Saturday, 17 September 2016

All Roads Roam To Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom
February 2016
I knew as soon as we entered the UK that I had to visit Leeds at some point to catch up with Charli, a lovely girl who I had worked with at the Ministry of Education in Wellington for some time. 
It was amazing to see her and her boyfriend Joe again, and as they had lived for several years in Leeds they were happy to show us around. With poor weather that weekend we didn't venture outside much, instead eating Thai at a restaurant down the road from them and watching some sporting event on the telly at a pub (probably football though I paid it little attention, preferring to chat with Charli). 
On the day of our departure, they took us to the Grand Arcade in the city centre, where we luncheoned at a vegetarian café. 

Dubbed 'Roots and Fruits', it was eccentrically decorated and filled with people - a sure sign of something good.

Opting for the Full English, I was extremely full by the time we finished and found myself wishing I had set my sights on something smaller. Such is life, and I do have a tendency to have eyes larger than my stomach. Will I ever learn my lesson? Probably not when delicious food is on the table.

Our next stop was a souped-up arcade that had done away with quaint bunting in favour of a more European look.

Built around 1900, it was designed to resemble the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, and though it's considerably smaller I think they did a beautiful job! 

There were also fruit mosaics on the floor. Win! As we were about to leave we noticed a commotion and found a celebration of the Chinese New Year materialise in the form of a large red dragon (not a real one) that danced about.
Walking to the train station, we were shown the old grain storehouse which had been converted into a stylish modern food court, and a few more historical buildings. Charli and Joe told us the story of another visitor from New Zealand who was mildly obsessed with the age of buildings and went around asking them "how old is that? how old is that?" When you first come from a new country like New Zealand, even a crappy building from the 1800's seems so historical. 

Today's post was almost called: Leeding the Good Life - Friends and Vegetables