Six of the Best: Quirky places

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Leeds and the surrounding area is full of one-off venues, so if you’re stuck for somewhere to go and want to try something a bit different, here’s six suggestions that should make for a memorable day out.

LS6 CALL, HEADINGLEY LANE

LS6 Café, also known as the clock café, is stylishly decorated and full of the coolest kids in Leeds. The lively café has a bohemian decor of mint green walls and reclaimed tables contrasting with padded red booth seating and a quirky, hotchpotch bar area. And, as its nickname suggests, it’s walls are covered in quirky clocks. Formerly called Clocks and described as a “beacon” of Hyde Park, the environment of LS6 is funky and colourful, with an artistic feel to the interior. This chilled out cafe on Headingly Lane gets all jazzed up on Wednesday nights with talented musicians taking the stage.

BAR SOBA, MERRION STREET

Situated on Merrion Street, Bar Soba is a well-designed city space. The interior offers a minimalist yet grungy theme with graffiti murals depicting oriental women on the concrete walls, plush leather banquettes with simple metal and brown leather chairs. Upstairs, the bar also has impressive glass ceiling, which is the star of the show in a mural-filled space furnished with stools, dining seating and tables for those tasting Soba’s Pan-Asian treats. One of the latest attempts to recreate the bliss of the beach and spice of the street food in Leeds.

THE POTTING SHED, BINGLEY

Out of town gastro pub, The Potting Shed is situated on Main Street in Bingley.

And, as the name suggests, the venue plays to the gardening theme, with a corrugated iron roof, gnomes standing guard beside the fireplace, earthenware plant pots holding cutlery and menus on each table and twinkling fairy lights woven through giant sheets of trellis. The beer garden takes this theme one step further with multi-coloured garden sheds, each kitted out with a picnic table, offering a new twist on private drinking. Quirky is its middle name.

THE BOTANIST

Leeds city centre pub, The Botanist, is hidden behind Holy Trinity Church on Boar Lane. This botanically-themed drinking venue is decked out with rustic furniture, empty plant pots and shovels. The horticultural inspiration doesn’t stop there either, as the pub offers botanically infused cocktails such as a Kiwi and Sage Martini and an Orange and Sage sidecar, and serves up its grub in seed boxes, wheel barrows, and plant pots. The Anthology of Ales, a 76-page guide to the Botanist’s beers on every table, just in case you feel the urge to stop a while.

BIERKELLER, PARK ROW

Bavarian themed bar, Bierkeller, can be found on Park Row. The Birerkeller serves up the best German beers in Steins and authentic pretzels, served by waitresses in classic Bavarian dress, all while listening to and Oom-Pah Music. And the quirkiness doesn’t stop there – wearing lederhosen’s and dancing on traditional long benches is just the norm.

IBERICA, EAST PARADE

Set in a former antique house rich in character and features, Ibérica offers delicious Spanish cuisine. The listed Hepper House, on East Parade has been transformed into an, inspiring interior fitting of the building’s history, and preserving the sites original features.

Leeds boasts a dining scene and nightlife that arguably stacks up against some of the very best in the country right now. But when it comes to the north vs south debate, Iberica puts any doubts that Leeds might in some way be lacking well and truly to bed. If you want to impress your friends, this is the place to be.

Dean Johnstone, chief executive of Minds Ahead and joint leader of the centre of excellence in Leeds.

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