Well, here we are again in the run-up to Christmas. This means that thoughts are turning to the blowing of diets and budgets, letting rip for once in the year. If you haven’t given much thought about where to sample the Yule Fare then might I be so bold as to make a few suggestions. They are in no particular order of preference so loosen your belt and follow me:
There are vegan choices, such as curry roasted carrots, mint glazed tofu and almond milk panacotta, alongside the classic terrines, roasts and Christmas pudding. If you haven’t been for a while, it’s been totally refurbished so it’s the ideal time to go for a nosy!
If you like a proper pint with your Christmas fare but don’t want to settle for pie and peas (there is the whole year to enjoy those) then nip along to The Brunswick on North Street. They have 9 keg lines and 5 cask lines, so there’s bound to be a brew for you.
The food is a little out of the ordinary for an alehouse, with Tostadas being transformed for the Yuletide. They come with toppings of carrot puree, sausage and fennel, crispy bacon, apple sauce and sage. Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, the usual brunches and roasts will still be on offer.
If all of the above is not enough then they are throwing a New Year’s Eve Party ‘All My Friends’ with free entry and a buffet available for £2. Wow, what a bargain! I could invite all my friends and still have change from a fiver!
This old established Italian restaurant is offering a Festive a la carte menu (not available to Showtime diners) every day from noon, as well as Festive three-course lunch menus from noon to 4.45pm every day. Prices vary according to the day with Monday-Thursday being £25pp, Friday, Saturday and Sunday £35pp. The dinner is served from 5.00pm with prices at £30pp Sunday to Thursday and £40 on Friday and Saturday.
All right, all right, we will be getting our fill of traditional Christmas fare on the big day and probably eating the leftovers until Easter, so here are a couple of suggestions for a total contrast. Having said that, Bundobust is giving us their ever-popular sprout bhajis. I don’t understand why people don’t like sprouts. I love them, but even the naysayers can’t get enough of the little green spheres when Bundobust wave their culinary magic wand over them. They also have their festive curry, two brand new cocktails and the usual selection of dishes and beers. For dessert there is Northern Bloc’s chestnut and orange peel ice cream. Enough said.
Moving a little way outside Leeds to Drighlington, Prashad is joining in the fun with their Christmas Thali, which will be available from 14th to 31st December, but excluding 25th. The cost will be £29 per head. This is a restaurant on top of its game and so well worth the trip. It also comes in handy if you want a present for the foodie in your life. Kaushy Patel, the mother of Bobby – the owner of Prashad – has written a couple of excellent books packed with Indian vegetarian and vegan recipes. They also sell ingredients for that authentic taste.
Remaining in Asia, there is a range of Christmas menus at all of the branches of Sukhothai starting at £26 per person. Some of them are for a minimum of two people. The dishes are of traditional Thai origin, and again give a good contrast to the normal turkey and all the trimmings meals. The surroundings at all four of their restaurants are sumptuous and the perfect place for a bit of Festive self-indulgence.
Wherever you decide to go, have a great time, drink responsibly and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Stan writes Let’s Do Lunch for Leeds Living. He also reviews special events for food and drink, which sometimes takes him beyond Leeds. He has also developed an interest in writing on culture, most frequently dramatic and musical theatre.