A weekend in Leeds

Since moving to London, every visit home feels like it’s own mini stay-cation. Even more so when everything seems to be changing and developing in Yorkshire. This weekend we was back visiting Leeds/Wakefield and this is what we got up to.

Friday

Most of our visits seem to be flying visits with only a day or two to spare so we endured to make the most of having an extra day home. The main reason we travelled this weekend was in the hope of getting tickets to a local football derby. As that was unsuccessful we opted to head into Leeds to Shooters Sports Bar. I also combined this with seeing my girls so managed to grab a few drinks in the slug and lettuce first.

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Enjoying my 2-4-1 Pink Gin Spritz!

As we had reserved our table for Shooters we had a set menu to choose from. Our choice, priced at £20 per head included 2 cans of either cider or beer and a burger and fries. From there we sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the match on sofas in front of the huge screen.

After the match we even stayed back a little bit to have a go on the shuffleboard table. Needless to say I made up part of the winning team!

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Shuffleboard champions

Saturday

As it’s Tom’s birthday next week I also decided to treat him to an early birthday present. For years I’ve wanted to visit the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham so the second I saw that they had opened one in Leeds I booked us in for this weekend.

We decided to head into town a little early as I also wanted to take Tom to George’s British Kitchen. I had first come across this bar on Facebook, paid it a visit when I was in Leeds last May and instantly fell in love. They offer so many incredible amazing cocktails, 5 of which are themed after classic sweets. Some of their cocktails come garnished with candy floss and they have 4 pages of gins to their menu!

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Enjoying a refresher cocktail at George’s

After this we headed up to the Kitty Cafe. Upon entry we were given a set of rules to read and adhere to and we payed the £6 welfare fee per person. All the cats/kittens in the cafe are rescue and available for adoption. The £6 helps to ensure that they are thoroughly looked after, micro-chipped, neutered etc. as they charge nothing for adoption.

We were then shown to our table, given the menus and given a few moments to choose the food. For a venue that isn’t technically all about food the menu is impressive. With over 12 cakes to choose from, gluten free and vegan options and food such as pizza, panninis and baked potatoes, the options are a-plenty. Once you’ve placed your order you’re free to roam the cafe as you wish.

The space has been kitted out impeccably. There’s so much for the kittens to get up to. The staff are always on hand to point out who is who as well as tell you loads of information about the place. Just from talking to one of the waitresses we were able to find out that the cats have a special “quiet zone” they can go to if it gets too much where they have specialist trained cat handlers. This is also the space they go to eat/sleep so if you see any of them disappearing to the back this is where they are headed. Pumpkin was our personal favourite, a tiny ginger kitten who had a particular penchant for Tom’s shoe laces!

Kitten chaos in the Kitty Cafe

Do you have any favourite places in Leeds or you home town?

NG x

Shooters Sports Bar

George’s British Kitchen

The Kitty Cafe

6 places to get in the Christmas spirit in London

The first snowflake has officially fallen and the advent calendar windows are starting to be opened but if after all of that you’re still missing some Christmas magic, here are some of my favourite FREE places in London to help get you in the Christmas spirit:

Regent Street

Once again Regent Street have their beautiful angel Christmas lights that sparkle and glow magnificently. Nothing makes me feel more in the Christmas spirit. For true Christmas magic  follow the angels all the way to Hamleys and tap into your inner child (it is Christmas after all).

Carnaby Street

Just tucked behind Regent Street is the magnificent Carnaby Street where you can experience a different kind of Christmas. This year they have opted for a Christmas carnival theme. With birds of paradise and all the bright colours you could imagine. Pay the spectacular Choccy Woccy Doo-Dah a visit and get some Christmas chocolate inspiration. Or if beauty is your thing, get lost in the likes of Benefit, Urban Decay, Mac and Too Faced for all your Christmas wish-list dreams.

 

Liberty London

Also just off Carnaby street is Liberty London. Founded over 142 years ago it is one of the oldest and most spectacular department stores in the country. With its mock-Tudor exterior and dramatic window display it’s enough to get that warm fuzzy feeling and that’s before you’ve even visited the 4th floor. Take the lift to their Christmas shop for unique Liberty gifts and stunning tree decorations. They have everything. Think personalised baubles for your pet to stunning peacock tree decorations. It’s near impossible to resist them all.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

Whilst it may not be the largest Christmas market in London, year on year it becomes one of my favourites. At any time of year there is something special about Leicester square, so add some Christmas magic and you have a truly beautiful mix. Be sure to check out the craft stalls and the mini pancakes to feel truly Christmassy.

 

 

WinterVille – Clapham junction

Think of it as almost a mini winter wonderland. Whilst not as spectacular, it’s certainly cheaper and far less crowded. With a bouncing beer tent, ice skating and alcoholic hot chocolate on offer it is certainly not one to be missed.

And finally…

Oxford Street

For me, it’s the epitome of Christmas in London. There is no greater feeling than stepping off the tube at Bond street station and seeing beautiful lights wherever you look. Year on year the window displays set it apart from your normal London shopping street. Be sure to check out “Moz” in John Lewis and the neon “with love” at Selfridges for a true feeling of Christmas.

Northern Girl on… The Barbican Conservatory

One of London’s more secret attractions, not many people know that The Barbican centre has a conservatory that is open to the public and free to visit. Located on the third floor, the conservatory is home to some of the most amazing plants, fish and even turtles.

The plants wind through the conservatory past the fish ponds where you can take in all the varieties from pepper trees to banana plants and even the papaya plant. It then takes you up the stairs for beautiful views of the whole conservatory where you get to see the two varieties of turtles en route to the cactus room. 

If you get chance afternoon tea is a must. The food looked absolutely amazing and you’ll be hard pressed to find afternoon tea in a more picturesque and unique environment. 

Or if you’re on a budget, pack your own sandwiches and take them out to the stunning ground floor courtyard where you can sit by the water and soak up the sunshine.

The conservatory is open every Sunday 12pm-5pm (last entry 4:30) until the end of September with the exception of the 20th August and 10th September where it is closed for private events. Full information and afternoon tea booking can be found at www.barbican.org/visitor-information/conservatory

NG x