Oh the North.
Yup I was 100% that little snobby teen who grew up in London and so therefore thought it was the best place in the world and no other place would ever compete, so why would it bother trying?
I think living abroad for so long kind of changed my perspective on it a little, like no actually hey whadda you know, cool things DO in fact exist outside of London. I mean it's a big old world and all of that jazz. Truth is, I bloody hate the snobbery that Londoners (or worse, the people who move here in their 20s and call themselves Londoners.)
One of the reasons England is so fab, is that all of these cool cities are spread so evenly around the country, Brighton, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, I mean really, the possibilities are endless. And I tell you once you live in Australia, where the only two cultural hubs are an 8 hour drive from eachother and literal WEEKS in a car away from other sides of the country, you appreciate that.
I love London, and I always will. I remember being so scared the first time I got the tube by myself to go shopping with my friends, I love the big parks of south London, I love the fact that there is a Starbucks on every corner, and I love the memories I'm filled with everytime I walk the streets. The park bench where my heart was broken, the coffee shop where it was put back together, the slightly bent lamp post I kicked on a night out when I was eighteen, and the fact that so many people you meet are career focused, go getting, and well, just as motivated as I am. But I also know it won't be my home forever.
It's no secret that I'm eventually prepping to make a move up North, as much as I love London, the house prices, commute times, what you get for your money, and the way the industry is becoming more digitalised, well those aspects all speak for themselves really. And well, Leeds is quickly becoming one of my favourite places to spend time and explore. So if you're Yorkshire bound anytime soon, make sure to give these spots a quick gander, because truth be told, you really won't regret it.
NORTH STAR ROASTERS
The Docks is pretty much where I would be set on living if I did make the move, because I mean, IT'S JUST SO PRETTY. It's an easy 10 minute walk into the city centre, and filled with some pretty cool eateries and cafes. North Star has quickly stepped in and become the fave.
Now when it comes to coffee, I'm a pretty tough gal to please. I mean four years in Australia has turned me into a self confessed coffee snob, and as much as the basic bitch in me gets all excited over Pumpkin Spice lattes, hand me a flat white over a massive sugary one any day of the week, and I'm a happy gal.
North Star is one of those unique cafes that could be either an ideal working space or a perfect sunday brunch spot, and actually manages to seamlessly be both at the same time. It labels itself as a cafe and general store, and can pretty much be a one stop shop for awesome coffee, the best avocado on toast you've ever had, and a bunch of foodie pantry staples.
HAM AND FRIENDS
I mean I'm not sure if there is anything that makes me quite as happy as spending the afternoon lazing around eating meat and cheese boards and drinking wine, or if there is, I certainly haven't discovered what it is yet. But Ham and Friends in Leeds is JUST SO GOOD. A sister to the original, Friends of Ham, this one takes the decor to a new level, with a clean, open, Scandinavian inspired layout and reaches Blogger goals all around.
We spent the afternoon in such a beautiful setting, surrounded by incredible meats, cheeses and some awesome company. Their service is excellent, and tbh a week later, I'm still thinking about that Chorizo.
Basically the moral of the story is that Leeds is fab, and I seriously can't wait to get back up, eat the food, drink the wine, and maybe think about a fresh start sometime next year.