24 hours in Leeds; beer & bhajis

Ahhhh, Leeds. I love this place! I mentioned in my first post when we originally explored it how much I enjoyed the city. I love how it feels fairly clean, (for a big city!), the shopping is awesome, there’s tonnes of places to eat and drink – from the chains that we all know and love if you need something to rely on to awesome independent places that you can discover and love forever.

We headed down recently to check out the Leeds arm of the UK Brewery Tours situ and it was awesome. We were gifted an experience day for Christmas for Red Letter Days and this is what we picked – we’d been looking forward to it for months! The tour itself didn’t disappoint. It was super intense and quite long at around 5 hours but if you want a full day’s activity surrounding tasty beer, this is the one. We were shattered after a full day of walking around Leeds, visiting 2 breweries and 2 other venues for around 9 different beers (it might have been more but I really can’t remember!).

We met at a really cute place called North Bar and then went on to their brewery, about a 10 minute walk away, for 4 tastings. We then walked back into town and visited Bundobust for incredible Indian style street food and their own beer. Then, moved over the road to Tapped and then finished the day at the Northern Monk brewery and refectory! The whole day was awesome and we discovered some new areas of Leeds, like Granary Wharf, that we hadn’t explored before.

The tour was run by two seriously knowledgable and friendly guys and they teach you all about the beers you’re tasting, the brewing process and let you try SO many different types of beers from porters to sours and loads and loads of amazing IPAs and pilsners (my fave) in between. It’s a great tour to go on if you know loads about beer already and just want to try a few new things or it’s also amazing if you don’t know anything about beer and want to explore it! I would definitely recommend if you’re a craft beer fan or want to discover more about it.

I just need to take a small diversion to tell you about Bundobust. This Indian street food restaurant is so delicious! I loved it. Everything is served on lil’ recyclable packing pots and plates and there’s no crockery to be seen. Even their cutlery is just recycled wood and it’s super chill. One of the dishes we chose was the Vada Pav – essentially a deep fried mashed potato ball burger. My initial thoughts when I saw it on the menu was “Potato in bread? That’s gonna taste like air!”. I was so, so wrong, it wasn’t bland in the slightest, it had so much flavour and is delicious. Check out the inside of the Vada Pav below! It’s insane.

All of the food was super spicy so if you’re not keen on a medium at Nando’s then this might be too much spicy for you. I love spicy food but I definitely needed a beer with this little lot to cool things down. We also tried the mushroom and cauliflower pakoras and some delicious onion, broccoli and kale bhajis which were my favourite! Have you been to Bundobust before?

Some other awesome discoveries from our 24 hours in Leeds was the lovely Radisson Blu hotel where I’d booked and paid for a normal room but they kindly upgraded us to an amazing Junior Suite. It came with seriously great snacks when we checked in and a hand written note which was a lovely touch. Who doesn’t love a brownie and a cookie on arrival? We’ve stayed in a horrific Travelodge in Leeds and prior to that, we stayed in the Queens hotel which was also lovely but nowhere near as modern as the Radisson Blu. If you’re after a hotel in Leeds city centre (it’s really well located – 5-10mins walk from the station and opposite Leeds Art Gallery) then I would massively recommend the Radisson Blu if you like things modern. Awesome telly, huge bed, lovely snacks, service was fab and it wasn’t crazy expensive. This is definitely where I’ll be heading next time I head to Leeds. On Sunday morning before we caught our train home we had a lovely breakfast at Olive & Rye, a place we’d found and stopped for coffee and an amazing brownie for the day before and I’d massively recommend this if you like a fancy full English and delicious cakes and pastries. It’s just down the Queens Arcade, super close to all of the shops and was delicious!

Let me know any more of your favourite places in Leeds in the comments. 

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