Pancake Day in Leeds: Where to Go

Ah it’s that time of year again. Wednesday 14th February, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. The shops are full of red roses, greetings cards with quotes about unconditional love, heart-shaped chocolates, and…wait a minute, this can’t be right, there’s something we’re forgetting here.

Oh yes, that’s right. Why is everyone getting so excited for Valentine’s Day, when it’s Pancake Day before then?! Personally, I’d say Pancake Day is by far the better day out of the two. I mean, come one, there are pancakes everywhere, and for those of you giving up sugar for Lent, it’s the last opportunity to indulge and fuel your body up with sugary goodness before Easter. In a sense, Valentine’s Day is just being mean as there are chocolates everywhere, yet if you have set yourself a no chocolate lent, then where’s the love in that?

So, to help some of you forget the pains of Valentine’s Day and focus on the joys of Pancake Day, I have found a few pancake events in Leeds that look great. Whether you are a northern resident and in easy reach of Leeds, or fancy a day trip, perhaps one of these places will catch your eye.

  • Le Chalet – This beautiful French tearoom in the city centre always looks so pretty when I walk past, with macarons arranged around the windows. If you book to visit on Pancake Day, you can pay a small amount of money and get unlimited pancakes! Sounds delicious!
  • Dry Dock – A familiar sight for the students of Leeds, this unmissable venue is having a pancake week! From as little as 25p a pancake, it’s perfect if you are craving pancakes, but also trying to have a #FreeFebruary
  • Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen – I have not been here before, but they are offering up a delectable feast of pancake toppings.
  • Monsieur Déjeuner – A lovely French café in Headingley, which I have had the pleasure of visiting. Serving proper crepes as part of their everyday menu, you can enjoy one of these at any time!

Right then my friends, are we all in agreement that Pancake Day wins the February festivities? I certainly think so.  

Megan x

 

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Restaurant Review: Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant, Leeds

I was completely social media absent yesterday because my mum came to visit me and we spent the day in Leeds. Of course, that means that I have not blogged/posted about my weekend at all yet, and believe me there is a lot to talk about! I will get onto the main reason for this post, which is reviewing Gino D’Acampo’s news restaurant in Leeds, but first of all, here are few highlights from the weekend. Unfortunately, like the majority of the time, the weather has been pretty rubbish today, so I did not get a chance to take photos.

The Tetley:

I will admit I did drag my mum all over the place. After I met her at the station, we went to The Tetley, a contemporary art exhibition and learning space across the canal. The building was originally a brewery, so the building has an interesting interior, set over several floors. Sadly, there was a lot of scaffolding inside due to works being done, so it was hard to appreciate the true beauty of the building. The main reason for going to The Tetley was the International Artists Book Fair. This was a quirky little event, showcasing various pieces of art revolved around books and paper. We also stopped off for a morning cup of tea at the Tetley Bar and Kitchen. I have heard good things about the restaurant and judging from the menu, this place is definitely on the list of future places to eat!

Wedding Outfit Shopping: 

My cousin is getting married in April and I bought my dress yesterday! I will not reveal the dress yet, but I am so excited for the wedding, and look forward to shopping for accessories. I will give you a hint that I bought it from Next and they did very well!

Girl Gang Leeds presents: Cool for Crafts Arts Markets: 

This Girl Gang is different to the one set up by Jemma from Dorkface. If you haven’t heard of Girl Gang Leeds, check out their website to see the amazing stuff they do! To cheer myself up in the midst of grey clouds and heavy rain, I decided to go along to their craft market and got see some lovely products, made by female makers.

Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant: 

Now onto the main event! Mum and I decided to eat at Gino D’Acampo’s new Leeds restaurant. It is situated opposite Jamie’s Italian, a firm favourite of mine and I expect the competition between the two will be high, as the prices are similar too. If anything I would say Gino’s menu has a bit more variety and any blogger will love it due to the marble interior and pale blue seats.

