Leeds Locals: An Interview with Sophie Bradshaw

March 23, 2023

Welcome to the first post in our new series “Leeds Locals” where we get some of our favourite clients/influencers/friends/fellow business owners to spill the tea on their must visit spots in Leeds. To start we have an interview with Sophie Bradshaw (@sophbradshaw) who has been a client of ours for a while now but who also happens to be one of our favourite people to follow on instagram.

Welcome Sophie! Could you maybe start with a little introduction on you, when you moved to the city and what you do for work?

Hello, hello! I’m Sophie, and I’m a content manager at a marketing agency here in lovely Leeds. I moved here for the new job back in September 2021… and honestly? I don’t have a bloody clue where the time has gone. It seems my list of places to eat/drink/visit is just as long as it was back then; like I’ve spent the last year and a half either in the office or watching Gilmore Girls in my flat (of course, that’s not true. My addiction to pickles requires me to leave the house at least once a week).

Mind you, I have discovered the best spots for negroni’s, flat whites, and manicures (oi oiiii), so I think you can agree that this means I’ve been successful in covering the fundamental tools of a fulfilling life.

So it’s Sunday morning and you’re nursing a mid-range hangover, the kind that makes you inexplicably hungry for something you know is going to make you feel either 100% better or 100% worse but you won’t know until you try, where are you heading?

Alright, first things first, we need to get some caffeine (that’s after a litre of water and a berocca for good measure). In this instance, it’s got to be IF coffee. They use North Star beans, which are literal magic nuggets that provide instant joy – even on a hangover. If they have a table – which is extremely unlikely – I’ll stay there for a basic ass brunch of avocado toast. Should they be full – which is extremely likely – I’ll be going down the road to Mrs Athas. Not only do they have an immaculate menu (think loaded chicken sarnies, wholesome soups with huge slabs of bread, and buttery scrambled eggs) but the toilet decor is nothing short of wonderful. It is essential for you to visit just so you can marvel at the antique table next to the bog.

Counter that – it’s Saturday morning, the sun is shining and you are feeling super smug after a morning workout at Barrecore, you want all the greens and all the goodness. Where are you getting breakfast?

Well, Wolfox down Wellington Street is probably Leeds’ top wellness spot. That was a lot of W’s… anyway. It’s very light and airy in there, which I reckon would match the #cleangirlaesthetic I’d be trying to give on that particular day. Emphasis on the word trying… it would be going so well until I miss my mouth while taking an ‘’elegant’’ sip of liquid greenery. RIP to yet another white sweatshirt.

You’ve got some friends coming to stay from London and you want to pull out all the stops to show what Leeds has to offer & tempt them into moving. What would your day look like?

I love this question! It makes me so happy having people to stay, and although I’m not from here I can’t help but feel a nerdy sense of pride when showing Leeds off to them. We’ll wake up early because I can’t sleep past 7am – and they therefore would have no choice. I’d make them a swanky breakfast to make up for the prompt start, then we’ll head out for a good old MOOCH. Who doesn’t love a mooch! We’ll go to the vintage shops, of course. Blue Rinse, Cow Vintage and Pop Boutique are great – you could spend hours getting lost in there and wondering who owned that fabulous dress, and when, and how many hearts they broke whilst wearing it. For lunch, Trinity Kitchen is a must – it’s got a load of street food vendors all in one place which is perfect if you and your mates all fancy something different. It’s speedy service too, so you can quickly be on your way to continue the mooch fest. Kirkgate market is probably my favourite place in the city – it’s brimming with culture, life, stories, and every form of vegetable you could imagine. We’d definitely spend a while there, then stop for coffee at IF. For drinks, it’s got to be Headrow House because we love a Cocky-T Deal (2 for £12, girlies!) and then dinner. I love Bundobust, Blackhouse Grill, and Livin’ Italy to name a few. Would ideally like to be in bed with a cup of tea by 10pm pls n thanks.

Best thing you can order on Deliveroo for under £10?

Pho’s vietnamese soup, with all the coriander and chilli and tofu and bean sprouts and whatever magical stuff it is that they put in that broth. It never lets me down!

It’s a friend’s birthday and you’ve been tasked with planning the night, something low-key because she wants to be home by midnight (don’t we all) but good vibes all round, where would you book?

You know what, Domino Bar and Sela Bar are both great spots – and they’re really close together which is suitably handy for the friends who opt for heels (power to them). For dinner we could head across the road to Wens Restaurant for a really, really good Chinese, and then we could finish off the night at Smokestack. They open the top floor for an incredible music set at 10pm on weekends, so I’m thinking we could rinse the last couple of hours there before our social batteries reach 0% at 12pm. I’ll get the kettle on, shall I?

Your other friend wants the opposite – the infamous “big night out”, joining the McDonalds queue at 3am kind of night. Where do you take them after midnight?

These are not my friends.

You meet a magical genie who can grant you an unlimited budget at any restaurant in Leeds FOR LIFE – where would you pick?

Tattu! I really enjoyed it when I went, but it was bloody spenny. I’d like to be able to eat that Wagyu steak every week without going into serious debt, please.

Finally we’d love to know if there’s a spot in Leeds that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, it could be a restaurant, bar, shop, museum, anything really. Tell us your hidden gem!

Leeds Central Library is an absolute haven, if you ask me (you did ask me). Just one of those places that makes you forget about the ‘outside world’ the moment you step inside, and I love that it feels a bit like you’re stepping back in time. Also, the Tile Cafe in the museum just next door is bloody beautiful so it’s worth stopping there for an afternoon of exceptional tiling admiration. I’m a Catholic, so I’ll often call in to St Anne’s Cathedral to light a candle and gather my thoughts – something I find particularly comforting on those high-anxiety days. Another place I like to go is the Asian supermarket down Vicar Street. So many kimchi’s, noodles, teas, sauces and funky snacks. INCREDIBLE.

*Immediately texts group chat to book in a trip in to town* – seriously though Sophie, thank you SO much for taking such time to answer these for us. It’s always so lovely to read about other local’s versions of Leeds as we can certainly be guilty of sticking to our tried & tested but it’s so important to venture out and try somewhere new. We hope everyone else is feeling equally inspired reading our interview with Sophie Bradshaw, and please do feel free to follow Sophie on instagram (@sophbradshaw) where she captures her daily city life in that aesthetically beautiful way we can only dream of!

Sophie Bradshaw Instagram Page

To read more of our posts, interviews and recommendations please had to our blog here.