Food & Drink

Three Course Heaven @ The Fox, Menston

Posted on 6 min read

What to do on a bleak, rainy day? What would perk up those senses and inject some vitality back into your veins? Why food, of course. More specifically, a delectable three course meal. And even more specifically, a half hour drive with the fam down the country roads of Yorkshire paying a visit to The Fox, Menston – newly refurbished and ready to welcome you with open arms, a log fire, and a cosy booth beside the panelled windows as you watch the world go by.

I was kindly invited down to The Fox, Menston to review their evening menu, last week. To immerse the revamp, indulge in as much food and drink as my feeble stomach can handle, and spend some quality time with my loved ones in a setting perfect for embracing the lot. Situated between Ilkley and Otley, it’s the ideal place for a traditional country pub with class – and a reachable distance from Leeds itself. Living in the city I don’t often get to experience the home from home dining feel so it was nice to settle into the rustic surroundings with some hearty grub. It brought me back to my childhood when we’d stop off in the countryside after holidaying at my grandparents’ caravan. The same lovely, warm, and friendly atmosphere!

I brought my mum, grandma, and brother along with me to enjoy the luxuries and we were all so totally spoilt. I haven’t heard anything but praise and a “we must go back again soon it was utterly divine”, since. The staff were so accommodating and serviceable; the whole range of culinary goodness was available for us, nothing was off limits, and so of course we made the most of it.

 

We all have different tastes which is an advantage when you’re reporting back. It provides a chance to experiment with variety and compare the best and the worst. Only this time, there was no worst. I don’t even think it’d be possible for the worst to exist, here!

My brother ordering Scallops of the Day was a close contender but that’s only because any kind of fish is a no-no in my books. He absolutely devoured them and almost licked the plate when he’d finished so that’s enough confirmation they were just as amazing as my starter. I opted for the Crispy Karaage Chicken to satisfy my taste-buds as a teaser of what was to come and it was finger-lickingly tasty. I love chicken – whether it’s fried, grilled, oven-baked, mixed within other dishes – it’s all I eat at home, but I am very fussy with the textures and the flavours. This appetiser was balanced flawlessly; just the right amount of succulent and crisp!

My mum is a mushroom fanatic so she predictably went for the Thyme-Roasted Portobello Mushrooms and I was actually a little envious. There was a ladle of creamy mushrooms in a bishop sauce served with rustic toast on the side and what a lush combination it was! My grandma also went simple but scrumptious with the Duck Liver & Port Parfait – she often has pâté as a light snack at home and this was a higher tier version. In her exact words – ‘it was absolutely beautiful’.

 

For the mains, I was the only one not to go for whole meats. I fancied some real juicy carbs so the Pancetta Carbonara stood out for me. It was 100% the correct decision, it satisfied my cheese admiring appetite and was mouthwateringly pulpy and creamy with smoky flavouring oozing from the bacon. My brother and his massive gusto for food in general were on the other side of carbs as he tucked into the homemade British Beef Burger (with added halloumi by his request). Layered up into a neat tower of rich, dirty tang, chunky, tender beef, and a fresh bun, he savoured the lot and there were many satisfied mumbling noises emerging from beside me. He said it was the best burger he’d had in ages which speaks volumes for the amount of food he consumes on a daily basis!

Staying with the meat, my mum and grandma had the same meal; 7oz Fillet Steak with chunky chips and a unique ale-glazed shallot tart with another Cropwell Bishop sweet, zesty topping. If you’ve read my past food reviews with my mum in tow from March and June last year, then you’ll know this was always going to be the obvious choice in her eyes. She’s steak mad and loves to trial the fillets and the sirloins when visiting different places to eat. She did, however, insist on stating this was a worthy winner as well as the soft, fluffy, dense potato to go with it. With one bite you could sense and distinguish just how much care had gone into both preparation and the cooking itself. It was firm and fresh, piping hot, melt in the mouth texture – and most importantly plated up meeting her exact call for nothing but well done, please.

 

 

 

Two courses would have been more than enough for our dietary contentment but thankfully we also got to experience the wonders of the desserts. Unfortunately the famous Melting Chocolate & Peanut Bomb was unavailable but there were plenty more options to fill my sweet tooth and sugary craving boots. My brother and I had the Home-Baked Triple Chocolate Cookie with a mix of Praline and Vanilla ice-cream – a divine combination which was demolished and ravished by us both, and my mum and grandma had the Sticky Toffee Pudding – the ideal winter finisher which was thoroughly enjoyed.

