I've almost succeeded in having a fortnights holiday but with the weather being bad last week there were only 2 day trips, Scarborough one day and then Leeds on Friday.
I think it's about 6 years since I last went into Leeds city centre and to be honest I haven't been back that many times since I used to live there in the 80's. Back then in those wonderful, studenty days, Leeds was a rather grimey Northern city, but with lots of character. It has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years and is a much more affluent city with its designer shops and pavement cafes, maybe a tad homogoenised in places but aren't they all!
Still, the point of the trip was a coffee tour around some of the cafes with the best baristas, as recommended by cafe owners in York.
The trip starts from the car park near the Leeds / Liverpool canal.
Walking under the Dark Arches into town, that deep, dark water rushing under the road always freaks me out.
Not far around the back of the station is Laynes Espresso.
We had a most delicious flat white, with a beautiful rosetta design. Also tried a brewed Square Mile coffee called Jirmiwachu which had strong strawberry notes in the taste, very nice too.
For the next stage of our tour we head right into the centre and to the Victorian Quarter. The covered shopping arcades look quite magnificent and restored to a high standard.
The glass roofs are amazing.
The next coffee stop was at a kiosk inside the Victorian Quarter, Opposite Cafe and here we have Bob looking forward to a slurp of another flat white, it was lovely, as was the double espresso chaser.
Look at these groovy boots I spotted in one of the designer shops!
We've reached the half way point in our tour, it's lunchtime and we've had so much coffee that we need food to mop it up!
We head for The Light, another shopping centre in Leeds.
In here we seek out La Bottega Milanese cafe, now as the name suggests, this one is Italian and I'm not normally a fan of darkly roasted, robusta coffees but no fear, the coffee was good. It wasn't my most favourite of the day but it was very drinkable and the focaccia sandwich was delish.
The sandwich was so big that I couldn't manage one of their lovely looking baked cheesecakes, or even one of the little Italian filled pastries, shame!
We break for some sight seeing. I wanted to look in the art gallery and spotted the gold post boxes on the way.
Underneath the art gallery is the wonderfully inspiring craft centre & design gallery shop which just so happens to be next door to our last coffee stop, The Brew Bar.
We finish off the epic coffee tour of Leeds with a well prepared double espresso, not sure if it was a Has Bean coffee but it was nice. I think at this point the day was drawing to a natural close as we were starting to get those caffeine shakes!
Time to go Bob, it's been lovely reacquainting myself with Leeds again and enjoying some lovely coffee prepared by passionate coffee people.