at work whilst I check on last night’s emails, therefore, it feels like a bit of a luxury. The only problem is, I struggle to get out of the house and to cafes or restaurants in time for breakfast. This is why brunch is an excellent concept for me, it means I can take my time and still enjoy breakfast out, albeit just a bit later than I would eat breakfast at home.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Shambles Kitchen - York

I’ve probably said this before, but trying to find lunch in York can be a minefield. There are so many chains and tourist traps that can easily lure you in. Trying to find the gems can be quite difficult if you haven’t been given any tips.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Cameron's Tea Room and Farm Shop (Foyers, Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands)

Everything in The Highlands seems so far spread out compared to life in Leeds, or Yorkshire in fact. When something is ‘only’ an hour away it doesn’t seem too bad a drive. After a rather exhausting day travelling around the Isle of Skye we wanted to do a little less travelling, we had visited the local waterfall, visited the neighbouring town and then found ourselves a little stuck with what else we could do. With it only being around 1pm we decided that an hour’s drive from our location in Drumndrochit to The Falls of Foyer wasn’t too bad.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Taste Of India - Isle of Skye (Scottish Highlands, Inner Hebrides)

Dining out at an Indian Restaurant in Scotland, or more specifically the Isle of Skye, doesn’t sound like the most typical of meals to be had whilst touring The Highlands, I admit. However, after a day of driving around the island, getting engaged, wild water swimming (read: putting our swimming suits on and freezing our t*ts off in the fairy pools) we were knackered. It was pushing 6pm by the time we had left the fairy pools and we needed to eat and embark on the two hour drive back to our log cabin. When we arrived on Skye, just after we had made it across the Skye Bridge, I had noticed an Indian restaurant and joked to the chap that we should stop and go for dinner. This became a reality when it fast became the easiest option with it being on the route back.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Dakota Deluxe - Leeds

When it comes to hotels Leeds isn’t short of them, however, in the city centre the chains dominate. You’ll find hotels that you will find in larger cities in the UK, such as The Hilton, The Radisson, The Marriot, Travelodge and Etap for those on a smaller budget. The city was lacking in boutique, luxury hotels, until Dakota Deluxe arrived spring 2017.

Dakota Deluxe is a brand of hotels that comes from the same company that brought Malmaison to the UK, which at the time was the first hotel brand in the UK for 30 years. Dakota is relatively small in their offering so far, with only three other branches, one in Edinburgh and two in Glasgow.

The ‘Deluxe’, which is what we have in Leeds, is a more refined version than its airport counterparts. The brand hopes to open more Deluxe hotels in city centres throughout the UK, I feel proud that they chose Leeds as one of their first.

Skye Pie Cafe - Isle of Skye (Scottish Highlands and Inner Hebrides)

The Isle of Skye is possibly one of the most picturesque places I have ever been to in my life. It makes me swell with pride that this beautiful isle is a part of our country and my Scottish heritage. Skye, in recent years, has also become a very popular place to live in the Highlands and Hebrides. The Skye bridge has brought ease of access to the mainland and gives its occupants that feeling of being remote, but not too remote. With such beautiful scenery, a growing population and access to fresh fish of the surrounding seas, Skye has also scene an influx of fine dining restaurants.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Fiddlers - Drumnadrochit (Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands)

The Fiddlers in Drumnadrochit, just by Loch Ness, is a popular option for tourists. It’s on the main street, next to a farm shop, opposite the post office and just down the road from one of the Nessy Exhibitions. During the day they have a street food van outside and this stays open until the evening in case you didn’t book ahead and find yourself with no where to eat… great if the weather is nice, not so great if it’s raining.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Pizza Fella - Vicar Lane, Leeds

In a part of the city that I was sure was due to demolished to make way for ‘phase two’ of Victoria Gate, I see new restaurants and bars popping up. Perhaps temporary leases or best laid plans now falling through, I’m not sure.

Pizza Fella has opened up in what was some time ago a very seedy looking sex shop. They have immigrated from their street food van, an old Citro├źn van, to somewhere a little more stationery. They’ve gone for the ‘stripped back’ look inside, with exposed ceilings and pipes, a sign that this is only a temporary lease? Or are they just following interior fashions? The small details they have added make it feel a little more homely, such as the hanging planters, candles and freshly cut flowers on each table.