Not quite sure why I decided to watch Julia Jacklin in Leeds on a Tuesday when I could have gone to London tonight; perhaps you can explain that.

Two new Leeds GBG ticks, a great singer-songwriter in a new venue, and several failed attempts at tea (supper ?) in any of Leeds’s recommended eateries.  Perhaps it really is catching up with Manchester; nearly everywhere around the station was packed by 7pm.

I can only hope the team from Beeston will muck up in the play-offs and keep the city in its place come summer; Elland Road gets no better with age.

Neither does my sense of direction when leaving Leeds Station.  At least a hundred visits here, mainly to the Kremlin on the Hill, and I still can’t work out how to get to Mill Hill. One of these days I’ll make it back to the Scarborough Hotel and take proper  pictures of brown tiling.

The Scarborough

So my quest to sample Bundobust (an hour’s wait) and Friends of Ham failed, again.  I didn’t fancy more burgers either, but everything else in the Head of Steam was spot-on.


Richard Coldwell raised some understandable concerns about Camerons purchase of the Leeds Estate, but in Sunderland and here I’ve been immensely impressed by the feel of the places and the attention to detail.

The styling here is a bit self-consciously crafty, but it drew in a good mix of after-work drinkers and had a quality range of beers I’d actually heard of.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand what a Black IPA is, but that Northern Monk was cool, full-bodied and with a proper Northern head.  An NBSS 4 beer to end the month.

Looking at the photos, most of the folk here don’t look like office slaves, unless it’s incredibly casual in Leeds these days.


Oh, and they played the full version of “Layla“.

By this time I was starving and contemplated a Brew Dog burger, but even that was packed, so I made do with fresh air and a pint of Leeds Pale in the Lamb & Flag.


Unless I’m losing it, I’m sure this was a basic Tetley pub next to the Minster that served as first call on way from Quarry House to the station. If not, what was ?

Nothing basic about it now, of course, in fact I might have been able to get my mum in here, never mind Mrs RM.  WhatPub says “tasteful“, but not quite to my taste.

The Pale was so tired (NBSS 2) I’d have taken it back if this had been a Spoons, but that tells you more about Spoons than anything. From an interesting but excessive beer range (here we go again) Quantum State from Atom was better, but revealed itself about 15.7% short of full measure  once decanted from stem glass into pint pot.

I could write a blog about my overdue supper spot, but McNoodle King deserves your urgent attention.  Go for the Pad Thai, it’s startlingly messy. And if any of the folk in there are reading this;  I wasn’t drunk, I didn’t see the step.

McNoodle King

With half an hour to kill before the music at Headrow House, I succumbed to a half in at their self-styled “Beer Hall”.


In a line, – Shiny, shiny, bad times behind me (one for Simon, there).

It’s what you’d expect from a new place in Leeds,which is a compliment, in the main.  Most folk on the tank Urquell, quite a lot of takers for the North at £3.60 a pint, which I’m struggling to tell you now sounds like a bargain.

Without the benefit of a young person’s eyesight, I missed that Beer Menu above the bar and ordered the Atom IPA  at £2.75 a half. Worth every penny.

Whereas Julia Jacklin’s sold-out gig was one of the all-time bargains. You can judge the impact of a artist by the number of old blokes with tears in their eyes.  “Motherland” does it for me, but the title track of her LP is the one whose lyrics really hit home this week.

Don’t let your friends turn cold, while you burn to green

Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no good music these days.  It ain’t true.


  1. Ignoring the trite comments about catching up with the M-place (surely we would need to go backwards to do that?) and our football team, the Lamb & Flag was never a public house until Leeds Brewery converted the previously commercial premises into a pub. And a good job they did too. I thought it was a retrograde step when Leeds Brewery sold off their pub estate, for the brewery, the city and general healthy commercial competition. Head of Steam already have two boozers (Mill Hill & Headingley). I believe my fears are borne out by your comments on the beer in the Lamb & Flag? I returned a half in Crowd of Favours that was just vinegar. Comments from other drinkers seem to be suggesting the same. Cameron’s didn’t buy the Leeds Brewery pubs to enrich the city centre experience, or promote Leeds’ fabulous beer scene. No, they just wanted a piece of the action in the UK’s third largest city, and that’s what they got. I just can’t help thinking the average drinker in Leeds has been sold a pup.


  2. I do like the Tankovna Pilsner Urquell in HH though. I like HH, even though the cask ale quality can be hit and miss. Their Ox Club restaurant is of a high standard and reasonably priced, you should have eaten in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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