5 December 2014

The German Christmas market in Leeds

Every year, the Christkindelmarkt, or the German Christmas Market as we like to call it, comes to Millenium Square in Leeds. It's one of the most established Christmas markets in the UK, and it's an absolute must to visit if you're anywhere near Yorkshire.

I've made it to a bit of a tradition to visit it at least once every Christmas, and even though it looks exactly the same every year, it's a great way to get into that Christmas spirit, and munch on lots of nice food.

The traditional wooden stalls make you feel as if you've actually travelled back in time, and they create a really festive German atmosphere. 

There's something for the whole family, including a twinkling Christmas carousel for the little ones...

... and an Alp Chalet for the ones who feel in the mood to party! In here, there are yodellers, other German musicians, lots of beer and mulled wine, and of course some lovely traditional German food. However, if you're looking to get in to this part of the German Christmas Market, you have to be prapared to queue for quite a while as it's extrenely popular.

The rest of the market consists of authentic German stalls (over 40 of them!) where you can purchase everything from classic german salami and other delicious pieces...

...to sweets, bakeware, etc. There is a stall where they sell those yummy marshmallow filled chocolate pieces on a wafer (what are they called?) in tons of flavours - it's like a dream come true!

When it comes to their served food, I always go to the stall that sells potato pancakes served with cranberry sauce. It's absolutely mouth watering! This year, I even followed up with a gigantic crepe filled with nutella and banana pieces. *drool*

But if you're not there for the food there are still plenty of stalls selling other glitzy pieces.

You can find everything from pretty handmade candle holders, to carved wood items, crystals, and jewellery.

So as I've already mentioned - there really is something for the whole family at Christkindelmarkt in Leeds. If you haven't been this year already, I can really recommend you to go and soak up some Christmas feelings, and feast your eyes on all the delicious food and pretty sparkly things. 
The market opening times are Monday-Saturday 10.30am-9.30pm, and Sunday 10.30am-6.30pm.
Hurry up though! The German Christmas Market is packing up to go home after the 20th December!

26 November 2014

Review of The Restaurant Bar & Grill in Leeds

A couple of weeks ago I had a family visit from Sweden, and I really wanted to take them out for a meal that suited everyone’s taste. My other half suggested we take them to The Restaurant Bar & Grill, which is located in the old Post Office building in the heart of City Square, which is a bit of a landmark building here in Leeds.

The venue is very impressive indeed, with an extremely high ceiling and a wide spiral staircase that leads up to the indoor balcony area, where they have a few additional tables. The main seating area is downstairs, where there is also a bar.

When you enter The Restaurant Bar & Grill you are met by an enormous wall of wine bottles in a glass cabinet that divides the entrance from the actual restaurant. A machine inside the cabinet is programmed to pick out the wine bottle you’ve ordered for your meal – very impressive, and quite futuristic.

But apart from the fancy wine feature the restaurant is very classic, with a stylish and timeless interior. We were lucky enough to be seated upstairs on the balcony area, where we had a fantastic view of the whole restaurant. 

The waiters are very professional, and are very well looked after during your dinner. We didn’t have to touch the wine bottles we ordered a single time – the waiter kept an eye on our glasses and refilled them when needed. Makes you feel like an A-list celebrity, doesn’t it? ;)

To start with, me and my sister shared the salt baked heritage beets with goats cheese & toasted hazelnuts. If there is a starter on the menu including goats cheese, you can bet all your money that I will order it. I absolutely love goats cheese, and the combination of the salted beets and hazelnuts was divine!

My other half went for the Thai spiced fishcakes, which consisted of Atlantic wild halibut with tomato & lemongrass sauce. Not my thing, but he really enjoyed them.

For our main, we went all out and ordered the 450g Chateaubriand served with house cut chips, choice of sauce or butter, creamed spinach, roast tomato & mushrooms – I went for the Diane sauce, whilst my other half opted for the BĂ©arnaise. I know it’s against many restaurants’ beliefs, but I always order my steaks well done. I guess they’re afraid that it’ll go dry, but the Chateaubriand was lovely and juicy even though it had been cooked for longer. I absolutely love the creamed spinach as well – it’s such a good side for this dish.

My mum really surprised me during this dinner, and ordered the Barbeque sharing platter for two which people usually have as a big starter for her main. It’s really not what I thought she would go for, but she was munching away, really enjoying the different pieces of hickory smoked ribs, chipotle wings, home smoked hotdog, pulled pork bun and house slaw.

My sister is a very picky eater, and we always say that she eats like a hen (I guess that’s a Swedish saying). She has a very small appetite, and only ordered some different sides as her main. The field mushrooms topped with garlic & parsley were absolutely fantastic, and she accompanied them with some roasted root vegetables and BĂ©arnaise sauce.

The Restaurant Bar & Grill really caters for everyone with their classic menu, and we all had a lovely meal out.
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