Leeds secures itself as a destination for top dining

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LEEDS IS challenging London’s position as the centre of the UK food scene, according to an annual food ‘cool list’.

London restaurant Meat Liquor’s new venture in Leeds, which is due to open later this year, plus the opening of various homegrown venues across the city mean it is now being viewed seriously as a top dining destination, according to Olive magazine.

Food writer Tony Naylor, who compiled the ‘cool list’, said: “The recent blossoming of the northern food scene is one of the most significant current trends in UK food.

“Historically, northerners had to travel to London to eat truly modern food but in the last year that’s changed radically.

“Where food and drink are concerned, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester are bouncing.

“You can tell how things have changed by the way hip London brands are now looking to expand here.

“Meat Liquor is opening in Leeds, Byron is in Liverpool and Manchester, Iberica is reportedly looking for sites in the latter, as are many London operators.”

He added: “In Manchester, The French and Manchester House are vying for Michelin stars, but across the region – at Volta in Manchester, Salt House Bacaro in Liverpool, the Tapped Brew Company in Leeds, all new openings – there is plenty going on at a more affordable level that is just as exciting.”

The editor of Olive magazine, Christine Hayes, said: “There is a new found boldness in the UK food scene.

“As we emerge from the longest recession in living memory, experimentation and new ideas and launches are coming thick and fast.”

She added: “It is also encouraging that there seems to be a move away from the capital being the centre of gravity.

“Britain remains at the forefront of an ever-changing food revolution and we should all be proud of our innovative food scene.”

The magazine also suggested that the M62 corridor was one of the ‘coolest’ trends this year.

It said: “A northerner had to head to London to experience food’s cutting edge. No more.

“Now the capital’s hip outfits are heading north, while, after last year’s headline-grabbing openings at Manchester House and The French, the hits just keep on coming.”

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