Family festive food and office cocktails

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With just over a week to go until the big day, City Buzz is helping you get Christmas covered from where to enjoy a festive feast with the family to a last minute office outing to the nearest bar.

Leeds is the ideal place for the festive foodie with so many great places to eat and drink and if you need an excuse to indulge this is the perfect time of year.

For a special meal out then look no further than the Ox Club at Headrow House. It is listed in both the Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide for 2017 and offers diners a changing seasonal menu at brunch or dinner.

Their Christmas menu includes hearty winter dishes like ox cheek with smoked mash, horseradish and walnut gremolata, or guinea fowl, cassoulet and Yorkshire pecorino and a Clementine polenta cake with szechuan creme fraiche.

The cosy Friends of Ham with twinkling lights and rustic interior also makes for a Christmas treat. This year it is lining up raclette – a warming and indulgent dish of potatoes topped with gooey cheese, along with all cold and cured meats, all washed down with a glass of good red or fizz.

There are also great places doing something a little different if tradition isn’t on the wish-list this year.

Indian street food kitchen, Bundobust, have introduced seasonal sprout bhajis to their menu for December, as well as a special festive curry and keeping it continental this Christmas is the Spanish inspired Pintura Kitchen which is going for tapas over turkey.

Expect the likes of Basque ‘pigs in blankets’ with Chistorra sausage and Bayonne ham, as well as almond and orange tart, served with Christmas spiced ice cream.

With workers winding down for the Christmas break if all you have time for is a Christmas cocktail with colleagues then there are some pop-ups and bars to serve all needs.

Take the office party outside to the German Market which is fun and festive. The winter warmers will take the edge off the cold and help get the party started. City Buzz can certainly vouch for the mulled wine with a hit of rum in it.

Other temporary bars include Thor’s Tipi Bar in Victoria Gardens. The Scandinavian-style drinking den is open until December 31, offering ales, mulled wine and cider and an outdoor winter barbecue. The Double Tree Hilton is following suit with a canal side tipi, complete with fire pit and a hand-crafted bar.

Back inside go from traditional to trendy with Whitelock’s, the oldest pub in Leeds, serving real ale and craft beers (many from Yorkshire breweries)by the side of a roaring fire or The Alchemist and its Trinity Centre roof-top terrace. There are some Christmas cocktails in addition to the usual with a barrel aged Negroni, a chocolate orange Sazerac, or a smoky Old Fashioned.

And if you’ve left it too late for a sit down meal, street food is the beer munchies saviour.

At the Belgrave Music Hall, try Patty Smith’s Festive Fries for a seasonal treat alongside their burgers, or a slice of pizza from Dough Boys.

Headrow House’s Winter Beer Hall is serving pretzels, beer steins and sausages every Saturday in December while you work through the 60 beers from around the world.

Failing that, a mince pie and a brew will do.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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