I have known Olivia and Laura since we were around 13 years old and they still remain two of my closest friends. Four years ago we went our separate ways, myself and Laura to Sheffield uni and Olivia to Leeds. Despite our long(ish)-distance friendship, we always make the effort to meet up every few months and the result is always hilarious, soul-warming and full of alcohol (obviously). A few weekends ago had another day trip, this time to Leeds.
Leeds, to me, is a city of eating and drinking. I’m not sure there’s much else to do really! But, I’m not complaining. What Olivia planned for us this time didn’t disappoint – Mexican street food, Caribbean cocktails, a ping-pong and pool bar, finished up with a cappuccino and cake. Plenty of flavours and drinks to accompany the full day of catching up.
First up, we had an amazing lunch in Cielo Blanco in the Trinity Centre and shared 9 plates of Mexican street food. Hooooly crap this was good. We all kind of had that greedy moment when they bring you your food, and you’re like ahhh this doesn’t look like enough but in reality we struggled to finish it all. Such good value as well – £12.50 each for this delicious smorgasbord of delights.
What you see here is: quinoa & black bean salad, achiote-marinated baby-back ribs, wild rice salad, smoky chicken quesadillas, beer-battered fish tacos, chicken tinga enchilada, chorizo and squash flautas, chicken tinga tacos and mushroom enchilada.
I’m not usually one for a restaurant in a shopping centre but this one I would highly recommend – really carefully crafted flavours and textures.
Next – booooooze! Cocktails in Turtle Bay – these are always a hit with us. Super strong, 2 for 1 deals, pretty colours. You can’t go wrong.
We went for vanilla and passion fruit mojito, bahama mama and passion rum punch. You have to get 2 for 1 on the same drink, which is similar to most cocktail places, so we opted for doubling up on our own drinks.
Although we didn’t eat here this time, Turtle Bay does have great food as well. I just really like the vibe in there – even in the middle of the day it’s bright and funky, music playing and you feel completely at ease getting boozey.
After a bit of liquid courage we made our way to Roxy’s ball room for an afternoon match of ping-pong (what else?)
Laura has a hella’ good serve and she beat me and Olivia hands down. At Roxy’s you can play ping-pong, pool, or just chill around the bar with a pint. It was quiet at that point but Olivia told us it gets really popular on Friday/Saturday evenings.
Before heading back to the train station and parting ways once again, we stopped by Laynes Espresso, a fantastic espresso bar literally 2 minutes away from the station. Pictured is a cappuccino and peanut butter brownie (gooey, crunchy, sweet and salty all at the same time), which gave me a pick-me-up for the journey home. I really like Laynes, the upstairs especially is bright and calm, making it a perfect place for commuters to start their day right.
Like I said, Leeds hosts some fantastic food and drink venues and the ones we visited this time is just the tip of the iceberg. At least I have an excuse to go to Leeds whenever we fancy!
And finally: big love to Olivia & Laura – my constant supports through years of growing up, challenges, highs and most of all, drunken antics.