Born and raised in Leeds before she departed for ‘that London’ (she divides her time between the two), Tina is a freelance journalist, copywriter and media trainer. She writes on travel, food and health. Follow her on Twitter @.
Listings and reviews (17)
Oakwood Farmers Market
The first Oakwood Farmers Market, organised by local residents, was held in 2008 and, since then, it’s become one of most popular food markets in Leeds. Held on the third Saturday of every month at Oakwood Clock (there’s also a Food & Craft Market on the first Saturday of the month) the emphasis is on fresh produce from Yorkshire and beyond – organic meats, cheeses, home-made cakes, Whitby fish, jams and chutneys being just a few. Guest stallholders include the Leeds Bread Co-op, Really Indian sauces and Msitu (a Swahili word meaning forest, and pronounced mm-see-two) Forage & Feast, run by Mina Said-Allsopp. A wild food specialist, Mina also runs courses in foraging, natural skincare and wild flower extracting. There’s a community stall supplying information about the local area - including the Girl Guides so if you know any likely candidates bring them along – and, by way of entertainment, the odd Elvis impersonator.
The place to come for bargains on clothing, fresh fish and meat, electronics, world foods and more. Kirkgate is currently undergoing a £13 million revamp (due to be completed in 2016), making it the daddy of Leeds’ markets. It was opened in 1822 as an open-air market and most people know it, if they know it at all, as the birthplace of Marks & Spencer’s Penny Bazaar, in 1884. Today, it’s the biggest covered market in Europe, with more than 800 stalls, many under the original Victorian structure, selling everything from fresh meat and fish to clothing, household items, mobile phones flowers and everything in between. In recent years, Polish, African, Chinese, Turkish and Moroccan delis and street food stalls have made an appearance and, every Wednesday morning there’s a colourful Asian bazaar in the outdoor section that sells silks, spices, footwear and jewellery. And if you need to brush up on your culinary skills, Jamie’s Ministry of Food runs inexpensive cookery lessons using simple, fresh ingredients.
Headingley Farmers Market
Lively market selling fresh local produce, with live music thrown in Yorkshire halloumi. Who knew? The folks at Yorkshire Dama Cheese do: they even make it in mint flavour. The company is just one of the 24 stallholders at Headingley Farmers’ Market, along with others such as vegan specialist Happi Food, Hebden’s Seafoods of Whitby, Swillington Organic Farm and Indian and Moroccan spices from Asharun Spices. There are games and puzzles for children, live music courtesy of local musicians (The Retrolettes and the Yorkshire Brass Band being just two examples) and you can bring your old egg boxes, bottles and glass jars to be recycled. The market, located near The Arc bar, started in 2006 and is accredited by the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association and run by local volunteers. It's held on the second Saturday of every month, from 9am to 12.30pm
Zaap Thai Street Food
An antidote to the more formal Thai restaurant, with their fondness for gilt and extravagant ornamental pieces, this boisterous venue in one of Leeds’ lovely Victorian arcades, favours neon signs, an open kitchen and booths fashioned from tuk-tuks. An extensive menu features all the old favourites, as well as salads, stir fries, hot pots and roasted meats.There's no booking so just turn up and savour the delicious smells whilst you wait.
Leeds folk can’t get enough of this cosy Thai shack in the increasingly smart Merrion Centre. If you like home cooking and decent portions, this is the place to head for.As you'd expect there's a fantastic choice but the vegetarian selection particularly impresses, and organic produce is in high use. They've got free wifi so, if you're bored with the company you can message your mates or, better still, post some pics of the great food.Note that at the mment it's a cash only venue so make sure youvisit the cash point before you eat or you might be washing dishes after your desert...
Abandoning the heavy duty crimson decor beloved of some of its peers, the Siam, housed in Chapel Allerton’s old police station, has gone for a bright, airy look without compromising on the authenticity of the food. Open for lunch, early birds and dinner, the venue prides itself on the experience of its chefs, offering over a hundred Oriental options, so you can try all the Thai you'd ever need to!Check out the chef masterclass videos on their website for getting that Thai taste in your own home.
Jino’s Thai Cafe
This homely cafe has been enticing Headingley’s students with its simple, delicious Thai street food since 2003.If the sun happens to be shining, sit and watch the world go by on the tables outside but, if you're pushed for time, there's an excellent takeaway menu too.
