24 Hours in Leeds - Unboxing My City

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I have to admit it - I had started to fall out of love with Leeds a little bit last year. I was already feeling a little bit stuck in a rut with the city and then after a truly shitty summer, I hated being away from my family. Leeds had stopped feeling like home and I wasn't spending very much time here at all. This was kinda inconvenient considering we'd just bought a bloody house here, so when the new year rolled around I was determined to rekindle my love for the city that I've spend the last 9 years getting to know. I scheduled catch ups with friends and started saying yes to Leed blog events again. Sam and I planned more city centre date nights and made an effort to hit up some new spots that we've meaning to try for a while. We revisited some old haunts and forced ourselves to remember what we love about living in our little village.

And it's worked - I feel happy here again. In fact, it's more than just feeling happy here - I feel content, I feel excited and I feel proud to call Leeds home again. So when the guys at WatchShop got in touch and asked me to unbox the city for you guys, I was ON IT.

I feel like sometimes Leeds can get overlooked when people are planning a UK city break - it isn't as big as London or as edgy as Manchester. But there is plenty here for everyone to enjoy and to prove it, I'm going to show you how to spend the perfect 24 hours in Leeds...

9AM – Grab a coffee at Layne’s Espresso

24 hours in leeds laynes espressoSo first things first, let's grab you a drink. There’s a couple of great coffee spots in Leeds, but my favourite by far is Layne’s Espresso. Positioned right next to the train station, it’s the perfect place to pick up a bit of caffeine to fuel your day.

10AM – Brunch at Ox Club

Now you’ve had a coffee and are feeling fully awake, you’re probably going to need some food in your belly too. Ox Club is well established as the bloggers’ fave brunch location in the city and there’s good reason for it! The interiors are suitably hip and the food is to die for – I always order the steak and cheddar eggs, but the pancakes are pretty delicious too.

11AM – Shopping at Victoria Gate

24 hours in leeds victoria gateIf you have a bit of a weakness for shopping then Leeds is the place to be! The newly opened Victoria Gate is the best place to start – with a gigantic John Lewis, Anthropologie and & Other Stories, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you’re not in the spending mood it’s still worth heading down for a little wander as the building itself is pretty gorgeous.

2PM – Drinks at Belgrave Music Hall

24 hours in leeds belgrave music hallAll that shopping has probably got you ready for a drink and a sit down so head to Belgrave Music Hall, one of my fave bars in town. If the weather is good head to their rooftop terrace and if you’re feeling peckish treat yourself to some pizza from the Dough Bars slice bar. They also hold a regular street food festival on the second Saturday of every month.

4PM – Watch a movie at Everyman Cinema

We’re blessed with quite a few cool cinemas in Leeds, but my favourite own to head to is Everyman Cinema. With a fully stocked bar, giant screens and comfy sofas instead of chairs, it’s one of the best places to cosy up and enjoy a film. If there’s a few of you you can even hire a private screen, which is bound to win you cool points with your friends.

7PM – Dinner at Cielo Blanco

You’re probably starting to feel a bit peckish now so get yourself to Cielo Blanco for a delicious Mexican feast and a couple of margaritas. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who visits Leeds as it’s my absolute fave – everything is yummy but the fish tacos are to die for, so make sure you order those!

9PM – Drinks and dancing

portobello road ginIf those margaritas you had with dinner have got you in the mood for more drinks and maybe even a little dance then you’re in luck – Leeds has got some pretty epic nightlife for you to enjoy. Merrion Street is a fun place to enjoy a cocktail or two, or head to Call Lane for a night of bar hopping and Jager-drinking!

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So there you have it - the best way to spend 24 hours in Leeds! Have you ever visited the city before?

*This post was in collaboration with WatchShop. I worked with them on their Unbox the City project, revealing the best places and must-see spots in my hometown of Leeds