Where do you like to stay in the city centre?
Whenever I have the chance to stay in the city, I go to Quebecs. It’s a striking, rather elaborate terracotta building that used to house the Leeds and County Liberal Club. It still has a clubby feel, with its grand oak staircase and stained glass. It’s elegant and luxurious, but very relaxed. The staff are great, as is the bar. They also have their fair share of celebrity fans – look out for Bill Nighy’s self-portrait.
What is your favourite authentic Leeds pub?
Everyone in Leeds loves Whitelock’s Ale House. It’s the city’s oldest pub, built in 1715, with an amazing interior – polished brass, etched mirrors, copper bar – dating from the late 1800s. There’s a big choice of beers, and proper pub food served in proper pub portions. The Turk’s Head is adjoining, where it’s more about spirits, cocktails and wines. On nice days you can sit outside in the ginnel – very Leeds.
Where would you recommend for a lunch?
There are a load of fantastic places on Great George Street, so it’s hard to pick just one – but Fettle is my favourite lunch spot, whether just for me or when I’m entertaining. It is a very relaxed, Scandinavian café, great for vegan and gluten-free food.
And what is your favourite restaurant for dinner?
The Tetley Bar & Kitchen is in a stunning art deco former brewery that is a huge part of Leeds’s history. After a major restoration, it is such a joy to see it brought back to life and thriving, with a contemporary art space housed in the same building. It is a great place for a relaxed dinner, and does the best Sunday lunch in Leeds – all locally sourced ingredients, cooked brilliantly, and accompanied, of course, by a pint of Tetley’s bitter.
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