The food at The Fox, Menston was utterly impeccable and we couldn’t fault it. The exceptional quality really shone through, as did the presentation. Everything was hand cooked and made from scratch with your order in mind! The assorted menu catered for everybody and it was great value for money. However, it didn’t just stop there. Nope. The ample selection of cocktails were also on hand to complete your nightly feast.

The Fox, Menston actually held an event in October for bloggers to sample their new gin based cocktails in the midst of their makeover but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend. Now, gin is my jam. I’ve recently become the biggest basic boozer with pink gin but my only problem is I hate tonic and soda and I’ll only drink it with lemonade. This is why I didn’t go for the newest cocktails on the list but after recently discovering my kick for rhubarb gin, I regret not having a glass of their Cucumber Ribbons.

 

 

My mum and I were still pretty complacent with our martinis, though. Mum had two of the Pornstar Martini because she couldn’t get enough and her eyes physically lit up as soon as she took a sip. I had the Candy Floss Martini which is something I’d never seen before but something that worked a treat! It came with genuine candyfloss in a glass and a dainty side bottle of rum and ginger that you poured in to create – in their words – a magical marvel. It was then washed down by a cuppa and a coconut biscuit which was the ultimate ending to a fab night!

 

 

Whilst we relished in the atmosphere and the cuisine (and the dreamy toilets) I couldn’t help but notice the festive menus on display. My mind went straight to how amazing it would be to sit by the roaring fire with your family; revelling in the merriment, the speciality beverages, and classic delicacies, on Christmas Day. I know for sure there’d be no disappointed faces around the table. Now all I need to do is persuade my own family to dine there on the 25th in the forthcoming future!

If you’re Yorkshire based I couldn’t recommend The Fox, Menston enough. Huge thank you to the team for providing us with unlimited indulgences, and for hosting an evening to remember for all four of us!

 

*Food and drink were all kindly complimentary by The Fox, Menston in exchange for a review. All thoughts, opinions, and images are my own. See my full disclaimer for more information.

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The Ivy Leeds Launch

Posted on 3 min read

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the pre-launch event of the brand spanking new restaurant that’s just hit Leeds City Centre and situates within the acclaimed Victoria Quarter in a lavish, historic, listed building located on the bustling streets of Vicar Lane.

With a wide range of culinary mastery set across two floors, two terraces, and a beautiful bar setting, this botanical space is bound to draw the crowds in… and it certainly did on a warm, celebratory September night.

Mingling in with the professionals and the stars, drinking far too many exclusive signature rose cocktails and glasses of champers as they were handed to us one after the other, and nibbling on some canapes as we giggled the night away, myself and 1/7 of my gal pals honestly had some top tier fun to shake those Monday blues away!

Thankfully I’d thought of photographing the flamboyant decor before the fizz went to my head and sent me spiralling (quite literally) and also before the swarms of people headed in to create a merry buzz that lasted until after hours. The atmosphere was fab; everyone chatting and never without a drink in hand, the bar staff running their rocket speed service underneath the ember lighting, faces displaying all smiles and flushed cheeks, but the hundreds of attendees did end up blocking the views of the gorgeously decked out views!

The interior is everything my heart desires; walls full of quirky, bold artwork that takes bland and squashes it right down to dust. Bursts of colour and plush prints in every corner. Dreamy flower bouquets on the marble tables, monochromatic tiled flooring, a greenery theme throughout – whether that be authentic towering plants or patterns plastered on the walls. Sophisticated but retro and exactly what a brasserie should be.

 

 

We stayed downstairs in the capacious bar area for the majority of the time but somehow towards the end of the night we ended up upstairs as we trailed to the fancy washrooms. That means we also got a taste (pun intended) of how the second floor looked and that was just as aesthetically pleasing, if not more. It’s the perfect place to sense that homely warmth as you’re enjoying your meal; large windows making it light and airy, high ceilings, and comfortable seating.

 

Speaking of meals, I must venture back there sometime soon to trial and savour their food offerings properly. In all honestly I can’t even remember what little bites I was grabbing off the silver platters all night but something that sticks in my mind are the delicious mini crème brûlée donuts and the berry tarts. I must have had about five and I easily could have had more! The desserts were sublime and I have no doubt the rest will be, too.