Line Thai Oriental
It used to be popular when it was the Thai Cottage and doesn’t disappoint in its new incarnation as Line Thai. Located among the wine bars and gastro pubs on elegant Great George Street, over the road from Leeds General Infirmary, it’s still serving old favourites like Massaman curry and Tom Yum soup, plus a few surprises of its own.Bookings of six or more get a free bottle of wine, you can orgainse a private buffet for 20 or more, whilst there's a generous 20% discount offered to what's described as 'hospital officers'.
Serving lunch to hungry hordes of office workers is no mean feat but founder and chef Dong carries it off with ease. His motto is 'proper Thai, proper fast' and you can find him in his restaurant (it’s the one with tuk-tuk parked outside), just off Neville Street, cooking up a storm of pad Thai, Sriracha fried rice and other goodies from the daily changing menu.
May’s Thai Malaysian Cafe
If the adage that you can often find the best food in no-frills restaurants is true, then May’s is up there with the best of them. Combining the cuisines of the two neihbouring countries, the menu features bouncy gyoza pork dumplings, Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s national dish, and a wide variety of 'pad' dishes from Thailand.
The Noodle House
With its bright yellow visage, strip lighting and cheesy pop music playing in the background, this Malaysian eatery, in the increasingly smart environs of the Merrion Centre, looks more like a take away than a restaurant. But don’t be fooled, the food here is the real deal. The menu is divided into noodle soups, roasted meats, rice and meat combos and stir fried noodles. There’s even a roast suckling pig but as it comes in at around £120, you might want to reserve that for special occasions. There's no alcohol licence.
Thai Aroy Dee
It shut down recently to the consternation of its many loyal fans but Thai Aroy Dee is now back in business a few doors farther up Vicar Lane and as popular as ever. For authentic Thai food, this is about as good as it gets. There’s no alcohol licence but you can bring your own.
15 Leeds and Yorkshire slang terms explained
The Leeds dialect is a curious thing. Words that are used only a few miles up the road have no meaning whatsoever to a Loiner’s ear. For example, I had a friend from Bradford who told me, while we were walking back to her house after a night out, that we’d have to go down the ‘snicket’. I had no idea what she meant until I realised she was referring to the ‘ginnel’, which to those who speak Proper English, would have been the alleyway.But here’s the thing: the very idea of a Leeds dialect is a ‘complete nonsense’. It’s just a mix of different Yorkshire dialects, according to Clive Upton, Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds. ‘Essentially, it’s an Anglian dialect handed down by the Angles, who settled in the north and north east,’ says the professor, who specialises in dialectology and sociolinguistics. ‘Dialects are all linked as people have become geographically mobile. Long gone are the days when people lived and died within 15 miles of where they were born.’ That strange syntactical tic of using ‘while’ to mean ‘until’, (for example, six while seven), you always thought belonged to Leeds? You would have heard it as far south as Deptford until the middle of the 20th century, says the prof.Melvyn Bragg’s book 'The Adventure of English' mentions Leeds and its dialectical connections to Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, rather than to South Yorkshire, where, as anyone who’s been to Barnsley will know, they speak a foreign language anyway. So, here, in no par
Five of the best hotel bars in Leeds
It’s not as if Leeds folk need an excuse to dress up but with Christmas well and truly upon us why not put on your finest finery and make like a real lounge lizard to one of the city’s best hotel bars. Malbar, Malmaison A multi-million pound refurb has given the Malbar, housed in one of Leeds’ eye-catching Victorian buildings, a new lease of life It was looking a bit dark and dingy and the footballers and WAGs had long since moved on but after a multi-million pound refit, the Malmaison is back in business. Set in the basement, the Malbar and Chez Mal brasserie are still moody looking: acres of gleaming mahogany, black leather and subdued lighting but the ambience is more New York than York Road (for the uninitiated, a very unlovely part of Leeds) and the footballers have been replaced with the likes of MOBO Awards movers and shakers. Warm up with a Gingerbread Martini or Mal Mulled Cider with Spiced Rum cocktail, which start at £5. And if you just can’t tear yourself away you can always check in to one of the upgraded rooms upstairs. Malbar, Malmaison, 1 Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG, 0113 426 0047, malmaison.com The Gin Garden, The New Ellington Specialist gin bar in Leeds’ financial district offering over more than 300 varieties A bit of a schlepp in six-inch heels, it’s worth the effort nonetheless, whether gin is your tipple or not. The Gin Garden at the New Ellington Hotel in Leeds’ Georgian financial district stocks more than 300 varieties of the stuff, most of which you’ll