I was really impressed with the set lunch menu. It was 2 courses for £16 or 3 courses for £20 and there was a great selection to choose from. Me being me, I chose a main and a dessert. I went with my usual, fettuccine bolognese, but also that it is one of my favourite Jamie dishes and I wanted to compare. Whilst it was not as rich in red wine as Jamie’s (this may disappoint some), it tasted really fresh and homemade.

I feel like people assume I spend my whole life eating rich chocolate desserts. This is not the case, it just so happens that recently I have come across a few! Yes, I could always say no, but when the warm chocolate fondant stuffed with chocolate truffles and served with vanilla ice cream is on the set menu, there is no choice. I just has to have. My mum and I did share if I’m trying to make myself feel any better.

I really recommend Gino’s if you are looking for a restaurant with good food at an affordable price!

Megan x

Clarins Beauty Bar in John Lewis, Leeds

https://www.clarins.co.uk/beautybar.html

On Friday, I decided to get the coach home from Leeds Bus Station, but had some time to kill before departure. I decided to visit the new John Lewis at Victoria Gate, which is the biggest store outside of London.

When strolling around, a lady from Clarins grabbed my attention as they were giving complimentary treatments at the Clarins Beauty Bar, which is one of nine in the country.

I was in need of some relaxation, so I accepted the offer straight away. The Beauty Bar is very calming, with neutral tones and vanity lights throughout, so you can fully enjoy the experience.

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For a complete treatment, it costs £25 for a 40 minute session, which is actually really good because it includes a skin consultation beforehand, some amazing pamper time with Clarins’ best products and a couple of freebie samples to take away.

Unfortunately, as a student, I could not pay for the whole works, but I did manage a 15 minute free facial, which was heaven.

The facial left my skin feeling refreshed and revitalized, with eye gel, cleanser, toner and moisturiser all used. The beauty consultant also added some BB cream, mascara and lip balm for the finishing touch.

If you decide to get a full treatment, there are so many options to choose from, depending on what takes your fancy. Whether you want hydrated skin, rejuvenated eyes or just some relaxation, there is something for you.

Alternatively, turn your visit into a girls’ session, as the Leeds Beauty Bar is currently doing 2 for 1 treatments.

Who knows, you may come away with these treats?!

Megan x

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6 Months Blogging and Meeting SmileSophiee

Yesterday was six months since I started this blog! I can’t believe that it has been that long already, but I have to say that during this time, I have had the most fun! Although I had blogged for a while with Charlii, this blog is my first solo attempt and I am so happy with all the positivity I have received along the way, and I cannot wait to see what the next six months will bring.

Yesterday was also made special because I finally met up with Sophie from smilesophiee. We had such a nice time together, enjoying a girls’ lunch at Handmade Burger Co. (hooray for student discounts!) and a spot of shopping!

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I have now also had the chance to explore Victoria Gate, Leeds’ brand new stunning shopping area, featuring a host of exclusive designer brands. The shopping centre itself is so cool, and even if you do not have the means to shop in these places, just walking round can make you feel like a million pounds.

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I highly recommend downloading the Victoria Gate app as Neal’s Yard are currently doing an amazing offer on the app where you can get a free handcream. I somehow managed to also get a free shower gel, so you never know what could happen! Hurry though, it doesn’t last long!

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Off to Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market again now! Hope to come back with some more foodie treats!

Megan x

Visiting The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

Ever since I have been ‘Up North’, I had been really intrigued to visit the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. I had heard so many positive things about it, therefore I was really pleased when I had the chance to visit on my day off this week.

If you are a fan of modern buildings, then you will love the Hepworth. It is in the Wakefield Waterfront area and surrounded by old industrial buildings and canal boats which really help to make a feature out of the building. I love how it looks like it is floating on water!

Inside the gallery is just as impressive. You walk into a welcome area with a shop and a cafe bar, which has a fantastic menu (sadly, I did not get to order from it). The entrance hall has an array of locally designed jewellery and various other products. I could has easily spent a lot of money in there!