They have such an amazing range of menus available – breakfast, a la carte, afternoon tea, weekend brunch, and of course the drinks and desserts. I saw a bloggers breakfast was held this week and all the grub looked divine. That alone has tempted me to go and indulge myself! I promised my mum I’d take her for some food and cocktails before the year is up so it’s no surprise that The Ivy is right at the top of my list of where to go.

With venues already in Harrogate and York, this Leeds addition is a welcomed treat to the popular Leeds eatery scene and I am excited to see it flourish. It opened for the public on Tuesday so if you’re thinking about paying a visit, it’s all ready to go!

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Spring Tapas Menu @ Iberica Leeds

Posted on 5 min read

I think it’s safe to say spring has definitely sprung. With all these warm spells gracing our existence it actually feels more like summer arrived as soon as the clocks went forward, but if that means we get to enjoy more sunshine than our usual two days then who am I to complain?

As it happens, it was a beautiful, bright, and blissful day when I headed into town for my evening reservation with Iberica; the atmosphere feeling more like a night abroad – the humid air, choir of chants and laughs, and the whiff of food drifting making me all the more excited to get tucked into our treats. I’ve visited the plush restaurant before and absolutely loved every part – from the ornate interior, to the authentic feel, and the unusual yet delicious dishes that tempted my taste-buds to jump out of their comfort zone. This time, however, it had a more personal touch, as I experienced a proper dinner date with one of my best girls.

Amazing company, super attentive service, a platter of yummy tomato bread and Spanish meats to kickstart our feast, a palatable bottle of Castillo Perelada Rosé Reserva NV that I actually enjoyed (I’m admittedly not the biggest wine lover), and possibly overly deep conversations to be having in public once the bottle was empty and the tipsiness was flowing!

What more could I have asked for?

We were able to pick any six tapas dishes to showcase the seasonal stars on their newly launched spring menu, followed by any desserts and coffees of our choice, and my belly was just as pleased as the content smile spread on my face. The smile soon turned to concentration upon deciding which courses to go for! We were pondering for a good 15 minutes as there were so many inviting concoctions that had my mouth watering just by reading the title, but eventually we settled on an assorted variety of meats, salads, and typical carby sides.

First up we opted for a firm favourite of mine and the signature dish, Croquetas. I raved about the crispy potato and ham goodness right away and thankfully Hannah trusted my verdict (and of course I was proved right so it was 1-0 me).

Secondly we went for the Warm Lentil Salad as a lighter dish that contrasted the rest of the piping hot and heavy dishes with the refreshing mix of textures; soft cooked egg and those healthy greens.

Thirdly, we went for Spring Vegetables, once again to balance the options out. The cauliflower, carrots, asparagus and tomatoes came with a topping of melted cheese which gave it that extra tasty tang, and they were sauteed just right – not too soft nor hard and with that firm, fried zest.

Fourthly, we simply savoured the Chorizo, thick cut, cooked in cider and topped with chickpeas. The rich sauce really gave it that punchy flavour and added to the smokiness of the meat. Chorizo is my absolute number one garnish – throw it on kebab skewers, in a chicken dish, with a shit load of cheese, and you have a winner. But it turns out it works just as well on its own!

Fifthly, was the Crispy Chicken, small pieces of confit thigh with romesco sauce and hazelnuts. These were finger-licking good – quite literally. Just the right amount of soft, melt in the mouth, meat with a crisp, chargrilled edge and a succulent base sauce. Hazelnuts are another beloved topping of mine so I much appreciated this added touch!

We definitely saved the best till last with the Albondigas. I’m not usually a meatball kind of girl but these – wow – these were out of this world. The mini potatoes and distinctive Vizcaina sauce blended within certainly upped the vibrancy but it was the quality of the meat that had me mumbling inhumane noises. You could instantly detect the tenderness and it had such a juicy, pungent taste – I was actually sad when it came to an end but Hannah kindly let me have the last one. True friendship.

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The dishes all arrived separately straight from the kitchen as soon as they were cooked to perfection which meant I wasn’t able to snap the complete polished foodie flatlay I desired, but it was worth the loss with being able to enjoy and relish in the from-the-oven-freshness. I loved every single dish and the recipes really complimented the summer vibe (and I’m sure if we’d gone for others I’d say the exact same) but there were a couple that stood out! If there was a most delectable dish award, the chicken and the meatballs would be a definite tie!

