The sun is out and the beer gardens are packed – summer is here.
Leeds isn’t renowned for its blue skies and soaring temperatures, but when anything even resembling t-shirt weather arrives, we’re out enjoying it.
That’s how we came across Stories – a new cafe that spills out on to Roundhay Road while visitors inside soak up the rays in its sun-drenched interior.
After walking past on a boiling weekend afternoon visit to Roundhay Park, we returned to check out the menu.
Stories is a Scandinavian-inspired cafe that aims to bring together a range of tasty food and drink producers. The menu is full of the stories behind each one.
From ethically sourced coffee to sustainably produced Northern milk, this place oozes hipster chic. Even some of the paper that the menus are printed on is made from “spent brewer’s grain and elemental chlorine free pulp”.
The venue is a cool concept space that floats along to chilled alternative pop. The minimalist interior features white framed contemporary prints on a white shelf lining a white feature wall, a grey concrete floor and wall-mounted plant pots.
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The food menu is short and sweet, with five health-conscious choices for breakfast and five for lunch. They include everything from homemade granola and yoghurt to Scandinavian smörgås open sandwiches. You can also dig into baked delights from the team at Noisette Bakehouse.
Drinks-wise there is artisan coffee, teas, cold pressed juices, sodas and hot chocolate.
We opted for Cumbrian salami on rye bread with Five Miles Creamery goats curd and rocket (£7), and mashed avocado on sourdough with lemon, olive oil and pimente d’espelette chilli (£6.25).
The former’s tangy curd and salty salami combined beautifully on the thick rye slice, and the addition of the leafy side salad and acidic dressing blended really well.
The avocado dish was less successful. The sourdough was gorgeous, the side salad nice and punchy but the main feature, the avocado, was a little too neutral for my taste.
Portion-wise the meals were light lunches and came on a flat main plates with the side salads balanced on top in angular dishes. They looked great but weren’t very practical, making the meals tricky to eat without making a mess.
With the addition of a lovely flat white coffee (£2.80) and a kale, cucumber, apple, lemon and mint juice (£4) our bill came to a slightly pricey £20.05.
Stories is a cool, stylish place to watch the world go by, while its ultra minimalist decor helps it stand out from the crowd – without always being practical.
It’s a great place for a light lunch in north Leeds.