I spent a couple days in Leeds for Blog North 4, it was only a quick trip but I made sure to fit in a few delicious bites and plenty of Northern goodness from the city. Usually when I visit Leeds, it’s for shopping and catching up with friends, we stay in the City Centre but this time I wanted to explore Leed’s honest food scene with a twist.
I went along to We, The Animals’ first seasonal pop-up restaurant, The Beast and The Swine. Where I stayed satiated with East Coast crab (seafood from Bridlington), ale cured ham served with own-made focaccia, Yorkshire Wolds chicken and had my first taste of veal tongue!
We, The Animals are a Leeds-based collective of four food enthusiasts; two of their team are professional chefs and the other two members are seasoned front-of-house waiters/bartenders. Their 8 course menu compromised of strictly local and seasonal produce, aiming to arouse diners’ senses and unveil the underbelly of Yorkshire cuisine. The Beast and The Swine was held in Trinity Church, I’d never eaten a meal in a church before, a first for everything but this helped to set a nice air of curiosity into the evening.
I was seated on a very long table laid with mismatched crockery, a keepsake menu and tealights. There was a tasteful arrangement of strings of teared book pages woven around the pillars printed with graphical ink illustrations, animals in particular.
Food Glorious Food
Although the event was meant to be a casual and relaxed affair, it was certainly a night (for my belly) to remember. On arrival I was given a gin cocktail, in a baby’s bottle. It was a lovely refreshing cocktail and drinking out of a baby bottle felt odd but added to the enigmatic atmosphere of the night. Starters were a smorgasbord made up of rabbit rillettes, cider-glazed ham, smoked mustard sausage served with vegetables, a tasty broad bean hummus (delicious!) and freshly baked focaccia. This was a very hands on course, where we shared the board with other diners, I used my fingers and made my own eating combinations with the multiple cold foods on a table.
The evening menu included courses with fish – which was creamy Bridlington crab and a pink grapefruit salad; a selection of meats – the bolito misto was a hearty plate of Yorkshire chicken, homemade spicy cotechino sausage and a slice of veal tongue served with a wedge of steamed savoy cabbage and dark lentils; platter of cheese and dessert was a croque-en bouche finishing with coffee served by Laynes Espresso and petit fours which were handmade chocolate neatly wrapped and tied with a lovely hand illustrated gift tag.
The Beast and The Swine was a truly unforgettable meal with lovely hand finished details (candles, illustrated gift tags and artistic wine arrangements), alongside a creative menu that highlighted the most of the local and seasonal of spring produce – plus, I had my first taste of veal tongue, and that’s definitely not going to be an experience I’ll easily forget!
Filling up on Northern Goodness
Thank you Leeds for filling me up on an abundance of sensual pleasures. With the Leeds Food Festival on the horizon, I’m looking forward to discovering more of the Leeds’ independent restaurants, bars and cafes food scene.
A big thank you to the New Ellington Hotel for making my stay so welcome too. With its stylish interior and lovely big comfortable bed that took all my might to prise myself from. It was an ideal place to settle down for the night and freshen up before my trip back down to London.
Note: All my posts are about things I love and want to share with my readers. The integrity of what is written is extremely important to me – all my thoughts, writing and opinions are solely mine (unless stated otherwise) – Missie/ Cindz