I really underestimate tapas. As the plates arrive in small bits and bobs you tend to set the mindset that it won’t be enough to fulfil your appetite but every single time I end up full to the brim. I don’t think you’d even need as many as six to satisfy your stomach which makes the menu not only diverse but also great value.

There’s always enough room for dessert, however! Even if I have to sit back and unbutton my trousers, my eyes widen with the mention of afters. My sweet tooth was gagging for the Churros with melted chocolate sauce and they really didn’t disappoint – the portion was really generous and the gloriously warm, spongy, doughnut consistency was a pastry lovers dream. Han went for the Caramelised Rice Pudding and by the sensual reaction I’m guessing she very much relished in it. She said it was the best rice pudding she’s ever had in her lifetime and as she passed some over to me – as a non rice pudding expert – I can claim the sweetness was absolutely amazing.

Thank you so much to Jeanne for inviting me down to try out the menu! I had such a wonderful, relaxed evening to match the summery feel outdoors. Soaking up the luxury decor, spacious setting, and of course the most Instagramable toilets in Leeds – it was a fitting ending to a lovely day, and just what we both needed. I’ll definitely be back to make the most of these hot days!

Have you been lucky enough to experience the tapas at Iberica?

p.s. my stomach was rumbling just editing these photos, that’s when you know the food was faultless!

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A Three Course Secret Supper, Bar & Kitchen @LS1

Posted on 7 min read

A couple of months back I wrote about my visit to the Crowne Plaza in my Self Care post – raving about my super soothing spa experience and my appetising afternoon tea delight at the new and improved Bar & Kitchen @LS1 within the hotel. Fast forward a few weeks and, coincidentally, another email arrives in my inbox inviting me back along for a taste of the full package as part of their special secret supper event. One to one guidance and a chat from the renowned in-house head chef Lee Miller, an exclusive sneak peek at the brand new spring menu, and copious amounts of stupendously cooked cuisine straight from Yorkshire’s finest – it was set out to be a gratifying evening all round!

You know they say you notice the intricate details of something or someone on a second investigation? Well that’s exactly what happened with me strolling back into the restaurant tucked away at the corner of the lobby. The second time round I was really able to appreciate the cosy, homely essence of the place; especially at the time of day when the (lack of) sun was about to set and dusk was close by.

The hidden gem isn’t what you usually expect of a hotel – both in modern Scandi inspired setting and delectable food quality – and that’s what makes it so unique. With its laid back, relaxing feel, and interjection of a vast touch of local trade, it steps away from fine dining whilst still bringing in that passion and flare.

Greeted with a glass of prosecco and some fruit mixers upon a marble table, artsy decor, carefully laid tables, swinging chandeliers, and a host of hospitality top dogs, press, prs, and some other lovely Leeds bloggers for chatty, cordial, and welcoming company, any anxieties that I have about attending events alone had vanished in just a few seconds!

To get us started and warmed up before the big extravaganza from the main man behind the delicious dishes as he slaved away attentively in the kitchen, we were delivered a simple platter of tear and share Yorkshire puddings, rarebit, and marrowbone gravy for dipping which was renowned Liquid Gold by a fellow full time blogger Nadine on her first foodie visit (and she was more than right, fyi! I told you the company was grand), so that was of course an instant winner in the eyes of the self proclaimed Yorkshire pud enthusiast; aka me.

After some further musing around as we devoured our appetiser, it was time to gather together and sit down ready for the three course I was more than ready for (note to self: drinking on a fairly empty stomach in post gig recovery after a long day travelling to and fro Manchester isn’t always a swimmingly good idea, swimming being the main word here). I was seated with a bunch of friendly folk, including two staff members who were so affable, so easy to talk to, and genuinely interested in our thoughts, opinions, ideas, and any constructive criticism – it made the experience even more real and authentic.

Lee was just as warm and accommodating, although I was informed he is the feisty kind when he wants to be. I guess fantastic food comes at a price and that price is a streak of bossiness and extreme determination!

Himself and Stephen Hornsby, the general manager at Crowne Plaza, introduced us to the tasting night, telling us what we should expect, what the hard working team behind this newly refurbished and improved space stand for, and talked us through the spring dishes they’re ready to introduce widely.

I was instantly inspired by Lee and the way he spoke about his passion and his career, so much so that for the first time at a food event I took some notes down on my phone. You could really feel the enthusiasm and the zest that radiated from him as he took us on his journey to becoming a chef and what trademark he believes in bringing to a place he’s called home for 10 years.

