From secret gardens to rooftop terraces, we’ve selected a few of our favourite North Leeds spots to catch some rays while indulging in our new-found freedoms.
The Myrtle Tavern
While waiting patiently for restrictions to lift, landlord Scott Westlake spent his downtime revamping the expansive outdoor premises of his Meanwood pub with a marquee, vintage caravan and fairy lights in a magical transformation. His creativity seems to have paid off,
as on its first day back in business, the bar pulled just shy of 2,000 pints and over 700 bookings crashed the ordering app.
A popular spot for thirsty ramblers on the Meanwood Valley Trail, the pub offers a raft of guest ales with food trucks purveying street fare on the weekends, where you can discover a taste of the Caribbean at Big Phillies or grab a gourmet meatball (settle down!) at The Ball Box.
After a fire tore through its three-storey premises, the popular Stainbeck Corner bar restaurant rose from the ashes with a new rooftop terrace. A heated garden seating area and top floor balcony offer amazing views of Chapel Allerton, perfect for relaxing in socially-distanced solace. Or if you’re looking to get some work done in the sun, superfast broadband makes hot desking away from the home office a tempting prospect.
Specialising in traditional wood fired pizza, Mediterranean small plates and (you guessed it) craft beer, the kitchen churns out freshly prepared grub until 10pm on weeknights, ideal for making the most of the longer days with some late night al fresco dining.
The Beck and Call
Only months before the pandemic struck, The True Briton received a hip makeover from the brains behind city centre hipster havens Belgrave Music Hall, Headrow House and Water Lane Boathouse. As if custom-made for post-pandemic frolics, The Stainbeck Road boozer has a vast beer garden, which welcomed 10,000 customers in April alone, decked out in string lights and colourful parasols.
The kitchen puts a twist on classic pub fare with off-the-wall vegan options from tofu fish and chips to roasted jerk cauliflower wings. The May Bank Holiday saw the venue’s first event of 2021, with a beer and cider festival featuring indie food popups from the likes of Middle Eastern-inspired MorMor – hopefully signalling the first of many.
The Mustard Pot
Amid fears of closure, the north Leeds community stepped up to save landlady of 14 years, Nicola Storey, from losing her Chapel A gastropub due to mounting COVID-related debts, with a timely Crowdfunder appeal raising over £5,000 in a matter of hours.
Set back from Stainbeck Lane, the extensive Clough House grounds are a rare gem in bustling North Leeds suburbia, offering the unprepared the scarce luxury of walk-ins – but be quick, the heated patio and marquees fill up fast. Dogs are welcome, as are smokers, who have been indulged with their own marquee. With cocktails, a fine selection of cask ales and classic pub grub, you can ring in the summer in style. All we’re waiting for now is the annual MustardStock charity music festival to make a welcome reappearance for some much-missed musical merriment.
With its 2020 launch suffering unfortunate timing, Oakwood’s shrine to Yorkshire bovine is back slinging steaks and pouring cocktails from its oh-so-exclusive wraparound terrace. Formerly home to Café Sylva, the £500,000 renovation of Louis House provides an enviable position on the edge of Roundhay Park to rub shoulders with the glitterati overlooking the Oakwood Clock.
While the finest cuts of cattle are the highlight of the menu, herbivores will be kept happy with fancy vegan fare from butternut squash tagliatelle to a five-bean falafel burger. Those simply seeking a liquid lunch can partake in a cocktail menu curated by the chap behind the northern Ivy openings, while a serious selection of French chateaus and expensive malts encourage patrons to celebrate the lockdown lift in style.