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UK CitySlicker Claire: Meanwood on the Up

Living in Leeds with its huge student population, I often feel overwhelmed by the vast range of bars, pubs and clubs on offer and I have written articles about a few of them before. For this month's CitySlicker however, I am going to look at a couple of my new favourite bars, right round the corner from my house in Meanwood.

Photo by kneehigh85

Since we moved to Meanwood in 2008, my other half has been going on and on about how it is “on the rise” and becoming a trendier place to be. I took this with a pinch of salt really as I have always been happy here even when it wasn’t so trendy, and also Dave says a lot of stuff – it is a bit much to take in all the time! Anyway they recently gifted our lovely little area with not one but 2 new bars! So for this article I took my cameras and spent the day drinking and photographing.

First of all we went to “East of Arcadia” which is a large bar and brasserie type food place, which when it first opened I was not too sure about as it did not play music at all meaning that it was fairly un-atmospheric, particularly in the afternoons when it was quiet. I am now delighted to report however that they have a great selection of songs on at just the right volume so you can still chat very easily but if your drinking partner nips to the loo then you don’t get bored. It is a very cleverly titled pub as there it is actually a chain, with original “Arcadia” being in Headingley – somewhere to the west of Meanwood, hence where the “East” part comes from.

It is not the cheapest place ever but they do have a great selection of all “adult” type drinks – beer, ale, wine etc. I guess you’d maybe struggle if you wanted a cherry flavour VK but I think they are trying to steer clear of having a bar full of 18 year olds! They also do really nice food in there, and it is all a bit fancy for a pub menu really – great roast dinner on a Sunday though and for the lunchtime we visited, Dave and I shared a ploughmans type platter.

After here it was just a short walk across the street to the second new bar – “Alfred”.

Photo by kneehigh85

Again this is a chain, an offshoot from the popular “North Bar” in Leeds City Centre but due to how tiny this place is (think shed with high ceiling), it feels really homely and welcoming. They do the most amazing selection of fruit beers, as well as a good selection of other world beers too.

They also do food apparently but I have never experienced this. As far as design goes – this place, for me, has hit the proverbial nail on its head. The lights as you can see in the above photos are all fairly dull, but there are loads of different ones hanging from the ceiling by a wire. And then there are the toilets – felt a bit strange taking my camera in with me but you have to check this out.

This is the wallpaper in the ladies

All in all I would say Alfred is my favourite bar of the 2, but it is so small in terms of seating that it makes a weekend night unbearable in there. It is going to be my new favourite place when I have a day off work I think as it also boasts loads of vintage board games that you can sit and play whilst enjoying your beers.

written by kneehigh85

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