Ten things you might not know about Leeds
Did you know that a pillar of the establishment – and erstwhile Spitting Image puppet – comes from Leeds? Or that one of the world’s most famous bands once turned up unannounced to play a tiny little club? No? Read on for more Leeds factoids that might surprise you. 1) The Olympic pool wasn’t too short after all. Flickr: underclassrising.net Contrary to urban myth, Leeds International Pool wasn't used for the competition because it was six inches too short but because it was too narrow to meet International Standard. Poor thing. 2) An abandoned network of offices and corridors lies underneath Leeds railway station.Dating back to the 1860s, the network is part of the old Victorian station. 3) Leeds has coined a new phrase for men’s slim-fitting trousers. "Leeds leg", as seen in The Sunday Times' Style mag a few weeks ago, is now apparently a term used for the sartorial look achieved by gents who favour ultra-tight, ankle-restricting leg wear. 4) Jeremy Paxman comes from Leeds. Flickr: Duncan Hull He of the cutting riposte and withering put down was born in the city on 11 May 1950. 5) The Clash once played an impromptu gig in Leeds in the 1980s. Joe Strummer and his bandmates turned up one Saturday afternoon and played for a few hours at the city's legendary goth club Le Phonographique nightclub (aka The Phono), which used to be housed underneath the Merrion Centre. 6) Leeds has the second longest-running Caribbean carnival in Europe . Flickr: Bryan Ledgard Notting Hill
Leeds' bid for European Capital of Culture 2023 gets green light
It looks futuristic written down but 2023 is only eight years away. Eight short years that could see Leeds crowned European Capital of Culture.After a 14-month public consultation, Leeds City Council has given the green light to a bid, which it has to submit to the European Commission by 2017. It will then have to wait a year for its decision. Thousands of people – big and little cheeses alike – voted in favour of bidding for the European Capital of Culture title (which first went to Athens in 1985), with 94 per cent of young people and 77 per cent overall supporting it. So what can Leeds expect if it wins the title? According to an EC report, it will ‘highlight the richness and diversity’ of the city, as well as 'boost regeneration and tourism and raise its international profile'. Which is just as well, as the council will need to find up to £60m to host the year-long event. Around £4m of that will come from the council itself, the rest from bodies such as Arts Council England, Lottery distributors and the public and private sector. The University of Leeds has already pledged £75,000 a year for a three years, with vice chancellor Sir Alan Langlands saying success would bring ‘wider economic benefits’, as well as ‘wider opportunities’ to the university. A photo posted by 2Ne S W (@2ne_w) on Jan 24, 2015 at 5:35pm PST What those benefits might be is too early to say but, to give some indication, Liverpool, which became only the second UK city to be awarded the title in
Leeds' Kirkgate Market set for redevelopment
It’s one of Leeds’ most iconic buildings yet it’s had more ups and downs than a fiddler’s elbow. After years of committee meetings, consultations and recriminations over the future of the much-loved structure, Leeds City Council has finally announced redevelopment plans for Kirkgate Market, also known as Leeds City Markets.A £12m budget will include provisions for roof repairs, improved lighting, a new roof in the ‘1976’ and ‘1981’ halls, better layout and signage and out-of-hours shopping. The currently unlovely shopfronts on George Street, opposite the Victoria Gate development, will also be given a much-needed facelift and a separate amount has been set aside to give outdoor traders a 20 per cent rent reduction. Inside Kirkgate Market Open six days a week, with 400 indoor and 200 outdoor stalls, there was an open air market on the site as early as 1822. The current structure, a huge ornate edifice with turrets and glass domes in the French Renaissance style, was begun in 1875 and takes up part of Vicar Lane and most of George Street and New York Street. It was the birthplace of Marks & Spencer's Penny Bazaar in the 1880s and, despite taking a direct hit in 1941 during the Luftwaffe’s air raid on northern England and then suffering a devastating fire in 1975, remains the largest covered market in Europe. As well as trusted market staples like fresh fish, poultry and meat, there’s been a gradual influx of overseas traders setting up Polish delicatessens, Moroccan street fo