Sunday, 22 April 2012

Getting out of the rut - trying 5 new things in Leeds!

When you live somewhere for a while, it's all too easy to get stuck in a rut. When you try somewhere new in your city, there's always a 50/50 chance you'll love it or hate it. Or maybe it'll be 'just ok' which is even worse, not to have an opinion on something.

(I can't get on board with people who don't have an opinion on things... I have an opinion on EVERYTHING. But that's me. Hello.)

So when you have such precious little spare time because WORK keeps getting in the way of your social life, sometimes it's easier to just go somewhere you know you'll enjoy, somewhere that's comfortable, somewhere everbody knows your name (or at least your food order. Gulp. I'm known in one curry house in Leeds as 'lamb saag girl' - shudder.)

This weekend I made a stand.

"No! I will not fester away in comfort! I will instead have an adventure in my city (it's not actually my city) that I think I know so well but don't actually know all that much about"

So I decided to do 5 brand new things in one day in Leeds:

  1. Take a new and alternative route:
I won't bore you with the mundane deets, but normally I'd take the bus in to Leeds city centre. Exciting, non? Well not today, bus driver! I took the bridleway and walked instead. Yep, on foot and everything.

A pied!
My shoes took a beating in the mud, but I took a new path and burnt a few calorie enemies.

Which leads me on to my second new thing...

    2. Visit a new cafe and eat a huge slice of cake

It's a tough life, this life of mine.

I'd known about the Tiled Hall Cafe in Leeds City Art Gallery (that's a lot of capital letters right there) for a long time but never quite made it there in my spare time. So when my friend started working there, I figured I'd add it to my list of places to visit. It's rather lovely.

I maintain carrot cake is healthy as it contains carrots...
The cake is more than alright too, well worth a visit. Plus, a giant teapot of Yorkshire Tea (the ONLY tea worth drinking) is only £1.80. Brillo.

     3. Visit a cathedral

I think it's a cathedral anyway, I just saw it and thought 'I've never been in there before, so I'm going in there today.'


Not much to report here, I like churches and cathedrals as much as the next person but there's no beer or cake to sample, so after I'd lit a candle for my Nan, we were off. Whistlestop indeed! I AM IN LOVE WITH INSTAGRAM BY THE WAY.

     4. Visit a museum (free entry, naturally)

I'm quite partial to a museum, but only if part of the exhibits include some reference to Victorian sewage systems or horrible crimes committed with subsequent gruesome punishments (I know, it's not normal) so it was with glee I discovered the Leeds City Museum:

Leeds. City. Museum. Wonder what's in there then?

Hee hee!
It's actually quite liberating to go to a museum without your parents. I used to run around them as a kid yelling 'boring, boring, boring - where's the gift shop so I can buy a pencil?' etc. generally making a real nuisance of yourself and offending every single staff member and visitor in the process.

My Dad however, is one of those types who reads EEEEEEEEVERYTHING, even the hand washing signs as you leave the toilets. Anyone else have a parent like that?

So I ran around this museum as quickly as possible, found the most gruesome of stories to read, ran around the gift shop and ticked number four off my list. Yays.

5. Eat an entire meal with chopsticks (smug face)

I've been to two different branches of Wagamama's (that has to be the MOST therapeutic of words to type surely) but neither of them are Leeds based. So I thought I'd keep it local for my fifth new thing. Yes that totally counts.

For those of you who know me, you'll know about my freaky amazing thumb with no muscles, so you'll be surprised to hear that I CAN use chopsticks, and not those training chopsticks they bring round for newbies either, real grown up chopsticks.

Cue chopstick action shot!

A girl's gotta eat...
And that was a summary (albeit an extended one) of my five new things in my city. I hope I've encouraged you to abandon your local, just for one night and try something new! Let me know if you do!

Oh my God, I actually rhymed without intention there. 100% cool.


  1. I've been meaning to go in the museum and the art gallery for the 5 years I've lived in Leeds, still not done either. If you like Wagamama's have you tried Jino's Thai Cafe in Headingley? It's definitely worth it if you've not been!

    Alex x

    1. Oh my, Jino's is my favourite! I only discovered it a few years ago, despite having lived here for nearly 8 years! I'm on board with any restaurant that has a bring your own alcohol policy.

      You have an excuse on the museum front, I think it was closed for ages for a revamp :) I just don't get the art gallery, the cafe is great though. Good cake.