Restaurant review: Le Chalet, Park Row, Leeds city centre

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France is certainly the hot topic of conversation in Leeds at the moment. Everywhere you turn in the city centre there are the signs that one of the globe’s biggest cycle races is set to hit the streets next week.

Hundreds of cyclists are gearing up for the starting line of Grand Depart for the Tour de France in the city centre.

It only seemed apt for Little Oliver to embrace the city’s love of all things French and see what delights are on offer in Leeds.

Le Chalet, which has only been open for a matter of months, claims to offer a little taste of France.

The French tearoom is inspired by the country’s stunning countryside set amid the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre.

After all, sometimes there is just nothing better than indulging in the perfect cup of tea.

Sometimes a steaming cup of tea is more than just a beverage.

Over the years it has become a social occasion in itself with parlours stuffed full of ladies who lunch indulging in the powers of a brew.

My lunch companion and I decided to visit late on a mid-week afternoon to the cafe on Park Row nestled near a number of banks.

We were pleasantly surprised when we stepped in the imposing building by the number of people enjoying a spot of afternoon tea.

The eatery looked visually charming with beautiful blue and white wallpaper and stunning crystal lights.

Enticing visitors on the counter were a mouth watering selection of sweet treats and a basket full of freshly made breads.

The menu had plenty of options to sample including a selection of baguettes, a traditional Croque Monsiour, Beef Bourguignon and Ratatouille.

We decided to push the boat out and opt for afternoon tea complete with a pot of Earl Grey tea.

And we certainly made the right choice because visually our spread looked amazing.

The teapots themselves were a work of art with the clear glass pots giving diners the opportunity to watch the tea leaves work their magic before their own eye.

Our food, which came served on a slate tea stand, included a selection of smoked salmon and dill sandwiches and a number of roasted red pepper and cream cheese sandwiches.

They were both extremely tasty and we were pleasantly surprised.

The only qualm was that the bread was sliced too thickly rather than creating delicate little sandwiches.

There were a selection of tasty canapes before we moved on to a delicious scone which was accompanied by a selection of tasty jams.

My lunch companion loved the ginger and rhubarb jam.

This was followed by a perfect lemon macaroon which had a lovely citrus zing without being too overbearing.

We then both indulged in a rich chocolate and strawberry tart and the pastry was cooked to perfection.

Overall our bill came in at just over £25 for a fabulously bon lunch.

Rating: 4/5

Emma Hatcher.

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