Without a doubt, the Leeds’ bar and restaurant scene is booming, and is most certainly growing to extent. Quirky places to spend the evening eating pizza, followed on by watering down with cocktails are popping up all over the place. Last week, I was invited down to the brand new bar opening of Slate NQ, a contemporary bar which replaced the popular Lounge Bar and Grill, but that now plans on making it their own.
Offering a range of drinks from the best selection of ales, to signature cocktails, the night began by handing our playing cards to the bar staff (I’m still kicking myself for not capturing this moment) which entitled us to a free drink. I don’t think I need to mention time and time again that I’m not a big drinker. I doubt I’ll ever enjoy booze like some youngsters do but I can confirm the glass of Prosecco I was kindly given was the best I’d ever tasted!
As the crowds built up, drinks began flowing and a catch up with lots of blogger babes began, I took a moment aside to appreciate the interior of the bar. Gorgeous industrial lighting hung up visibly whilst the wine bottles lined up equally side by side behind the action, waiting to be popped open.
Along with drinks, homemade pizzas were on hand with the waitresses bringing fresh goodness for the guest every few minutes. I always love the idea of being able to see what you’re eating so the open preparation and cooking space with the chefs hard at work added to the fact the pizza was just as delicious as the dough looked when molded and shaped beforehand. The pizza’s certainly went down a treat as we soon found out once the girls reached our table and the entire base had nearly gone. I did manage to grab a couple of pieces, though, and my tastebuds found heaven. Definitely a luxury I could enjoy without feeling guilty, purely because it was full of flavour and crispiness (what diet you say…)
If it wasn’t tempting enough, Slate NQ offer 40% off pizzas every Tuesday but they also cater for everyone’s needs and wants. They have a varied menu topped with salads, meats, cheeses and much more – definitely my kind of hide out.
It was great to see Slate had maintained the tudor like building and made it modernly cool. The decor was dark but simply effective with that old-school style feel to it. The stunning beams outside welcomed you in instantly, as did the traditional windows letting in just the right amount of light for us to sit comfortably on the leather booths and have our weekly gossip.
As things couldn’t get better, we remembered Slate also offers entertainment and gaming to keep the girls and the boys, old and young, entertained whilst they savour their food and drink. There is a separate pool room allocated just for those ball games. We did hope to have a taster but unfortunately (
or thankfully), all tables were taken. At least I couldn’t make a fool of myself that way!
Fancying a step out into the warm turned to chilly air, we headed off to explore the lovely, almost dainty beer garden with a string of lights and wooden benches. I get the feeling this spacious area will be cram packed when (and emphasis on that when) the sun is shining. Read: I hope the weather forecast is correct for this upcoming week!
Whilst we were taking advantage of the outdoors, we happened to bump into Leeds’ very own magician Oliver Parker, and an amazing magician at that. He’d volunteered himself to come up to the opening night and show off his serious skills so I wasn’t about to say no to watching some marvelous magic. His tricks had me flabbergasted; from ripping a signed Slate card, sticking it back together in reverse order from the simple rub of a pen, to transforming an ordinary heap of playing cards into a bunch in a see through block whilst the cards disappeared and reappeared in there! Dei took the plunge to be the one person who’d get the first hand experience and I think her mind was completely blown at the end of the trick of getting her to write down her name, pop it into her mouth and then having the card with his name on in her mouth instead. For a minute I thought it was the prosecco going to my head, but it was just a crazy illusion and I had no idea how on earth it was done. I’d definitely check Oliver out for some wow’ing!
Once again, I had a fabulous night. Spending my Thursday meeting up with fellow blogger friends and soaking in the laid back vibe was an evening well spent. Located on Merrion Street, opposite The Grand, it’s convenient for both those casual drinkers looking for a place with a great atmosphere, or for those pre-show eaters and drinkers. Slate NQ is the perfect, generous size to spread out each section uniquely. The staff are lovely, food and drinks are satisfying, and that edgy design completes the place. Based on the opening night, I’ll certainly be heading back there soon!
Have any other Leeds bloggers checked out Slate NQ yet? Where’s your favourite place to go around the city centre? I’m keen to discover some more gems.