Monday, 1 September 2014

The Scott's Arms - Sicklinghall, Wetherby

Finding somewhere within Leeds to eat on a Saturday evening without prebooking at least a week ahead is becoming harder and harder. This combined with a longing desire to constantly get out of the city on a weekend brought us to Scott's Arms in Sicklinghall, Wetherby.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Grandy Nook - Hawkshead

On our first afternoon in The Lakes we had a couple of hours to kill before we could pick up our keys for the cottage. So we wandered around Hawkshead in search for lunch, what we came across was cafes and pubs. A pub, we thought, would be too much of a heavy lunch so we set about looking in the cafes. Hawkshead is pretty small and it wasn't long until we had walked around all the cafes and still hadn't chosen one. Fed up we chose the nearest to where we needed to pick up our keys from.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Brew Lab - Edinburgh

I'm not going to write a huge amount in this post as I don't feel educated enough in coffee to do so. In fact I only started drinking coffee 6 months ago. I'm still playing it safe with Mochas too.

Whilst in Edinburgh I noticed that another food blogger happened to be visiting Edinburgh too. Richard who writes Them Apples posted a picture on Instagram of a coffee place I had walked past the day before. Interested I asked him if it was a place he would recommend.

So on our final day in Edinburgh a very tired D and me decided to pay a visit.

Friday, 29 August 2014

The Bon Vivant - Edinburgh

Down the side street out of the hubbub of Princes Street and Hanover Street (slightly less hubbuby) on Thistle Street you'll find Bon Vivant, however it may be easy to walk past this dark doorwayed place.

I have now learnt that Bon Vivant have a number of different places dotted around Edinburgh, clearly a popular place. I like the sound of their concept which is to create an informal dining scene like that you find on the continent with great food and great drink.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Southern Cross Cafe - Edinburgh

I'm going to start off by saying - don't visit this place.

Just off the Royal Mile on a curved road up a slopping hill lies Southern Cross Cafe, or as it's now abbreviated to 'SX Cafe'. 

It's near the Royal Mile, it gets the footfall, it doesn't really need to put the effort in to make people return as it will get more than enough one time visitors to keep it going. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Dogs - Hanover Street, Edinburgh

Note to readers: this post may contain expletives. (It does).

The Dogs on Hanover Street in Edinburgh was recommended many times over on twitter when I asked where I should go when visiting for the first time. With so many notifications coming through recommending them it would be rude not to book a visit.

We booked a table early (6pm) Sunday evening knowing that we had an evening full of shows to see at The Fringe Festival. There was no problem booking a table even during this busy period. I was surprised as I left it quite late too, two weeks prior to our visit.

White Hart Inn - Grassmarket, Edinburgh

In the search for ale, none of this crappy lager stuff, we accidentally stumbled in to the oldest pub in Edinburgh. An absolute fluke! We walked in and out of a few pubs that didn't have pulled cask ale, walked in to this one saw that it had ale, a pub food bites menu and some tables (albeit outside) so parked our bottoms and pints (once pulled and paid for) outside. It was once we were sat outside that we noticed the sign which said it was the oldest pub in Edinburgh. Bingo.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Mother India Cafe - Edinburgh

Mother India Cafe in Edinburgh, despite the name, is a restaurant that serves Indian food in tapas portions. A brilliant idea. It enables you try many more dishes than you would at your standard Indian restaurant and sharing food is always a great way to try more things too. Win win. I know most people would be eager to try Scottish fare when visiting Edinburgh but we had already booked somewhere Scottish and were fearful of falling in to the tourist traps and eating substantial run-of-the-mill stereotyped food the whole time we were there.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blackhouse Revisited - Leeds

It has been almost a year since my last post about Blackhouse. I found myself there again a couple of weeks ago, this time as a member of a large group (11) celebrating a birthday. We were informed that as we were a large booking we would have to order from one of the set menus, no further explanation but two menus were presented to us of £35 and £40 per person. We took a vote and the £40 menu won. Curious I decided to compare the set menu against the main menu and how much each individual item on the set menu cost on the main menu (ie if you weren't in a large group)... I know I know I was being anal but I like to think I'm getting my monies worth when I'm eating out.

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel - North Yorkshire

Dipping in to the North York Moors and close to Scarborough you will find Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. A grand old (former) farmhouse now converted in to a hotel using it's back-houses and barns to a AA 4 star standard. The main house now contains The Courtyard restaurant which presents fine dining and gastro pub experiences, something for everybody.

I was lucky enough to be invited to review the hotel (bear with me I've only done one before) and the afternoon tea (more than experienced), dinner (even more experienced) and breakfast (more than happy to lend a hand).

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Teppan 260 - Leeds City Centre

Alternative dining experiences have been around for a while, the Americans and Japanese appear to particularly like them. For example Americans have before chosen to deliver your burger and shake on roller skates, or by girls who are blessed in the chest region. In Japan we have seen cat caf├ęs where you can stroke a moggie whilst drinking your mocha, or you may chose to have your dinner served by a ninja or in a prison, whatever tickles your fancy... (See here for a further list of what Japan has to offer in the alternative dining scene )

Monday, 21 July 2014

Bird and Beast - Leeds City Centre

Bird and Beast caught my eye a few months ago as I happen to walk through Central Arcade on my way to work most mornings. Things then started to rumble on twitter about it and my interest peaked further.

Bird and Beast is brought to us by a local chef Simon Shaw who is taking a step in to the Leeds dining scene by offering us a simple no fuss menu with locally sourced ingredients. A chef with a good standing already in the food scene he heads up El Gato Negro in Ripponden. 

It's all about the bird. The bird being chicken.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bundobust - Leeds City Centre

Bundobust the love child of two fantastic ventures laying their routes in Bradford and expelling their child to the big city of Leeds.

The Sparrow: a real ale hub, a CAMRA endorsed pub, with some good people behind it. 

Prashaad: a once hidden secret in Bradford given national fame thanks to Gordon Ramsey, so successful they have had to relocate to a bigger premises and have even brought out a cook book. They serve meat free Indian food, so good that even the most blood thirsty of us will not miss meat.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Grove Cafe - Leeds (student land)

I'm a little confused by Grove Cafe, is it an Italian (as the subject line of their website suggests) or is it an Indian as listed on Hungry House with it's curries advertised first on the menu?

Despite this Grove Cafe was one of the takeaways recommended to me when I first moved back to Leeds. I don't remember it as a student (but then with all the alcohol I consumed I'm surprised I remember anything at all) so perhaps it hasn't been around that long?

So one rainy evening D and I decided to try it out...