Review: Sylva, Princes Road, Oakwood, Leeds

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A few years back it was all about the cupcakes and afternoon teas served on quirky, vintage china.

But more recently, it’s the mid-morning delights of brunch (often with bottomless alcoholic options) that have become all the rage.

Sylva is nestled in woods on the edge of Roundhay Park. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sylva is nestled in woods on the edge of Roundhay Park. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

It’s a highly competitive market but if our visit to Sylva is anything to go by, then this cafe, deli and bar is one that can certainly hold its own.

Away from the chaos of the city centre, this little gem is in a striking building that combines modern design with a nod to its green surroundings.

You’ll find it at the edge of Roundhay Park, just behind Oakwood’s famous clock, so those of you who like to work up an appetite with a Sunday morning walk – or work off the meal afterwards – will be well placed to do so.

Living just a few miles away, my friend and I decided to do just that and walked to Sylva on a crisp, autumn morning.

Sylva's selection of cakes and baked produce are available to take away. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sylva's selection of cakes and baked produce are available to take away. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The cafe was bustling when we arrived at around 11.30am, with a number of large tables of friends who had brought along their children too.

The ground floor is both dog and child friendly, with the upper floor reserved for adults only – something that earns them extra marks from me as I don’t find either of those guests conducive to a relaxing meal.

With the upstairs bar area sadly not opening until noon, we grabbed one of the few tables left in the light, airy cafe and took in the wide selection offered on the breakfast and brunch menu.

Available all day on Sunday and until noon the rest of the week, it is broken down into baked delights, egg dishes, breakfasts and lighter bites.

You’re likely to find something to suit most appetites from the wide selection on offer, whether you’re after eggs Florentine, a Yorkshire breakfast, pancakes or just tea and toast.

The dish which called out to me was the Spanish breakfast of potato and chorizo hash with baked free-range eggs from just up the road in Harrogate (£7.50). Warming and hearty, this tasty and generous serving was just want was needed after our earlier walk.

My friend, who declared the whole experience ‘faultless’, went for the poached eggs and avocado on sourdough toast (£5.50) followed up with a slice of the delicious double chocolate fudge cake.

All this was washed down with a refreshing lemon and elderflower Schweppes (£2) for me and a hot chocolate (£2.80) for my friend, plus a few glasses of water from the large carafe set on one of the counters – another nice touch.

If you’re looking for quality ingredients, great cooking, friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere then you really can’t go wrong with a Sunday morning visit to Sylva.

Rating: 5/5

Michael Tennant.

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