Out of the Woods, Leeds
I’ve always thought of the Dark Arches as a perfect location for a Bond movie with the rushing torrents of the river Aire beneath and the Victorian brick arches above. Spooky.
By day, it’s a bit of a desert but at night there is a buzz about the place, residents are back home in their trendy city-living apartments, the cool/moneyed crowd are sipping cocktails and taking in the view from the 13th floor of the Double Tree by Hilton (silly name). There’s the wine bar Livin’Italy (silly name), Fazenda where you eat by some arcane traffic light system, Wasabi Teppan-Yaki with its pyrotechnics, but come the morning it can feel a bit soulless.
There is, though, this clever little day time café (7am-4pm) who we admire for being friendly and doing the simple things with care. Good sandwiches with bread from the lovely Frenchman, Thiery Doumouchel a brilliant baker in Garforth. They are deliciously well filled and original: sweet potato pakora, tzatziki, tomato and rocket; blue cheese, strawberries, dates and watercress to name just two. Thankfully they’ve dumped panini’s (they’ve surely had their cardboard day), in favour of toasties: cheese and Marmite; cheese and onion; corned beef, cheese and onion; Nutella and banana. Soups are supplied by Yorkshire Provender and cakes are too tempting to resist, especially the amazing Nanaimo bars (biscuit, butter, coconut, and a layer of custard!) supplied by Canadian Alleyne Oman over in Kirkstall.
To drink, there are proper pressed juices, smoothies, Teapig tea, herbal and Yorkshire tea, good coffee and the health drink of the moment, cocoanut milk.. An oasis in the desert.
Another branch at 113 Water Lane