Monday, 9 June 2014

A Leeds Love Affair

I'm not shy about shouting my love for Newcastle from the rooftops, we all know that it very much holds my heart.  However last weekend I found myself flirting with a different Northern City .... turn away Newcastle I'm about to cheat on you!

I LOVE LEEDS!

Now that I've got that off my chest let me tell you about my latest adventure to my new favourite shopping and foodie destination.

One of my closest friends Jenny was in the North last weekend so it seemed the ideal time to meet up for a quick catch up and shopping trip.  Realising that Leeds was easy for us both to get to we quickly made a plan.

Firstly let me introduce you to my other new love, my floral print trousers from Tesco.  I bought them the day before on a whim and they are amazing.  Not only are they so cute and Summery but they area also really flattering and very comfortable.  I'm pretty sure I'll be back again soon to see if I can find them in any other prints or colours.   This was a perfect "Summer in the City" outfit.


Leeds is just over an hour away from Newcastle by train so I have been a few times before but for some reason this time the city really clicked with me and I realised how special it was.  I'm beginning to wonder if I'd been walking about with my eyes shut on previous visits.

I was bowled over by the size of the Zara, we don't have one in Newcastle and the store in the Metro Centre isn't great so I'd more or less given up with it.  I'm really excited that I now have Leeds to fulfil my Zara lusting.  Unfortunately I didn't have a large stash of disposable money on this trip so I just walked around the store and mentally spent well over £1,000 on jackets and coats. 

Speaking of indulgent window shopping, another reason to love Leeds is Victoria Quarter which is home to lots of luxury stores including Harvey Nicholls, Vivienne Westwood, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Kurt Geiger.  I may have also had a quick nose through the window of Michael Kors as I strolled past.


Moving away from the fantasy shopping we moved into Trinity which I am completely in love with. It's the most perfect shopping centre, it has nice large stores, houses all of my favourite high street shops and is beautifully designed.  The huge glass ceiling makes the mall really light and airy.

Being the "Queen of Primark" I obviously had to make a bit of time for a bargain hunt.  The Primark might not be as big as the store in Newcastle, but it does have two separate stores so I was pretty happy with that.  I didn't go too crazy but did get stupidly excited when I found this Little Mermaid Top (Simon later asked me why I wasn't wearing my new PJ top to bed and I think he was a little surprised to hear that my new purchase was in fact daywear and I would be wearing it out in public!). 

I also managed to find myself a pair of perfectly fitted white skinny jeans which I'm looking forward to wearing.

My favourite part of Trinity, and the part that I'd quite like to pick up and carry back to Newcastle, is Trinity Kitchen.   Forget your normal boring food court, Trinity Kitchen brings Street Food to the mall.   Trinity Kitchen is made up of 7 permanent cafes, restaurants and bars that are joined by Street Food Traders that roll in their vans, wagons, trucks and sheds for a month long stint before they are replaced with different vendors for the next month.   This means that you never know what to expect and get to try out lots of different foods.  


We decided that there was no other option for lunch so settled down to some pizza at Pizza Luxe.  I went for the Chorizo pizza which came loaded with Goats Cheese, Roasted Grapes and Honey.  The base was really thin which made it a great meal for lunch.

After a bit more shopping Jenny caught a train home and I had a dinner date with my friend Kate who's lived in Leeds for many years.

We were having an early 5:30 pm dinner and were hopeful that we'd get in to one of the more popular restaurants in the city.   However everywhere was rammed!   I'd recommend that if you want to eat somewhere specific in Leeds, even if it is early evening, you will need to book a table.  Leeds seems to be full of very eager foodies, and who can blame them when there's so much delicious food on offer.

In the end we managed to get ourselves into Mexican restaurant, Cielo Blanco, where we opted for the tapas style "Street Food Experience".  We chose a total of 6 dishes for £11.95 each and had such fun looking through the menu.  Not being experts on Mexican food I admit that we did have to spend some time looking up dishes on google but once we were fully informed we were pretty proud of our selection of tostadas, empanadas and market dishes. 


A few of the dishes were on the hot side so we were thankful for our cocktails to cool our mouths.



It's always fun to move on to somewhere different for dessert so we chose to take ourselves to Roast and Conch at Hotel Chocolat that serves a cocoa based menu inspired by West Indian Cuisine.   There are only two restaurants in the country so it's pretty great that one of them is in Leeds.


The dessert and cocktail menu is amazing and it took forever to make a decision but in the end I opted for the Rhubarb Prosecco Cheesecake which was a white chocolate based cheesecake with massive pieces of rhubarb and spiced biscuit base.  


The perfect accompaniment was the "Pretty Pink" - muddled raspberries, cocoa gin and Prosecco top.



I loved it so much that it has left me wanting more, there's at least another three desserts on the list that I'd like to try!

I've decided that I will definitely need some more time with my Second City this Summer so am already planning to take an afternoon off work so I can join Kate for an evening of drinking in some of the city's beautiful bars.

Until next time Leeds!