Lee built his way up as a chef, beginning with an NVQ, a movement of work experience in different places, and now he holds a licence of 22 years in the making which makes him a man of knowledge and expert skills!

What stood out for me, personally, was the established creations he metaphorically and literally transports to the table. He is all about partnering with local Yorkshire produce; on the farms, in the suppliers trade, and even as nearby as down the road. His cheeses are sourced in Wakefield, and some even include the famous cheese served to the queen once upon a time!

The entire arrangement of carefully fabricated dishes are freshly prepared with the Yorkshire flair in mind and developed to match his own penchant for homely dishes. Using the finest ingredients from the local commerce, the menus are synonymous with the region, they incorporate some of the country’s favourite comfort food, bursting with flavours and taste and most important, a contemporary Yorkshire twist! Having this exclusively in their arsenal maintains a distinctive approach they can be proud of!

Something that caught my attention was the mention of how Lee bakes bread. Bread is my absolute weakness but I have to be careful what kind I eat as bloating and aggravation of IBS symptoms is often very common with my doughy indulgence. However, Lee spoke about bringing it back to basics, excluding e-numbers and minimising intolerance with his choices, and he was so on point with what he was saying. The wholesome warm roll straight from the oven wasn’t only just the most deliciously soft and mouth watering roll I’ve ever tasted, it also didn’t give me that horrible aftermath feeling and that in itself gets mega bonus points.

With our gold menu with the option of starter, main, and dessert, I felt like a queen myself as I rolled it out in front of me contemplating on what to go for. In the end I opted for the Yorkshire Charcuterie Board (which we all found out was a bit of a tongue twister to say), the 6 Hour Braised Beef Cheeks, and the Rhubarb and Strawberry Bakewell Tart with ice cream on the side – all absolutely cooked to perfection and probably the best three course meal I’ve had in years.

The board had a selection of cured meats; chorizo, salami, and air-dried royal ham, along with home marinated vegetables and the most pungent house Henderson relish which was gorgeous. I cleared my plate in the shortest amount of time and I couldn’t even stop myself, that’s how good it was. As a fussy meat eater, it’s a testament to the chef – it’s made me want to delve further into the chilled meat section of supermarkets, but I doubt any will live up to the impeccably presented platter.

The main was strips of beef on top of a ball of creamy colcannon mash potato and buried pockets of vegetables covered in Leeds’ very own brewery ale gravy. There’s only one word: scrumptious! The slow cooked meat was so succulent you didn’t even have to chew it, it just fell off the fork and melted in the month. The rich, relishing flavours oozed through with the combination of components and it really did just feel as though as I was back home savouring a traditional Sunday dinner made by the family cooking I adore.

As much as I didn’t want it to end, it had to sometime, and the rhubarb and strawberry bakewell tart was the optimal finisher to a worthy menu basking in the British! You could tell it was homemade straight away. You know when you’ve baked and the stench wafts through the house and then you bite into the spongy pastry and a rush of sweet heaven rushes through you? That’s exactly how it felt tucking into the slice that was crusty around the edges and soft in the middle. It was just the right amount of tangy and catered to my mega sweet tooth!

The attention to detail and care that takes place in the Bar & Kitchen @LS1 is obvious, and once again it was painted to us during the final stage of the night (handed over with the cutest box containing two miniature desserts to try for ourselves… culinary genius and generosity!).

Lee came back out to get the verdict and nothing but positive approval was fed back to him. He said the experience of the night helped him and his team during the constant learning curve and expression of the kitchen and that it put in that curveball helped them understand and develop, to be able to play with real foods and cater accordingly to society.

With so much visible passion and time behind the food, the connection that Lee strives for is instinctively formed. Portions that are just enough to leave you comfortably content, and the simply sharp recipes, are five stars all round. The entirety of the food is totally seamless and not overpowering in the slightest; completely different to most of the naff and bland hotel food I’ve had in the past.

Bar & Kitchen is in a league of its own and although it’s not amongst the major central restaurants, it definitely has the same (if not more) power and promise. Trust me when I say it’s not to be overlooked and overshadowed just because it’s centred within a hotel!

There’s a constant theme running through Lee’s ethic and that’s customers enjoy what they believe in. The intimate community he aims to create is what food is about – getting people together and just purely enjoying it.

And that we did.

