The Green Room is Open

What do you get when you cross £3 million, one of the most desirable, historical locations in the City, and food from one of Leeds’ most loved cafes? It’s the hotly anticipated, two-years-in-the-making – The Green Room.

Brainchild of owners Will Habergham and Kirk Allen, The Green Room markets itself as a social space, coffee house and bar. The space itself had been hidden behind a botanical printed canvas whilst it was under construction, leaving passers-by keen to know what magic was being worked underneath. But the wait is over! The bar is open, the drinks are flowing, and The Green Room was more than worth the wait.

Opening from 8am ’til late, the venue is split over three levels. Entering at street level, guests are first greeted by a stylish open plan seating area, complete with comfy sofas, a fire pit, and gorgeous greenery everywhere. Inside, ceilings are high, open-brick walls bedecked with floral murals and jewelled green tiles; whilst rustic wooden tables span the entire length of the bar, with some booths offering a more secluded experience.

The bar itself offers a brunch and lunch menu, served between 8am and 3pm, during which time Green Room has a relaxed, social feel to it, with (well behaved) dogs and children welcome until late afternoon. After food service stops, the bar transitions into evening mode, with more upbeat music, live DJs, and regular barbeques and events.

Upstairs is quite possibly one of the best roof terraces in Leeds. Split over two levels, one sprawling lower level, and a smaller mezzanine, it is almost impossible to hear much else other than the ambient chill out music wafting over the speakers. Unusual for a venue so close to Leeds Train Station, but much welcomed. Bench tables line both floors, and living walls stand shoulder to shoulder with trees, shrubs, and flowers. The addition of fairy lights brings something of a secret garden feel to the space.

A blissful haven in the centre of the City, there is an upstairs bar, and a separate mini ‘quick pint’ bar serving Kirkstall Pale Ale, which is a nice touch – no one wants to queue behind 15 people ordering espresso martinis when all you want is a speedy cold pint! The décor with its juxtaposition of industrial touches and natural textures makes for a real sanctuary feel, and the stylish space wouldn’t be out of place somewhere like Berlin, or Amsterdam.

When we visited, the friendly members of staff greeted us, explaining that food is ordered at the bar and then brought over to the table from the open kitchen towards the back of the venue. The menu is brought to guests by Leeds favourite Grön Kafe, and features a stunning menu, including dishes such as avocado on toast topped with pickled onion, tomatoes and cucumber, smoky baked butter beans on toast, and a plethora of egg based dishes. Sweets include vegan blueberry pancakes, and the delectable-sounding pavlova French toast – crunchy cinnamon sugar coated brioche, crème pâtissiere, vanilla custard, fresh strawberries, biscoff crumb and maple syrup (writing this, I am already planning on ordering this next time!). In addition, the majority of the menu is vegan and vegetarian friendly, with cakes and muffins available on the bar also.

On our visit, my partner and I ordered the Grön Brekky – vegan sausages, tomatoes, herby mushrooms (which were amazing), baked butter beans, smashed avocado, spinach, toast and a yoghurt dip. The portion size was perfect, and real care had been put into each element on the plate, culminating in a beautifully flavourful breakfast. We also ordered the buddha bowl – spinach, tomato and red onion salsa, curried hummus (incredible), spiced chickpeas, cucumber, burnt lemon and mint yoghurt. There was the option to add halloumi too, which we did, and it really rounded out the dish. It was filling, light but hearty, and beautifully textured.

The drinks on offer are carefully curated. Those heading down for brunch might like to try one of The Green Room’s excellent North Star coffees (I tried an iced matcha which went down far too quickly, it was so moreish), or perhaps choose from the selection of teas. There are also freshly squeezed juices available, like the Grön-tox – a refreshing blend of spinach, kale, mint, apple and matcha, and the perfect post-gym (or post-hangover) pick-me-up. The bar serves a good selection of wines, including a more unusual orange wine, cocktails, and beers from the likes of Northern Monk, Magic Rock, and Kirkstall Brewery.

For those travelling to Leeds, or those wanting a night away from home, The Green Room also houses two stunning two-bed loft apartments located on the very top floor of the venue, for short stays and weekend visits. Featuring parquet flooring, a kitchenette, and cloud-like beds, and continuing the theme of open brick walls and botanical touches, the apartments are available to book online now.

Green Room really does bring a breath of fresh air to the City. With its focus on not only food and drink, but also events, music, and wellness, it is set to become a firm favourite amongst those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle without having to leave the City centre. It is fantastic to see a beautiful and unique independent venue bless the people of Leeds with such a worthwhile destination, and for that, we thank them.

See you at the bar!

36 Wellington Street, LS1 2DE,

Photography by Asli Champion.

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