Christmas 2016 in Leeds

I recently received a request to do a feature on places to go in the run up to Christmas, so here it is! Whether you are on a work do, with a group of friends or on a date night, there should be something here for you…whatever your budget!

Pieminister

When your nose and ears are numb with cold and you are crunching through the Autumn leaves as you trudge through town, I challenge you to walk past Pieminister and not go in. At the very least, you will feel pangs of temptation. You’d do well to listen to them.

No frills just good old fashioned pie and mash. Don’t get me wrong there is array of fancy flavours available but when it comes to comfort food, look no further. I went for beef steak and craft ale, playfully named Moo. At £7.50 for pie, mash and gravy you can’t go wrong. They also do puddings and drinks. Great for a Christmas lunch with work or a cosy date.

Great for: Groups and Dates

http://www.pieminister.co.uk/

Stockdales Of Yorkshire

It’s no secret that I’m a Stockdales fan. They are such a good all rounder and their Christmas menu looks divine. Two courses for £24.95 or three courses for £29.95. For me, the desserts are the star of the show boasting options such as chocolate orange Christmas pudding and Panettone bread and butter pudding. Great for a family meal.

Great for: Groups and Dates

http://www.stockdales-restaurant.com/

Fazenda

If you love meat then you can’t go far wrong with Fazenda! It has a fantastic atmosphere and the unique style is great fun, particularly in groups. I love the little extras that you get, the Empanadas and cheesy bread rolls to start and the mini fryers of fries. The salad bar is immense! This is a salad bar like no other, here you will find smoked salmon, stuffed vine leaves, sushi as well as standard salad items and some hot dishes! The difficulty is not getting too full on salad before the amazing meat starts doing the rounds. Several different cuts of meat are brought to your table by the Passadores and you just have to decide if you want it or not! The Passadores will ensure that you get meat cooked to your liking and you can request anything from the menu that hasn’t made it’s way around to you yet. At Christmas they usually add a special meat to their Christmas such as Duck. You can expect to pay a bit more than usual for Christmas menu’s but they usually include dessert and a glass of fizz. The usual (non-Christmas) evening price is £29.50. Lunch is cheaper at £17.50/£19.50 depending on the day and you don’t get the full range of cuts of meat. There are a few copycat versions of Fazenda now and I can’t say I’ve tried any of them but for me Fazenda is the one to try. The food, service, decor, location and atmosphere all make it a great evening out. The cocktails and wine list are great here too!

Great for: Groups

http://www.fazenda.co.uk/leeds/

Kendells Bistro

Kendells has a gorgeous romantic vibe, great for cosy date nights. It has a busy feel without being too lively or crowded. It’s quite dimly lit, giving it that cosy French bistro feel. The menu is good, hearty french food. If you let them know if it’s a special occasion, they will look after you. I would recommend this as a date night venue, however, they are doing a Christmas party menu for £32.90. I would say it would suit a family or close group of friends but could be a bit intimate for a work do.

Great for: Dates

http://www.kendellsbistro.co.uk/

Viva Cuba

Okay, so you hear Viva Cuba, you don’t immediately think Christmas. Don’t rule it out though. Viva Cuba is a gorgeous tapas place in Kirkstall. Passing different dishes around the table fits with passing the sprouts around at Christmas, right? Who cares, Viva Cuba is amazing! Gorgeous flavours, generous portions and great cocktails. They very rarely change their menu which is perhaps a downside for those who want to try different things but personally I have a few favourite dishes there and I would maybe cry a little bit if they left the menu. I particularly like the lamb stew and the fishcakes with lime salsa. Tapas dishes are all around the £5 mark, you will pay more for meat and cheese platters. My husband and I have had tons of date nights here, it’s a lovely cosy yet atmospheric feel. You could be forgiven for thinking you were on holiday until you went out on to Kirkstall Road. Also, I’ve had many great evenings here with family and friends. Great all rounder!

Great for: Groups and dates

http://www.vivacubaleeds.co.uk/

Pintura

While we are on the Tapas theme, I have to mention Pintura. Pintura are relatively new to Leeds and I am so glad they came to the party! They are a little more upmarket than your standard Tapas bar and they specialise in food from the Basque region.Their food and cocktails are presented immaculately and the venue itself is a beautiful setting. They are doing a Christmas party menu starting at £24.95 per person. For that price, you get a nibbles, starter and a selection of Tapas. Add a set dessert and it becomes £29.95 per person. Add a glass of Cava and it’s £32.95. The food is gorgeous and they have a wonderful little Gin bar downstairs.

Great for: Groups and dates

http://www.pinturakitchen.co.uk/

Ambiente

Rounding off Tapas bars is Ambiente. Located in Leeds and York, Ambiente is another upmarket Tapas place. Personally I think the Leeds venue is much better than the York venue in terms of location and quality. The building of the Leeds venue is beautiful and has a romantic feel. Typically Tapas makes me think of groups but this really is a great date night venue. They are doing a Christmas party menu for groups of  8 or more at £29.95 per head. That includes starter, Tapas and dessert.

Great for: Groups and dates

http://www.ambiente-tapas.co.uk/

Blackhouse

I was reluctant to include Blackhouse because my one and only experience there was awful. For years, I had walked past Blackhouse restaurant in Autumn/Winter time and felt that it oozed Christmas feel with it’s fairy lights in the window. I went there for a Christmas meal with colleagues. The food was quite nice I think, not very memorable but that’s not always a bad thing. The service is where we were let down. The waitress was so argumentative despite making a big mistake with the bill, it is due to this that I have never returned. However, One poor waitress shouldn’t spoil it for everyone so give it a go. The menu looks really nice if you are looking for good flavours and Christmas dinner feel without being too fussy. Lunch is £25.95 and Dinner is £30.95.

Great for:  Groups and dates

http://www.blackhouse.uk.com/leeds

Shear’s Yard 

I really like Shear’s Yard. I think the building is gorgeous, the food is interesting and well presented and it has a great cocktail list. The Christmas menu looks fantastic. There are options for those looking for something more traditional and the more adventurous eater. The aromatic cured venison, pear remoulade, cranberry jam and tarragon starter has my name all over it! Very reasonable price of £19.95 for three courses. Hmm…I wonder if they would like someone to review their menu and blog about it???

Great for: Groups and dates

http://www.shearsyard.com/

 

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