There’s all sorts going on in Leeds. Whether it’s live music, art, dancing in seedy discotheques, food or vintage frocks that makes your heart flutter, chances are you’ll be able to find it in the city centre. And then there’s Hyde Park.
On the way to Headingley (which has its own assortment of secondhand shops, delis, diners, bakeries and bars), it’s home to a handful of hidden gems, as well as iconic local treasures like the Hyde Park Picture House and Brudenell Social Club.
Start your adventure at Hyde Park Corner, and you’ll encounter well-known options such as Morrocan café L’Oranaise or the more Mediterranean La Cafetiere. But mere metres away around the corner, there’s Orion, a laidback café dishing up gorgeous Greek salads, pitta, coffee and cake. And they’re open until ten, making it ideal for cosy chats with wine over dinner.
For an epic but affordable African feast, make your way to Moorish (above), for exotic Arabian Nights décor, mezze, Moroccan mint tea and charcoal-grilled mechoui. There are plenty of options for vegetarians too, as well as baklava, cocktails and chilli hot chocolate. They also do a delivery menu which extends to breakfast for the following morning – including eggs, orange juice, croissants and fresh coffee.
If you still can’t face cooking up your own breakfast even after the ingredients have been delivered to your door, then you could always take ‘The Mega Breakfast Challenge’ at greasy spoon breakfast from Popina’s, but beware – they keep a tally of how many people can finish it and the odds will be against you!
Once you’ve finished your stuffing your face, you should have loads of energy to get involved in some of the goings-on at community centre Oblong, where there are yoga classes, bicycle maintenance workshops, drumming sessions and film screenings. Become a member to get access to all their resources, which include a zine library and sewing machines for those inclined to crafting.
If you’re the kind who loves a good old rummage at a car boot or jumble sale, then Poverty Aid is an absolute must. An enormous Aladdin’s Cave of treasures, there are rooms and rooms dedicated to books, bric-a-brac and furniture, with an offer at the moment where you can bag ten books for only £1. Bargain.
Know some hidden gems round here we might have missed? Tell us in the comments if so, or add them to our guide!
jane on September 7th 2011 in Leeds, North