Thanks so much to Sam for inviting me, I had a whale of a time and was honoured to be part of an important bunch. I’ll definitely be back, I’ve already raved to my family about how we need to treat ourselves to a trip sooner rather than later!

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Dining Experience @ Lost and Found, Leeds Club

Posted on 4 min read

A few weeks back now (Galentines Day to be exact) I had the pleasure of spending my Tuesday evening in the company of three of my favourite ladies and the newest sumptuous joint in Leeds. The Lost & Found already has a site on Greek Street but now they’ve unveiled another free spirited professor in the iconic Leeds Club building on Albion Place (aka my ultimate spot for charming, traditional buildings that are not only picturesque but provide some of the best food and drink names in town!)

I was lucky enough to attend their soft launch event before they officially opened to the public on the 16th Feb… and oh how lucky I felt. Walking in there felt like stepping foot in an enchanting whimsical world of mixology, seasonal cuisine, and a bloggers’ dream, with its high ceilings, flowered, woodland trimmings, winding staircase, marble top tables, and extensive cocktail collection.

It’s such a beautiful restaurant, the kind of place that gives you a relaxed, cosy feel twinned with authentic class where you can’t help but feel a lot more high and mighty than you would at home on your sofa with your feet propped up and beans on toast on the menu. With two main rooms; the lavish bar downstairs set into separate areas, and the main restaurant area upstairs, along with an exquisite secret bar and the prettiest interior, you’re onto an all round winner right away.

The place was heaving with glory and delight from all walks of life; a warm and friendly atmosphere with the attentive service to match, and aside from the fixed sharing platter starter of mixed warm breads and antipasti – which were bladdy deliciously appetising may I add – we were able to choose anything we desired from the main menu, complete with unlimited cocktails and a dessert to finish.

Thankfully the choices complied to all our varied tastes! And when I say there was something for everyone I really mean there was something for everyone with my mum, the fussiest eater in Leeds, in attendance. Her having zero complaints about the feast is pretty much equivalent to a bachelors degree in cookery, to be honest. That’s when you know the quality of  food is at the very top!

We all ordered different – I went for the Chicken Milanese with a sourdough crumb (£12) and a side of skinny fries (£3.50) which tasted almost identical to McDonald’s chips – only with a little more savouring class.  I’d had the Chicken Milanese whilst in Spain a few times before and this one didn’t disappoint to the ones I’d already previously tried and tested, the sourdough adding that extra tang. My mum opted for the 8oz Sirloin Steak (£18) in a request of well done and she said it was cooked to perfection. It’s rare I head out to eat with my mum without her sending a steak back in disapproval so this really does determine the efforts of the chef. She asked for well done, she got well done! My friends, Beth and Jade, who aren’t bloggers just guests who got to experience a piece of the action for the night (they’re privileged to have a friend like me js), went for the Wagyu Beef Burger (£13) and a side order of fries, and the Peri Peri Chicken Pizza (£11.50) and by the looks of the empty plates and the thumbs up for being finger-licking good, it was thoroughly enjoyed all round. Plus, the look of the mountain of melted cheese alone is mouth watering!

Moving on to dessert (despite our stomachs being satisfyingly and maximally filled) we opted for the Millionaire’s Shortbread (£8) and Passion Fruit Cheesecake (£7). We were informed they would be served deconstructed which wasn’t something I was familiar with but something which I was definitely intrigued by. Turns out, there’s just a lot more crumby contents and it’s a little messier, but it tastes just as nice. The chocolatey essence in the shortbread was ravishing and totally addictive to a sweet tooth fanatic like moi but after a few minutes of stuffing my face it did get slightly overpowering. I reckon you could get away with sharing a dessert if you feel like shelving greedy cravings for the night (which isn’t always easy, I feel you. The more chocolate, the better.)

Cocktail wise, we went somewhat overboard. Stocking up on the sparkling prosecco based cocktails and the classic spirits and managing to down three each until around 10:30pm. I think (my brain is still a little foggy from that night, I swear) we consumed multiple of the A Penny For The Cat (£8.95), St. Clementine’s Garden (£9.25), and Fine & Dandy (£8.75), which not only awakened the tastebuds but worked wonders for the ‘gram.

By the end of the night the general consensus was that A) we were delectably fed and watered more than we ever could have imagined, B) for what you are given and the quality of the grub, it’s well worth the price tag, and C) we definitely should have watched what we were drinking instead of giggling our way through the cold February evening.

