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September 2020 (Arlo Parks)

Heading to Live At Leeds? Here are some 'other things' to do in the city while you're there

Food? Check. Booze? Check.
Published: 9:55 am, May 03, 2018
Heading to Live At Leeds? Here are some 'other things' to do in the city while you're there
Ah, Leeds. The home of Alan Bennett, Mel B off of The Spice Girls, Cluedo, Jeremy Paxman, Jelly Tots and Neville from Harry Potter. Houdini almost died here after he failed to escape from a barrel of ale. But that's not why we're here, no!

We're here because it's Live at Leeds this weekend and we've got a stage full of incredible bands for you. The Horrors, Bad Sounds and Ten Tonnes are all going to be popping up at the Dork Stage at The Church among a few others. There's also plenty going on around the city too to delight your musical ears.

But what if you've never been to Leeds before? What if the lure of great music is so strong that you've come from Pontypridd or Truro? Well, luckily we're here to be your guide. Join us as we give you a quick guide to the city just in time for Live at Leeds.

When you first get to Leeds
Chances are if you're coming to Live at Leeds from outside of the city, you'll probably be getting the train. Unless you have a private helicopter well, then, fair play. But if you look past the Spoons, McDonalds and Pret that live inside the station and venture outside a little bit, you'll find the perfect introduction to Leeds: Laynes Espresso. It's the perfect place to plan your day with some of the best coffee in town and amazing food.

When you just want a quick bite to eat
Street food is prolific in Leeds. And we don't mean the sweetcorn sellers that you'll spot on Briggate. Inside Trinity Shopping Centre is a whole food court dedicated to street food called Trinity Kitchen. You'll know it if you're in Leeds early, because you'll be able to skip the queues and pick your wristbands up from there on Friday night.
If you're hanging around Belgrave Music Hall, head down North Street until you reach North Brewing Company who are hosting a brilliant street food fair called Eat North. Expect amazing doughnuts, proper pies and something called The Hip Hop Chip Shop. Speaking of doughnuts, if you fancy venturing farther afield, Temple Coffee near Cardigan Fields does a ridiculous range of regular and vegan doughnuts which sometimes includes mojito and Parma Violets ones.

When you have a bit more time for grub
It's hard not to recommend Bundobust if you've got a bit of a gap between bands for some food. Situated on Mill Hill, it's delicious, vegetarian Indian food with a cracking selection of beers. What more do you need? It's the kind of place that's likely to convert the meat eaters among you, or at least make you think about it a bit.
If that doesn't sound like your thing, Thai Aroy Dee is so tasty and so so cheap that it's hard to go wrong. It's even BYOB, so that's even more money for the afterparty later. If you're feeling fancy, there is Ox Club, below Headrow House, or Leeds' very own Michelin-star restaurant, The Man Behind The Curtain, but they'll probably be fully booked now. I mean, we know a guy but…

When you find your new favourite band
Leeds isn't short of fantastic record stores. In fact, there are two that are known across the UK as real hotspots. Crash Records is right next door to Headrow House and has a modest but diverse range of vinyl for you to peruse. Jumbo Records, meanwhile, is above The Key Club and is a sprawling record heaven, with every genre under the sun and staff that are always ready to lend a hand.

When you want to soak up the sun
It's a Bank Holiday Weekend and, chances are, the weather might not be too great because, come on, it's England. But, if the sun does pop his hat on, there are plenty of brilliant roof terraces and beer gardens to lounge in. Headrow House and Belgrave Music Hall both have fantastic roof terraces that are almost always drenched with sun on those rare wonderful days. Venture over the canal from the train station, and you'll find Water Lane Boathouse, with its sprawling beer garden sat right next to the canal itself.

When you just need to get away from the madness
Live at Leeds can be a stressful time. Running around, trying to fit every band you want to see in. Sometimes you just need a break. Luckily, Leeds has plenty of amazing bars and cafes off the beaten track that'll be the perfect little rest stop. If it's a quiet coffee or tea you're after, Mrs. Atha's is the spot for you.
If you're after something a bit more alcoholic, try The Reliance or The Brunswick, both on North Street near Belgrave, or Northern Monk Brewery across the canal from the train station. The Angel, just off Briggate, is an oasis of cheap pints (around £2, you say? Sign me up) while Whitelocks, which is over 300 years old, is also tucked away quite nicely off Briggate too. If you just want to take in a bit of greenery, Woodhouse Moor between Leeds University and Brudenell Social Club is a nice little escape from the hustle and bustle.

You can find out more about this summer's festival fun in Dork's Festival Guide 2018 - order your copy below. Live At Leeds takes place on 5th May at various venues in Leeds.


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