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Eat out while you can!

20 July 2015
Eat out while you can!
With the sporadic thunderstorms finally easing off, it’s that time of year that we can only dream about during those months of cold winter winds. The time of year where we can all finally enjoy everyone’s favourite hobby – dining and drinking under the sky. There is something incredibly satisfying about eating in the outdoors and the feeling of freedom that comes with it. Not being cooped up in a noisy restaurant but able to enjoy some fresh air and (fingers crossed) sunny weather. More and more places in Leeds are cropping up with outdoor eating areas, so we’ve picked some of our favourites, both popular joints and lesser known venues, which offer fantastic food and the opportunity for some scenic dining.

Brasserie Forty 4

Brasserie Forty 4

For those looking for a romantic date location or a spot of scenic fine dining, Brasserie Forty 4’s outdoor balcony suspended over the River Aire is the perfect setting to treat yourself to some culinary luxury. Longstanding gastronomic leaders in the Leeds scene, their menu has been created with the intention to indulge with an intensive and award winning wine list to ensure the whole dining experience excels. The picturesque positioning of the family run restaurant means you can enjoy your meal to the soft burble of the river beside you as the restaurant embodies the building’s rich history while maintaining a contemporary feel.

Shears Yard

Snugly positioned in The Calls, Shears Yard is where culinary and cocktail expertise collide resulting in delicious food and drink couplings. Although the interior of the restaurant is expressive in its bare brick minimalistic style, the outside seating and dining area is quaint with the bridged entrance leading you into a decked seating area surrounded by sprouting flower boxes and whimsical fairy lights. This makes it perfect for a tranquil dining experience on a summer evening, with a new cocktail menu on the way to complete the seasonal vibes. Serving light lunches and fine dining dinners, with a fixed priced menu (Tuesday to Friday) and Sunday roast specials, Shears Yard has all the ingredients to create the seamless al-fresco experience.

The Botanist

Another Trinity favourite, the entrance to The Botanist has an almost fairy tale appeal with its ornate and decorative railings which fence in the outdoor eating area. Tucked behind Arts@Trinity (old church building) at the bottom of the centre, The Botanist is in many ways the hidden gem of culinary offerings at Trinity and allows a getaway from the sometimes hectic dining experience in the busy central locations. Though this positioning means it doesn’t always receive the most sunshine, there are numerous heaters which makes it the warmer option for outdoor eating once the sun has gone down. At night the numerous lily pad lights give the area a warm glow providing a cosy feel for those enjoying their deli, rotisserie and BBQ inspired dishes along with their famous botanical cocktails and craft ales.

Sociable Folk

Sociable Folk

Despite being located at the bottom of the office buildings at Wellington Place, Sociable Folk and their luscious outdoor seating area allows you a little escape from city life with tables set in a large grassy green area perfectly positioned so the office is out of site. With an extensive coffee list and an array of nutritious and healthy salads and sandwiches on the menu, Sociable Folk provides the ideal setting for business meetings and lunch dates - as well as a stress-free spot for those wanting to chill or work (free wifi and plugs available). Sociable Folk centres its culinary concepts on the sociable side of sharing and eating food and their ‘Meet and Eat boxes’ make the perfect picnic box to take away or enjoy in their gardens. With both breakfast and lunch deals on offer, Sociable Folk is worth the short walk from the train station for a little respite from the urban rush and the chance to meet and relax in the outdoors.


With some of the best views of the city and an enticing menu, Angelica grants the outdoor eating experience from a height. The bar provides table service so you don’t have to move an inch while soaking in the city scape and spoiling yourself and your company with an array of expertly executed cocktails and Michelin star meals. Popular with almost everyone for obvious reasons, it is a good idea to book particularly in the evenings and weekends when you want to a secure an outdoor table. Throughout summer Angelica will be holding various events in their urban roof top garden such as BBQs and ‘The Sunday Sessions’ outdoor music parties.

The Faversham

Nestled just outside the boundaries of the University of Leeds, the multi functioning venue may be better known to some as a hot spot for partying and gigs. However, their restaurant, located within a Victorian style lounge and conservatory, has a carefully selected menu, full of delicious pairings with daily specials and a well- stocked bar. On a sunny day their outdoor terrace provides a private and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy their homemade, fresh meals which work only with locally and ethically sourced ingredients. As well as various sandwiches, burgers and salads, their current menu includes a ‘braised’ section which includes pulled pork ashen slow cooked in caraway and balsamic and shredded ham hock with braising liquor and caramelised onions. Veggie options are adventurous, and move away from the stereotypical choices with offerings like the field mushroom burger packed with spiced chickpeas and green lentils, all making the perfect accompaniment for a pint in the sun.

Black Swan

Black Swan Article

As a Call Lane newcomer, Black Swan is the one to watch with two floors of dining and drinking escapades including a bar and pizza kitchen downstairs with a restaurant and terrace focused on contemporary British dining upstairs. Though compact, their terrace is secluded and charmingly decorated. Their menu utilises quality, local ingredients to provide innovative twists on gastro pub dining. This includes tempting dishes such as Confit Pork Belly accompanied by glazed rib, sweet potato puree and red wine pickled onions and pan fried Chicken Supremes with a chorizo and potato gratin, sweetcorn puree and spring greens. Run by the same people as established Leeds favourites such as Sandinista, Smokestack and the Blind Tyger, the venue combines concepts and extensive culinary experience to bring an exciting new hospitality venue to the city. The restaurant is currently running a fixed menu with 2 courses for £12.50 or 3 for £15.95, making it silly not to stop by and try the Black Swan and their restaurant terrace soon.

The Pour House

With the waterfront making an idyllic location to soak up the rays with a drink, The Pour House is ideally placed at the edge of the canal at Granary Wharf. With an extensive outdoor eating area, The Pour House has the festive feel of a pub garden but with the added bonus of the waterfront to a provide a serene element to the setting. They serve up some classic British pub grub with fish and chips and meat platters on the menu as well as their signature ‘Hanging Derricks’ (meat kebab skewers) and ‘The Pour Man’s Ribs & Wings’. Their drinks menu includes draughts both bottled and on tap and an accomplished wine list so there is no excuse to not pop by for a drink and a bite to eat while the sun is still shining.

Becky Peartree is our resident food writer and is in her final year at Leeds University where she studies English Literature.