Monday, July 17, 2006

Bar Crawling

Fri 14 Jul 2006
Sun 16 Jul 2006

Well, it was supposed to be a quiet weekend ... nothing planned, nothing to do, a bit of cooking and eating, lots of sleeping and newspaper reading.

That plan was out the door by about 6pm on Friday night. I guess there are worse ways to spend your time.

A hardy group of three, we started at The Terrace, on the Headrow. I'm not usually hugely complimetary about this place - there are, in my opinion, many better places to go. However, it does have the advantage of having a comparatively large outdoor area which is perfect for a warm Friday afternoon.

Beer disappointment was on the horizon. Once I had actually established that I wanted to know what beer was on hand-pull (when I started getting a list including Peroni I was pretty confused!), I was told that it was IPA. So obviously then I had to clarify - was it Greene King IPA? Apparently it was - or rather, it would have been, if it had been on. Grr. Kronenbourg Blanc for me then. Note to The Terrace - get your staff sorted out!

We moved on from The Terrace to Dr Okell's (formerly Baroque) - where the lager drinker was satisfied with Amstel and the real drinkers enjoyed Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin. It was a bit of a shame to be inside on such a lovely afternoon, but Dr Okell's is such a good pub and the beer is kept so well that even I am prepared to forego some sunshine.

Our next move was to North - this was for a quick drink before going home, although going home turned into sharing a taxi to Headingley and once we were in Headingley ... well, we had to have a quick drink ...

Arcadia was closing - which was a huge shame - and the staff there suggested either the Box or the Skyrack. The Box was closest so that's where we went. At first I was a bit suspicious about this place - it was all a bit ram-pack full of students. But the beer was Grolsch and it had a pretty cracking atmosphere. The music was loud and cheerful, there was enough space (just) to have a bit of a dance and you could actually even hear yourself think and have a conversation (sort of). I probably wouldn't head there for a quiet afternoon drink, but as a bit of a late night venue it does actually tick quite a few boxes.

The only way to round off a night like this is with a pizza with plenty of chilli on it, which was duly did. A good time had by all and not a duff venue in sight ...

By the time Sunday came around the sunshine was calling and it was time for a relaxing pint - so we headed to Whitelocks and, in my case, enjoyed some very tasty Daleside Blonde. A couple of drinks in we decided it was time for a wander, and as I was reluctant to head indoors we made our way to Millenium Square to Ha!Ha! Bar and Canteen. I've only been to a Ha!Ha! once before, when I called into the one in Guildford and drank the most expensive beer on the planet in the smokiest room. Ha!Ha! in Leeds has a large outdoor area and we were able to find a table easily. However, £3.30 for a pint of Red Stripe has to make Ha!Ha! one of the more expensive venues in Leeds. And too expensive for us!

One pint and we were off next door to the Spice Bar at the Spice Quarter - where we enjoyed pints of Cobra for just £2.25 AND we got to sit outside. It's a no brainer where we'll be heading next time!

Next stop - obviously by this stage of the afternoon the only place to go was North!

The afternoon was drawing to a close, and our stomachs were calling, so we headed to Red Chilli. Wary of the monstrous serves we opted for 2 starters (Beijing dumplings being Andy's favourite, and the salt and pepper ribs being my weakness), 1 main (a stir fried pork chilli dish), and a serve of soft noodles. The food was its usual consistent excellent self - massive servings (we couldn't quite make it through everything we'd ordered), all incredibly tasty and more-ish. I think I would be happy to go there and just have a plate of the salt and pepper ribs - they are huge, meaty ribs, lovely and crisp, and served with loads of spring onions ... mmm.

Thank goodness for Mondays - I need to be back at work for a bit of a rest!

1. The Terrace, The Stumps, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH, phone: 0113 2455503
2. Dr. Okell's, 159, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5RG, phone: 0113 242 9674
3. North,
24, New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU, phone: 0113 242 4540
4. The Box,
8, Otley Rd, Leeds, LS6 2AD, phone: 0113 224 9266

1. Whitelocks,
Turks Head Yard, Leeds, LS1 6HB, phone: 0113 245 3950
2. Ha!Ha! Bar and Canteen,
The Electric Press, 4 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD, phone: 0113 244 8835
3. Spice Quarter, 2, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD, phone: 0113 246 9241
North, 24, New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU, phone: 0113 242 4540
5. Red Chilli,
6, Great George St, Leeds, LS1 3DW, phone: 0113 242 9688
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