The galleries are upstairs, and really light and bright, so you can see all the details of the sculptures and artwork on show. As I am doing an audio-visual module as part of my course, I am finding sculptures particularly interesting as being 3D brings a whole new aspect to a piece of art.

The sculptures brought a great deal of intrigue and each item had a story to tell. I admire the artist who can make a huge sculpture out of foam!

Two of my favourite rooms, however, housed more interactive pieces of art.

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These nets come with a variety of threads and needles, so you can sit down and sew your own design.

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You may think what on earth is this bizarre thing? This gargantuan creation by Phyllida Barlow stretches over an entire room from top to bottom and is made from reclaimed industrial to let signs. You are allowed to walk underneath it, making the sculpture an ideal way to get children involved in art.

I hope you will be intrigued to visit the Hepworth now that you have a little insight as to what it is like. Please get in touch if you want to ask anymore questions.

Megan x

Visiting Saltaire

My lovely parents came and visited me this weekend, and on Sunday, we decided to explore Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Leeds. Saltaire is a model Victorian village, with the main focus being the Salt Mill, but the wonderful setting next to the river with the moors in the background is definitely worth coming for.

It took us about half an hour to drive there, although as Saltaire has its own station, the train from Leeds only takes about 15 minutes.

 

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Salt Mill

The Salt Mill was at one point the largest factory in the world. And it is big! Although now, the impressive surroundings and stunning architecture make it a building to be admired.
Art is the defining attraction in the Salt Mill. It holds many works by David Hockney, and there is a fantastic art shop on the ground floor.

 

The shopping is another great attraction. In addition to the art shop, the mill boasts the best book shop EVER with beautifully presented versions of every single book. The homeware shop is equally as impressive.

From inside the mill, you get an amazing view of outside, which really makes you understand the spectacle that is Saltaire.

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Exploring outside, we found some more lovely buildings, including the church, Victoria Hall and other places that are now used as everyday work places.

 

Before it was time to go, I got my mum to take some pictures of me by the river. I had chosen my outfit carefully and the dark reds/purples were a lovely contrast against the stonework.

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Saltaire is a fantastic place and I had a lovely time there. I hope this will make you want to go to!

Megan x

Northern Craft

For those who saw me tweeting about Northern Craft yesterday, well don’t worry, the blog post is now here.

I’d been aware of Northern Craft for quite a while, so I was thrilled when I found out that they were having an event yesterday.

The craft fair was held on the top floor of the Northern Monk Brewery Co. in the delightful Holbeck Urban Village, which I will mention later. The building itself is something to be admired with stripped back brickwork and modern touches. The brewery also plays host to a cool quirky bar, selling local beers. It is the perfect place to host this unique, artisan and independent event.

Getting to the brewery was a bit eventful, I got lost and was rushing as I wanted to be one of the first 50 people who received a free goodie bag (I’m still a child at heart!)

I’m glad I did rush. I am happy to say I now have these lovely little treats.

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I did buy lots of things at the craft fair (how could I not?!), but mostly as presents, so I do not want to post individual items as I will spoil Christmas!

However, I have taken some pictures of the stalls that I bought from, so that you can get a taster for the beautiful products on offer.

So, yes, I may have bought some earrings and badges for myself!

I had such a nice shopping experience at Northern Craft, so I think a huge thank you is in order for setting up this event.

Every single stall was filled with gorgeous products, but I couldn’t buy from everyone, so here are my favourites:

Sean Mort

Red Paper House

Basil and Ford

By The Lock Handmade

Charlotte Valance

Thriftbox

Pluck’d

Not Only Polka Dots

The brewery is situated in Holbeck Urban Village, which is an up-and-coming redevelopment area. Already, there are many places of interest including some fantastic looking eateries and wine bars, digital media companies and Cycle Yorkshire. It is also within a short distance from Leeds Waterfront, another stylish area with places to eat and the canal and locks.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and will now want to explore the independent scene in Leeds.

Megan x