Monday, 16 November 2009

Christmaskindlmarkt - Millenium Square, Leeds

Silly season starts earlier and earlier each year, this year it was the 13/11 and marked by the gates opening on the German Beer Market, or the Christmaskindlmarkt to give it is proper title... 

I don’t think it’s sole purpose is to get most of Leeds inebriated but it somehow manages to do this all the same. So it's opening day and moods are high.

I effectively sprint across Leeds to get there as early as I can.  For some reason on a Friday I feel the urge to get drunk quite that bit stronger after a week of work!

This place during the day and at dusk is a wonderful little winter wonderland, with its fayre and delightful little stalls selling all kinds of Christmas shit that I’ve never looked at but it certainly does change when the sun goes down.

People pour here after work to grab a table and stay as long as they can, something about the cold outside, the refreshingly crisp and powerful German Lager and the juicy Wurst to the soundtrack of Oompah music that makes us wish we were somewhere in Bavaria!

I’d planned to see the Lady so I couldn’t stay all night long but a couple of hours is enough these days to get me the wrong side of sober.

I’m pretty sure this won’t be my only visit to the Hangover Market this year but the first is always good, like visiting an old friend that always gets you in trouble...

Last year I broke a pair of £600 glasses on my way home from here. Hopefully this year’s cost won’t be so high (but I’ll keep a spare pair handy all the same)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Leeds Brewery

I’m all for a cheeky after work pint or two, it’s so good to unwind from a stressful day staring out of the window and moving spreadsheets around by sitting, drinking and talking shit with some good company... I’ve fallen in love recently with the Brewery Taps on New Station Street just near the Train Station.

It’s warm, it’s friendly and they serve really good beer! For those that don’t know Leeds Brewery was founded back in 2007 by a couple of guys who really love their beer and it shows, they’ve got 3 pubs in Leeds at the moment the others being the Midnight Bell (named after one of their beers, in Holbeck) and the Pin (not far from Tetley’s Brewery).

The seasonal beers are fantastic but the permanent collection really does deserve a special mention. Personally I think Leeds Best is awesome, easy drinking light, full flavoured and hoppy! They have a great selection of guest beers, lagers and ciders as well so it’s not just for Beer heads.

This place is dangerous though as the beer is very moreish so be prepared to fall out of here quite a bit later than you’d planned. That said you are 2 minutes stumble from the stations trains, buses and cabs so getting home shouldn’t be too difficult!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ephesus Mangal - Bishopgate, Leeds

Sometimes things go so well and so right you are just amazed by the outcome... Leeds is a great party town but in my mind suffers a dearth of those little places that make a boozy night out end really well!

I’m not on about clubs and late night Whiskey bars, I’m on about the great little restaurants that look like hell but serve the best post pub food you could ever hope for...

I found a good one at last, so good I’ll be going back during the day. Ephesus Mangal is an amazing Turkish place in the Dark Arches (next door to Fry Ups) near the Leeds city train station.

It used to be a newsagents and has what we’d call beaten up charm about the place. Plastic table cloths, wooden chairs and you can see a chef preparing food whilst sat on an office chair.

None of this matters when you walk in though, you are met with this most delicious smell of meat cooking on a charcoal grill, they have a counter to display the kebabs in all their meaty glory as well as you walk in so immediately you know you are in for a treat.

The menu is what you’d expect... Grilled meats! Starters though come in hot and cold.  We went for the Patlican (Aubergine dip) with Bread and a Feta and Filo pastry dish.

The pastry was lush but completely overshadowed by the amazing Patlican also a dish of fresh tomato and oil was brought over to add another dish of dipping goodness to the spread.

The mains were immense... 2 large Cop Kebabs skewers (little cubes of Lamb) and 2 large Chicken Kebab Skewers, both were served huge plates of salad and rice. Now given that I’d been to the pub before hand and the place is BYOB I was starting to get a little hazy by this point.

The meal came to about £20 which was great and all was served incredibly quickly and professionally. Needless to say I’d missed my bus as I’d left it too late and ended up walking half the way home till the next one came but I was drunk and stuffed so It didn’t matter at all!

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