THE CHEMIC TAVERN
The Chemic Tavern
Much beloved of our one-time YEP columnist Oliver Cross, this Woodhouse boozer has almost mystical status, not least because it was saved from closure about two years ago by members of the community, who rallied round and gave up their own money to make sure it remained open. It is rumoured you can “see all human life here”, which basically means a lip sync contest and some a bloke playing a home made clarinet and everything in between.
THE ABBEY INN, NEWLAY
It’s not Bramley, it’s not Pudsey, it’s not Kirkstall. It’s Newlay. Remember that, otherwise you’ll get told off by those in the know, should you venture to this bolt hole of a pub, which is right down at the bottom of the Aire Valley and just high enough to avoid being flooded when the waters of the Aire rise. It’s setting couldn’t be more idyllic, there’s ample room outside (for those months of the year when the sun actually shines in our country) and a decent selection of real ales, so much so that CAMRA has voted this place Pub of the Year more than once.
FOX & NEWT
It might be on Burley Street in the middle of the city but many people claim never to have heard of the place, which is a shame because what was once Britain’s smallest hotel (then known as the Rutland) has its own brewhouse and turns out some decent food into the bargain. In addition to the copper fermenting vessel and a great atmosphere, you will also find live music here.
Another city centre pub, this time on Cavendish Street, and a quirky one at that, it being formed from two old cottages. A former Tetley pub, its nostalgic feel is accentuated by its singular architecture and interior decorative features.
DUCK & DRAKE
Situated in the “grimy twilight zone between the Corn Exchange and the back of the market, this pub sits in an area of town which is on the up. It’s an unspoilt city aleshouse with high ceilings, real ale and pie and peas for £2.95.
The Angel is hidden away, Harry Potter style, down a snaking alley but the Sam Smith’s pub is full of character, and good, reasonably priced ale.
Includes extracts from The Great Leeds Pub Crawl (Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd), by Simon Jenkins, £13.99