Recently, the lovely Sophie Cliff wrote a blog post about all the things she’s looking forward to this summer. It made me smile so much I was already thinking about doing my own post on a similar topic, and then this bout of hot sunshine hit us this weekend and it’s reminded me about all the things I love doing when the weather is warm in Leeds. So here are all the things I’m looking forward to doing in Leeds this summer…
Lunch Hours in Park Square
Sometimes spending my whole working week stuck at a desk in an office really gets to me, and never more than when it’s sunny outside. In winter I’m quite happy to stay on the warmth of the office all day, but in summer I pack up my sandwiches or grab a salad box from Sesame and spend my lunch hour sat on the grass in Park Square. It can get pretty packed on warm days, but when the flowers have bloomed and the ice cream van is around there’s really no better place to have lunch in city centre.
Hanging Out on Rooftops
The roof of the Belgrave has been a winner for drinking in the sun ever since it opened – the deck chairs, garden sheds and fake grass have stronger summer vibes than a 99 Flake. Angelica’s and The Alchemist have also joined the rooftop drinking club in recent years with their residency’s on the upper floors of Trinity, but the one I’m going to be spending a lot of time on this summer is Headrow House’s Kennedy Meadows, which boasts Redondo Beach cocktail bar and a food outlet that smells like heaven.
I’m not generally the most outdoors-y type, but when the sun’s out it feels just plain wrong to sty inside. There are so many great places to enjoy the outdoors around Leeds, whether you stay local at Roundhay Park, Ilkley Moor or Kirkstall Abbey, or go further out for a day in the Dales or at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I love having a picnic and walking around the lake at Roundhay, or climbing the steps to the top of Malham Cove if I have time to go further afield.
Day-Drinking at the Original Oak
Yes it’s full of students, yes the drinkers can get into a bit of a shabby state as the hours pass, but the Original Oak’s huge beer garden is one of the best places to get your day drink on. It’s totally casual as well, so you can rock up in a pair of shorts and a vest top and not feel out of place. During summer the staff set up a big screen so they can show sports matches, and often crack out a barbecue to satisfy the evening hunger pangs of the drunken masses.
Afternoon Ice Cream Runs
Last summer my colleagues and I got into the habit of exchanging biscuits for ice cream to help stave off the mid-afternoon energy crash, and that tradition has already started to appear this year as well. My favourite kind of ice cream run last summer was using the last 15 minutes of our lunch break to get tubs of Northern Bloc from their van in Trinity Kitchen – fingers crosses they’ll be returning this summer or I’ll have to make do with Twister multipacks from Tesco.
What are your favourite things about summer in Leeds? Let me know in the comments!