Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Going Solo in Leeds

Living in London for 5 years I found myself to be fiercely independent.  It's the most amazing city to spend solo time in and although I had lots of lovely friends to hang out with I also really enjoyed time on my own wandering around and enjoying the city.  In London no one bats an eyelid if you take yourself out for dinner, sit solo in the theatre or even sit in a bar on your lonesome. 

I think it's pretty important in life to be comfortable enough in yourself to enjoy spending some time on your own away from your friends, family and partner.  There's something quite special about taking yourself out on a solo adventure, getting to make lots of decisions and do exactly what you want, when you want to.

So I recently decided to book a day off work and happily take myself off to my new favourite city, Leeds.  Like my last trip to Leeds, I decided to fully enjoy my day by blogging on my iPhone rather than lugging my camera about.


The main purpose of my trip was of course to shop, so I made sure I arrived in Leeds before 10:00 am which seemed a little mad when it involved getting up earlier than I normally would to go to work but it was completely worth it just to have some quiet time in the shops before they got busy.

I've said it once and I will say it again, I love the shopping in Leeds and it's fast becoming my favourite shopping destination. 


My first stop of the day was of course Primark where I went a little crazy with the statement necklaces.   They have the most amazing collection at the moment and I couldn't pick which one I wanted so ended up with four.  When they're all priced between £4 and £6 it's hard to resist.


I also finally bought this gorgeous pastel blue "leather" jacket that I've had my eye on for quite a while.  I've tried it on every time I've been in but on each occasion my sensible head made me put it back.  This time though I knew the time had finally come to make it mine and I'm so happy it's come home with me because it's beautiful.   It cost £25 and it also comes in pale pink and, new in store, teal and hot pink.

The beauty with solo shopping is you can spend as long as you like in the changing rooms.  I will admit I sometimes spend forever in there, it takes me ages to get changed and I usually try each outfit on more than once.  It's nice to be able to do that knowing you don't have someone waiting for you outside.   It took me forever to try on this lovely jumpsuit from Dorothy Perkins.  It was in the sale at half price and I couldn't decide whether to get it or not.   In the end it went back on the rails though I have been regretting it a little ever since.


My favourite place to window shop in Leeds is definitely the Victoria Quarter with it's luxury designer shops.  I love to press my nose up to the glass of Mulberry and Michael Kors and take a look at the handbags.


This trip I decided to wander into Harvey Nichols for a coffee.   Sometimes it's nice to grab a drink somewhere with plush surroundings rather than heading into a coffee shop.   The top floor houses a lovely little bar complete with an outdoor roof terrace.   I had a great time people watching whilst drinking my latte.


Probably my favourite thing about a solo shopping trip is that I get to choose where I go for lunch and this time I knew I wanted to head to Le Chalet, a lovely little French Bakery and Tea Room hidden away in Leeds Banking District.   I ordered the Galette Complete, a classic French dish of pancake made with black flour, topped with an egg and stuffed with cheese and ham.  I really enjoyed it and I will definitely be back to check out the afternoon tea next time I'm in Leeds.


No trip to Leeds is complete without heading in to the beautiful Trinity for a look round the shops.  It's such a stunning building and I do wish I could pick it up and move it to Newcastle.


As my lunch was served with salad I saw it as the perfect excuse to stop for some gelato at Joel Deluccis who offer a wide variety of delicious flavours.  I opted for cherry and custard and, as much as I wanted a giant cone coated in chocolate, I decided to pick the more modest single cone.

After spending a whole day on my own I was more than ready for some company so spent the evening with my lovely friend Kate.   After heading up to Trinity's Roof  Bar, Angelica for a few cocktails we headed to Arts for some dinner.

Arts is an intimate cafĂ© bar and restaurant, a short walk from the train station.   Being eager beavers we took advantage of the early bird 2 courses for £12.50.    I enjoyed Beer Battered Haddock, with the hugest Hand Cut Chips I have ever seen and Crushed Minted Peas.


This was followed by Coffee, Cherry and Chocolate Bakewell served with Sour Cherry and Amaretto Sorbet.  Being a huge fan of every single one of those flavours I was stupidly excited about trying this dessert. It felt like it had been invented just for me.  Unfortunately the only tastes I got were Chocolate and Cherry - the Amaretto and Coffee were very well hidden.   That said it was still delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful.


All too soon it was time to hop on my train for the short journey back to Newcastle.  Yet again I left wanting more and I think Leeds might be the perfect place to do my Christmas shopping.

18 comments:

  1. All that food looks so delicious!

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  2. I love solo exploring too - and glad you had a great day in Leeds!

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    1. I want to do it again ... I actually wish I could take every Wednesday off to mooch about being a lady of leisure. I told Simon we need to win the Lottery so I can go shopping and sit about eating in French tea rooms every day :p

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  3. I'm a great one for solo days out! I've never been to Leeds but it looks really nice. I'll add it to my list.

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    1. Definitely, it's a lovely city - so many great shops, bars and restaurants .. I still have so many I want to visit x

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  4. I think I mentioned before that I lived in Leeds for a year whilst doing a Masters. I absolutely loved it and nearly moved there!! Probably my second favourite UK city after London. I love a solo shop too...xx
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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    1. Yes :D It's probably my second favourite city after Newcastle .. although I haven't been to London in so long I've probably forgotten how awesome it was living there x

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  5. it's such a lovely idea to take yourself for a day out alone - i think i'd really enjoy that! although i probably do a lot of things independently without really realising. looks like Leeds is a really great city, I've never been but would love to! x

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    1. I think I should start planning my next solo adventure x

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  6. So when I have a case of the late night munchies while trying to be good so opting for an apple, clicking on this was probably not my most clever idea as i'm now drooling over the yummy food! Sounds like a lovely day, I always prefer shopping by myself, Leeds looks like such a lovely city

    Belle x Part of Belle's world

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    1. Oooooooooooops sorry! People always say my blog makes them hungry .. to be fair it makes me pretty hungry too. I eat so healthily 90% of the week so proof reading posts and looking back through what I've written makes me so so hungry!

      Solo shopping trips are definitely the best way, I love shopping with friends but only if I don't really specifically want something. You have to be pretty careful about who you choose to go with as well, I always find its best to go with someone who can easily spend 2 hours in Primark and then want to go for coffee and a sit down straight after :D

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  7. What a lovely day out. Spending time on your own is a nice way to do exactly what you want. You look like you had a lovely day. The jacket and necklaces are lovely. All the food is making me hungry. The ice cream especially Lucy x

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    1. They were great purchases, I've worn them all loads already x

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  8. Chloe.. go back and get that bloody jumpsuit! It looks and fits amazing on you!
    I love solo shopping.. don't get me wrong, I like company, but like you say, you have so much free time to do and do and eat what you like.. I personally do one lap of shops and log things I like. I then have a drink, reason with myself or discuss everything through, then go back where I want.lol sad, I know.lol
    I've been to Leeds twicw in the last month now.. and will be going back a few times in the next month and it is somewhere I'm learning to like.. however, I HATE driving in Leeds!!!

    Caroline.x
    notesfromcaroline.com

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    1. Awwww thank you :) Maybe next Summer I'll be braver and get one.

      I was talking to my friend about driving in Leeds and she said it was a nightmare, don't think I'd ever try it when the train is so quick and easy xx

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  9. Aww I love Leeds it's one of my favourite places in the world, like a mini London :) xx

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