Monday, August 13, 2007

Tiled Hall Cafe

Sun 12 Aug 2007

Another quick break from European travel adventures. Sunday saw us stop into the Tiled Hall Café in between the Art Gallery and the Central Library: we'd just completed a swift march from Crown Point back into town and decided we needed some sustenance.

The Tiled Hall Café has a very neat trick up it's sleeve: it's stunningly beautiful, and I recommend that you head there for a coffee as soon as possible. It was originally opened in 1884, and in the 1950s a false ceiling, bookcases and lots of panelling covered up its prettiness. It's only just been restored and re-opened.

Having said that, it's not going to be the greatest afternoon tea experience you'll have in Leeds. Ordering and paying is at the counter and you then get to wait for your food and drink before carrying it back to your table on a rather flimsy tray.

I ordered a caffè latte (£1.95) and a ginger syrup cake (£1.50). I was very taken with the cake as it came in its own miniature cardboard 'tin' and looked stunning. I also discovered that this is, quite possibly, the hardest cake enclosure to get into in Leeds. If I'd had a camera with me I would have taken a photo of the carnage that ensued as I tried to get into my cake. The cake itself had good flavour but, I thought, was a little too dry and crumbly for what should be a ridiculously moist and sticky beast.

Andy went down a more savoury route, opting for a pork pie (which came with salad, £2.25) and an Americano (£1.75). The pork pie was topped with apple and cheese and while the verdict was that it was 'quite nice' he wasn't sure it was worth the money (salad or no salad).

Having said that, the coffees were good. My caffè latte was actually milky and definitely hit the spot, and £2 isn't beyond reasonable.

So - the Tiled Hall Café is good for coffee and people watching - just don't go along when you need cake!

1. The Tiled Hall Café, Situated between Leeds City Art Gallery and Leeds Central Library, LS1 3AB, phone: 0113 224 4811

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