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12 September 2015

snapshots | leeds city, west yorkshire

last weekend, rebekah and i headed up to leeds for the night. yes, just the night. originally it was meant to be mike and i going up - after my brief stint in york, he basically gave me a list of all the places i'd like if i liked york (which i did), and then was like, "we should go?" and we bought tickets but then he remembered he has a life and had triple booked the trip. ha. 

so queue bex and her unwavering commitment to helping me out of daft pickles, who said she'd always wanted to spend some time in leeds so - why don't we go? and i couldn't think of a real reason why no, so we did! our train tickets were booked reaaaaally early on saturday morning, so naturally i stayed at hers on friday night, as she lives much closer to king's cross than me, and so it was an early-ish night for us - bar the chat about refugees, politics (she doesn't have a tv) and obviously, which hairstyle suited us each better over the years. so yes, big night in stokey.

it was early, but thankfully the journey up was fairly quick, and mostly quiet - save for the hen do with their blow-up 'keith' doll, and trish and the ladies out from peterborough to help her celebrate her 50th birthday in 'style'. we assume. all i know is thank god for coffee and current very loud musical obsession: don broco.

our first pit stop was obviously for coffees. thanks to the wonders of the internet, we had loads of great suggestions to try out in our time in the big city. with an hour to kill before we could check in, and with leeds being totally, unbearably and unseasonably cold, we headed just around the corner from the station to laynes espresso where we headed underground to the warm little dining room, while the handsome of all the men in the land made and brought them down to us while we un-layered.

from there, we braved the unseasonable cold snap and headed into brigate's shopping strip to find ourselves some warmer clothes, as it had become incredibly apparent we were well underdressed, and therefore underpacked for the weekend. bargain winterwear nabbed, it was time to dump the bags in our air b&b for the night, not too far from the city. well, i suppose in leeds that can be said for just about anything really...

after a power break, we'd recharge, layered up, and headed out: destined for the victoria quarter. friends had proclaimed its beauty, and we were keen to see the very first and original marks and spencer stall inside the leeds city market. which, fyi, is totally bloody gorgeous. all metal and green and twee, it's easy to see why it was so highly recommended! 

with so much colour and intricacy in the detail of the building, we wandered around for about  half an hour just taking photos of everything - from ceiling to floor, because of course. taking all of the photos had us built up quite the appetite, and so off we went in search of sustenance. again, with such a long list of recommended foodie haunts (and in a city renowned for its indie food festival), we were spoiled for choice - never a bad position to be in when it comes to satisfying the belly!

our bellies led us to bundobust back toward where we'd walked from earlier that day, where we treated ourselves to some deeeelicious indian street food. omg, such a great suggestion from mike; i love me some indian, but being intolerant to onion (among other things), it's always something i've shied away from. the thing i love about street food is that you can have a say in how it's cooked, and so i was able to pick and choose my order around my fussy belly, and the food that came out was insane.

chilli nuts, garlic oil popcorn, lentil curry, that sort of thing. so much food, so many delicious. we were stuffed on like two or three tapas-sy type dishes, and the food was all so well cooked and mightily yum; we coukd not fault it. if you get the chance, go. while we were there we learned about the leeds international beer festival which was on - luckily, that weekend. having just been to the london festival, i was keen to go again, on the recommendation of the handsome manager at bundobust. upon learning that entry for the next day was then only a fiver, we instantly bought our tickets for the last day of the festival - excellent timing for us!

it was about that time that weariness from the early start had caught up with us, so we popped down to the river to our local sainsburys so we could stock the fridge with such necessities as diet coke and popcorn and crumpets, before retiring for a strategic nap and revitalising shower before meeting hayley for a big night of xfactor with hayley and her mum. no, i'm not lying. distance is no obstacle for real fans,

before that though, we had plans with the infamous call lane. sadly for us, no one thought to tell call lane that, and the restaurant (red's) we'd been recommended by many had a stinking wait time of more than an hour and a half. i love wings, but not that much. worse still, our back up food joint (primos) was bloody shut too, so we gave up and rounded the corn exchange (false advertising) to the cattle grid - a place so un-famous that none of my leeds mates had heard of it. irregardless, we nabbed a  plate of wings and a rack of ribs for a tenner a piece, so i'm pretty sure we did ok for ourselves.

plus, there's a strip club (male)(we think) next door, and if you angle your seat right, you get a free show with your meal. well played leeds, well played.

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