When I went to the IceLolly.com event in Leeds a few months ago, it was the perfect excuse for a night away in Leeds. Another big Northern city, I have always enjoyed spending time in Leeds and don’t do it enough. Less than an hour on the train from Manchester, Leeds offers history, a beautiful river and cracking nightlife. I used to visit a little brasserie on Calls Lane many years ago and always admired the boutique hotel 42 The Calls. Luckily for me, the weekend I visited was incredibly competitive so, I booked!
My room was on the second floor with a gorgeous view of the river, which was so relaxing, listening to the lapping of the water on the riverside. The room was a fair size with authentic beams, vintage style features and rustic charm. Some of the areas were little dated, such as the carpet and rug near the bed, but it was clean and tidy. For the price, I think it is a real gem and not too far from some great bars and restaurants.
After a long day at the event, I could have happily snuggled into the bed for the evening and, with The White Company products for company, I could think of worse things to do. The fluffy robes and large tub were hard to leave! But leave I did and headed to Angelica for a belated birthday treat.
Like 42 The Calls, the views at Angelica are just stunning and you can see all over the city from up there. You can take it all in with a glass of fizz on the outside terrace, and I did exactly that. The staff were so sweet and ensured I had a complimentary glass to celebrate my birthday. The bar area is exquisite and lots of people had headed here just to enjoy the cocktails at the main circular bar area. I am a real fan of a restaurant where you are welcome to enjoy drinks too. It is something Manchester is getting right at the moment too.
I had an evening of drinks to look forward to so didn’t want too heavy a meal. I assumed the Cold Cut Meat Board would be a fairly small sharing starter, but I was wrong! Piles of milano and serrano ham are served with pork pie, gherkins, chutney and chunks of lightly toasted bread. It is just perfect for enjoying as nibbles alongside a bottle of wine, salty sliced meats and slightly sweet gherkins made sure it was also perfect before a fish heavy main for both my friend and myself.
I am totally addicted to Mussels right now and these ones were good. I saw the small side of fries and was worried I would leave hungry, that was until I lifted the lid on my bowl of mussels and saw just how many there were. It was pretty much full with a slice of garlic bread perched on top. The mussels were clean with no grit, in a light cream sauce that I mopped up happily with the bread and chips. My friend chose the Fish n Chips, which he declared was one of the best he has had in a long time, and he is incredibly picky. Flaky fish was housed in a light and crispy batter that was well seasoned, on top of a mountain of fresh fries, with a side of crushed peas and tartare sauce.
The service was excellent, attentive without being overly so, and always with a smile. We left after enjoying a couple of drinks on the terrace, not too full yet completely satisfied. Just what you want when hitting the town for drinks without feeling bloated.
After several drinks we headed back to the hotel for the soft ‘sink into’ bed with fluffy pillows and thick duvet. Due to the age of the building I was awake quite early with the creaky floorboards above, but damn was it comfortable. I lay there happily reading my book and just spending some time thinking about nothing. Can you think of a better way to beat a hangover?