Martha's top favourites in Leeds

These are a few of my favourite (Leeds) things…


Where do I start with my favourite bar? This is a tricky one as depends on what time of the day it is and what day. Banyan is great for that #FridayFeeling after work drink followed by RBG. I love Maven’s unique venue style and the fact one minute you can be dancing to Luther Vandross and the next Sister Sledge, but my ultimate bar which is great any time of any day is Wino – especially if you lurve wine! Wino not only offers a splendid wine and ‘light bite’ menu, but the service you receive is second to none and it is such a friendly, genuine atmosphere. I always feel like I have just walked into my friends’ house and bumped into old pals!


My current favourite restaurant is Ibérica - it is so authentic and the food and wine really is at the heart of that Spanish experience. You can relax over a great variety of Spanish style food including tapas and paella, or enjoy a glass of wine and a lighter bite to eat downstairs in the bar. I think what makes Ibérica Leeds that extra bit special is the building. Hepper House is a Grade II listed building that was purpose built in 1863 as an auction house and once housed Bonhams. Its décor is bursting at the seams with character and statement features.


My favourite pub in Leeds has to be Whitelocks – a great traditional pub with great ambiance! I especially love White Locks in the winter and at Christmas. I also find it quite amusing that when it is busy you are sometimes better walking out of one door to go back outside and through the other door to get to the toilet or bar.


Sociable Folk lies at the heart of the Wellington Place development and I think it serves the best coffee in Leeds, along with their delicious menu of sandwiches and treats! The chocolate brownies are to die for and just the right ‘bite size’ so you can take them up on their offer! Everything is freshly made to order from the coffee to the salads! You can enjoy outside seating when the sun shines. And when you feel you need something a little stronger they also sell alcohol and open late on a Thursday and Friday.  Happy days!


It is hard to pick one shopping centre in Leeds city centre as thanks to its walkable layout the centre is a shopper’s paradise. Recently named the best shopping destination in the UK by the rough guide to Britain, it is not hard to see why with over 1,000 shops and all offering that little something different from independent boutiques, fashion designer shops and high-end department stores - housed in arcades, modern and listed building the shopping experience in Leeds city centre is like no other. If I did have to pick one it would be the Victoria Quarter.   


Aside from all the great dining and sociable activities in Leeds, there are plenty of leisure ones too.  Although expensive I do enjoy going to the Everyman Cinema which offers a great cinema experience, where you can also enjoy a glass of wine and a slice of pizza while watching a film on very comfortable settees!   

Written by Martha Phillips, 30/06/2017