Restaurant review: Just Grand, Handpicked Hall, Grand Arcade, Leeds

Have your say

There are lots of things that you don’t expect when popping out for a sophisticated lunch.

Little Oliver had his heart set on a spot of relaxing afternoon tea while watching the hustle and bustle of Leeds pass him by.

Instead he ended up becoming an impromptu film star on his visit to Just Grand at the Grand Arcade.

More than a decade of late nights and transient night clubs have taken their toll on the once bustling Grade II listed Victorian shopping arcade.

But a retail renaissance has helped to give the arcade a whole new lease of life.

Nestled at the front of the exciting new venue are the vintage tearooms.

And it has proved to be so popular that the tearoom was overrun with a film crew who are set to bring a taste of Leeds to the big screen.

Little Oliver and his lunch companion were directed to their table right next to where the actors were taking centre stage.

But by the end of our visit we felt as though we knew the script entirely off by heart.

We decided to just act naturally behind the camera and focus on our dining experience.

We were particularly impressed with the vintage theme from the small bone china plates, the tiny sweet jars that adorned the tables and the Donny Osmond record sleeve menu.

The menu included buttered crumpets, a selection of sandwiches, mouth-watering cakes and afternoon tea staple – the humble scone.

Little Oliver decided to sample Just Grand’s afternoon tea which was priced at £9.50.

He certainly wasn’t disappointed with what was on offer.

My lunch companion looked over longingly at my cake stand laden with sweet treats while she tucked into her chilli and vegetable soup.

The bottom tier of the china stand was stuffed with quaint cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches and a small side salad.

In the middle tier was a juicy fruit scone complete with a little pot of jam, a small glass plate with generous scoop of clotted cream and some butter.

And on top of the beautiful arrangement were two slices of delicate cake.

The friendly waitress also bought a delightful vintage-style teapot and teacup with the promise of “unlimited tea” as part of my lunch.

The sandwiches were tasty and the clotted cream scone was perfect.

My lunch partner, who was not particularly fond of her soup, kept gazing over at the delights so it seemed only fair to let her share in some of the sweet treats.

But we couldn’t help but feel as though our experience was slightly hampered by the chaos in the tearoom created by the film crew.

Overall our bill came in at just over £18 which also included a bottle of Sarsaparilla cream soda.

Little Oliver is planning his return for a less busy day to enjoy his cup of tea.

But before he does he will be anxiously waiting for his Oscar nomination for his big screen debut.

Restaurant review: Chop’d, Leeds