Leeds Locals: An Interview with Lydia Rose

February 27, 2024

Today we're speaking to Lydia Rose, a client and friend of the salon whose curiosity for Leeds and the surrounding areas means she's always willing to travel to try something new & exciting - be it a cafe, brewery, gig or hobby. We thought she'd be the perfect person to interview to find out some of Leeds' hidden gems...

We know you love live music, what's your favourite venue for a pre-gig pint? (or what's your favourite venue - up to you)

It depends on where the gig is, I do enjoy a drink and a slice of pizza at Belgrave. Can't really go wrong with a slice of ‘queen brie’, plus they do half price slices before 7pm! My favourite venue is a tough one - I enjoy all of them but I do prefer a smaller venue as it's more intimate and fun. My top gig venues in no particular order: Brudenell Social Club, Headrow House, Belgrave Music Hall, The Wardrobe, Project House and Oporto. Hyde Park book club also host some cosy little gigs too. 

You're showing a friend around Leeds. Where would you take them?

I'd take them for food at IF cafe or Mrs Athas and take a stroll around the shops or down the canal. If we head towards the canal I'd probably grab a coffee from Fearns and nip into Hold Fast Bookshop. It's a book & plant shop on a boat moored at Leeds Dock, & it’s very cute. If my friend enjoyed a bit of art, we would head to Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. Generally a lovely chilled day of roaming around shops and catching up.

You want to get out of the city for the day, where do you go? (countryside or another city)

I enjoy going to Manchester a lot but if I'm wanting more of a chilled day I'll head to Saltaire and roam around Salts Mill. I’ll grab a coffee at Tambourine up the road and wander along the Canal. On the edge of Leeds, Sunny Bank Mill is also great for art exhibitions and a chilled beer at Amity Brewing. If I want to go charity shopping I tend to head to Headingley, Morley or Meanwood & Meanwood Valley Park is also great for a chilled walk.

We know you're a bit of a fitness fanatic, do you have any classes or exercise spaces you'd recommend?

I really love going to Bounce, a trampoline class with dance remixes. It’s a lot of fun and a good workout. I also love bouldering and would recommend The Depot in Armley and The Climbing Lab in Kirkstall. Both offer classes & training if you're new and don't know how to get started, and Depot also hosts women’s social and LGBTQ+ nights. I also go to roller-skating classes & recommend Roller Girl Gang - they’re based in Leeds Corn Exchange and do roller discos there. I have my eyes on some aerial classes at the moment too and I’m always up to try something new.

You have an unlimited budget for life at one Leeds restaurant, which one would it be?

This is a tricky one! I recently went to Galleria and I could probably eat the hash brown & smoked salmon dish I had ten times over so that's definitely up there. Maki + Ramen is newer spot I'd be happy to consume my weight in food at, or an unlimited amount of Okra fries from Bundobust would be grand. Bahn & Mee in Leeds Market are delicious too, oh and anything from Owt... I really like food!

Do you have any hidden gems you'd like to shout about? It could be a museum, shop, park, anything!

I'm not sure how hidden these are but If you like vinyl and plants, Plant and Deck (located inside Imaginarium, just off Kirkgate) will sort you out with both. I really enjoy Colours May Vary in the Corn Exchange for Indie makers, books and artsy stuff. Sofar Sounds hold gigs for small artists in venues around Leeds - the venue is only announced 24 hours before you go, which lets you explore new places within Leeds and music in a pretty sweet way. Left Bank is also a really cool place and always has loads of different events on, and most recently I went to a Live Dog Drawing workshop there. I didn't draw much but I melted over the dogs and patted them at any opportunity!