Before we stayed fix abode until closing time, we made our way out as discreetly as possible – bellies heavier and heads lighter but with a fun few hours to treasure and a promise to head back sooner rather than later.

(I’m already thinking about summer plans with the natural light as an advantage. IMAGINE how stunning it would photograph in the daylight with a refreshing cocktail for company!!)

Have you headed down to Lost & Found yet?!

*Food and drink were all kindly complimentary in exchange for a review. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own.

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New Dessert House On The Block: Kaspa’s Leeds

Posted on 4 min read

 

If you tend to lose all sense of control around sweet treats, then I’d find the nearest comfortable place to pop yourself down on to gather some composure before I continue, because there’s a new haven in town and it’s about to take the Leeds’ restaurant scene by storm! Not that you can pick up a three course Italian here, of course, but it’s about the equivalent in pudding form – an actual eatery dedicated to all your favourite after indulgences. Gelato and waffles being their speciality but catering for all your candied needs in one pink paradise.

 

 

I was kindly invited down to Kaspa’s to have a taste of their dining experience, quite literally. Walking in there feels like a 1950s diner, the animated interior and darkened vibe mixed with bright blush hues, star print and sparkles; giving it that real American feel. In exchange for some outfit photo taking I took my brother along with me  (I like to innocently bribe him but he definitely wasn’t going to turn down a chance to stuff his face with sugar, either). It was no surprise that on a late Saturday afternoon the crowds were starting to flood in but by the sight of the diverse enjoyment it seems it’s gonna be a popular venue to visit!

 

To cut a long story short: the menu is insane; extensive in all areas, no matter what chocolatey combination tickles your fancy. We must have taken at least 15 minutes deciding what to choose from and if I’m being completely honest, I could have easily sampled one of each. From waffles and crepes, to ice-cream sundaes, milkshakes and smoothie, the gateaus and cheesecakes displayed beside the counter and even those proper traditional staples such as sticky toffee pudding and fudge cake – the heart eyes were seriously burgeoning.

 

 

We decided to go all out and order a feast to share. I opted for the Ferrero Rocher Gateau that I eyed up as soon as I stepped foot into the waiting to be seated area (thanks, glass counter) and my brother went for the Brownie Waffle with a joint side portion of a Bubblelicious sundae, Oreo Cookies milkshake and a Mango Dream smoothie.

 

Anything hazelnut is my weakness. It was a real tough decision between the cake and a Nutella based dessert, but I think I made the right choice. Soft and spongy, melt in the mouth, and beautifully nutty. The waffle was H-U-G-E, going spare on the portions is definitely out of the question here and even my brother struggled to finish – that’s coming from a gym fanatic who could eat an entire banquet and still crave more! He did report back with the deliciousness, though; fluffy, dense, fulfilling and super appetising. Both were drizzled with chocolate sauce and that was the ultimate pinnacle topping! The ice-cream sundae totally transported me back to my childhood; the bubblegum flavour reminding me of running up the street as though as I was on a Bond mission handing a pound over for a screwball or a cornet with sprinkles. A tendency to be sickly but oh so moreish and oh so good. Oreo milkshakes have become my thing at the moment and this was just as heavenly as the others I’ve had elsewhere, really giving a distinctive taste of those divine biscuits. The smoothie was thick and rich, not as blended as I’d usually have it but it worked – the mango and pear building the perfect yellowy fruit concoction.

 

 

The desserts at Kaspa’s aren’t only just appealing on the eye and for achieving the ideal flatlay for the gram (almost too charming to eat I’d say), they’re also all cooked fresh to instruction and served up orderly which means you get hands on service and a bonus whiff of the sublime scents as you wait. Service was efficient so you won’t be waiting too long – even on a busy weekend – and the surroundings are enough to draw you in instantly. The staff were lovely and tentative which is certainly what you look for in era where there’s so many things going on at once! All in all a wonderful experience.

 

 

I can’t say I’ve eaten specifically for desserts before, I do love an assorted dessert selection on an ordinary restaurant menu when I’m out for the evening, and I do enjoy a cake from the local cliche coffee shop but it’s not quite the same as the wholehearted encounter you receive at Kaspa’s. An absolute drool worthy dream – even if you do leave there with a stomach that’s crying out to you. I totally pigged out but I’m also pretty damn okay with that.

 

Have you been to Kaspa’s before? Check their site for your nearest location if your sweet tooth yearns for some delightful-ness on a regular basis. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Bridie x

 


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