36 comments:

  1. I love the restaurants in Leeds, they're all so different too! Last time we were there we went to the cinema where you can have pizzas and sit on sofas; pretty amazing!!
    x

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    1. Oooooooooh that's the Every Man isn't it?! I think? I'm sure my friend has told me about it x

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  2. Leeds is my favourite city to visit that's nearby! I'm so excited to go in a couple of weeks! Trinity kitchen looks cool and the Victoria Quarter is the best place ever! Xx

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    1. I'm definitely going to book a half day off work, maybe next month and head back mid week. I want to get into some of the bars that were heaving!

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    2. Mid weeks's definitely the way then! Still need to find the name of that street for you! Xx

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  3. Visiting different places is great. Glad that you got your Zara fix even if you didn't spend any money. The trinity kitchen looks nice and hotel chocolate never let's you down those deserts yummy. It made me laugh that Simon thought you t-shirt was for bed that is exactly what my other half would say Lucy x}

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    1. I need to save up some money and go back for a proper Zara shop!

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  4. Aah, fab to see some Yorkshire love! I've been hearing so much good stuff about Trinity Kitchen, I'm going to have to make the effort and get myself in to the city next time I'm home! Oh and hello Hotel Chocolat, you're defo on my to do list! x

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    1. Definitely! It really is such a great mall, probably the best looking mall I've ever been in!

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  5. There is just too much awesome in this post but lets start with the trousers!!! They're fabulous.
    And Hotel Chocolat restaurant, cocktails, pizza and The Little Mermaid daywear? Lovely stuff.
    Looks like a marvellous day out.
    M x Life Outside London

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  6. Looks like we inadvertently followed your food plan, as we went out through the week and ended up at Cielo Blanco for the Street Food Experience, and then over to Roast and Conche for dessert - so I must congratulate you on your excellent choices! :)

    Hope to see you out and about in Leeds sometime :)

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  7. I have never been up north at all but one day I will venture up there. I love the trousers, Tesco do some great pieces.

    P.xx
    GreyWalls

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    1. OMG you have to ... Newcastle is a must visit, it's a lovely city and there's amazing coast a short drive away as well, then of course you have Leeds to visit as well :D

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  8. I lived in Leeds for 8 years and recently moved back to Newcastle but I miss it loads! Its a really lovely city and you're right the food available there is amazing! I'm gutted I moved just before they finished Trinity Kitchen though.

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    1. Yay another North East blog, will check you out and give you a little follow :)

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  9. I love that The Little Mermaid top! I am obsessed with that movie, haha.

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    1. OMG me too, I saw it so many times at the cinema when I was little, I was obsessed with Ariel and all of the songs! The fact that Primark have adult Little Mermaid clothing is like a dream come true :D

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  10. I miss Leeds!! I can't wait for a visit to my home city in a few weeks.

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  11. Yes yes yes! To everything! Leeds is amazing! I can't believe I won't be back for over a year now. Trinity Kitchen is so unbelievably good I am NEVER disappointed, and it's just clicked that I won't be able to experience it for a long time... how depressing! Trinity itself is wonderful, I'm not surprised you were impressed, they've really outdone themselves with the architecture and it's great especially in the sunshine! And as for the not being able to find anywhere to eat at 5.30, I am not surprised at all. My friends visited on a Saturday once, and we went around about 10 different places at 4 o'clock in an attempt to find somewhere to have a drink. It was impossible! You really do have to plan in advance to make the most out of it, but Cielo Blanco is very tasty!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

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    1. I'm thinking I'll go on a Tuesday or a Wednesday or something, I want to get to the Alchemist, the Botanist and to the roof bar at Trinity ... all of them were packed out!

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  12. Grapes on a pizza? That sounds tres wierd!

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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    1. I think I actually picked the grapes off but shoooooosh don't tell anyone!

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  13. Woop love Leeds! Definitely thing we should have a NE Bloggers day out there :) x

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    1. Yes, this should definitely happen :D

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  14. Leeds is amazing! I love that little mermaid top...so cute <3 Hope you had a lovely weekend

    www.thenorthernsole.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. I've never been to Leeds but the Roast+Conch restaurant along might be a reason to visit!
    Rachel x
    rachelbirchley.com

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    1. You should go, it's a perfect city for a weekend break :D

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  16. When I was at York University I always used to hop on the train to Leeds. It's great for shopping, but I have only been once or twice in recent years. I love your floral trousers. Tesco do some surprisingly good clothes. I have picked up some great things in there for myself and my baby girl recently. I love the Little Mermaid top. My husband had the same reaction when I wore a My Little Pony top in public although I had to admit that I felt a little silly in it after his comments! x

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    1. Ah, you should go again .... really isn't that far away! I really want to head back to Tesco and see if I can find any more lovely trousers, they're such an amazing comfy fit.

      I really wanted a My Little Pony top but decided I was too old .. god knows how I reached the conclusion that the Little Mermaid one would be any more sophisticated!

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  17. Aw, looks like you had a fab time!
    I have yet to visit the Trinity Centre.. but heard nothing but great things, so I second Lisa that we should take a trip there in coming months. :)
    Those cocktails look delish!

    Caroline.x
    notesfromcaroline.com

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    1. I'm going to book a day off work in August to head back and see my friend Kate again ...I need a second go at it :D

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