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Alexander’s Skipton

It’s been almost a month since Alexander’s Bar and Restaurant opened.  Last week I was invited along for ‘a taste of ‘.  It wasn’t what I expected.

The (impressive) website said ‘European inspired’… and my self-talk went something like “European…Skipton… ok then!”

I LOVE that “Wow” was the first thing we said once through the doors.

I LOVE it when a place does that to you!

The above view is the back of the property (from the road-bridge across the canal), the entrance is round the front directly opposite the castle.

A tiled parlour is a welcoming entrance to this Grade II listed building.  On arrival you’re greeted by a friendly face asking if you’re looking for drinks or have a reservation.   With booths and stools, this is a bar area by night and serves morning coffee and pastries from 8am.  A gelato bar is in the pipeline… (they’re big on gelato here).

Twelve meters of pewter bar runs along the walk-way from front of house to the back, attention to detail is what makes this environment so appealing – (or should I say a-peel-ing as the owners are PEEL Entertainment Group providing entertainment for many cruise ships round the world, hence the amazing screens!

The transition from the Edwardian front, to the modern feel at the back is effortless.  Colonial palm prints and gold pineapples (chosen long before they began trending) take you away some place, as does the food!

We have small plates (think tapas) and it’s seriously good food (halloumi fries?!  Genius!).  The chef wearing a flat cap (they all have flat caps on here!) sits at our table and chats with us.  We talk about the food but also about the challenges faced in opening and staffing a place like this given its location.  He isn’t about ‘the sell’ or trying to impress us and neither is our host, both are genuine, honest and open – I like that.

Outdoors is a ‘not so’ Secret Garden.  I’m a huge fan of al-fresco and this is a quality experience!  Landscaped terrace with patio heaters, huge umbrellas and glass awnings mean our unpredictable British weather isn’t a problem for diners.  The lower level overlooks the canal which is rather lovely and very Yorkshirey.

Whilst sat eating, my friend Sarah and I are talking about the people we’ll bring here and all the occasions this place will suit.  We had a great first experience, and I for one think it’s a beautiful addition to Yorkshire.

You can visit Alexanders website here – (it’s worth it just to see the fancy moving palm leaves part and the day/night pics!)

~O~

 

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds

Banyan Leeds is the fourth ‘Banyan Bar & Kitchen’ to be opened in Yorkshire.  Though you wouldn’t know from the exotic name, the ingredients are sourced from local suppliers; Banyan is very much a Yorkshire affair (and there’s 20% off for Lifestyle Yorkshire readers at the end of the post!)

Situated on the site of the Old Post Office in Leeds City Square, (directly opposite The Queens Hotel), it is in a fantastic location.  Outdoor seating is always a must when the warmer temperatures arrive and there’s 120 covers to ensure not a moments rays will be missed.

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Ahead of it’s launch on April 22nd I was invited to a blogger event which involved tasting bite-sized food and sampling cocktails.  My taste buds were delighted!

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The restaurant is split over two levels, downstairs has a simple industrial feel; upstairs is dark and decadent.

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As the blogger event began, it became quickly apparent that they know what they’re talking about. From navigating the industry they’re in (hospitality/catering), to the details of the cocktails, wine and food… there’s thought gone into Banyan.

What results for you and I is a tantalising (and may I add, affordable) menu for breakfast, lunch, evening meal and late-night drinks.

Fussy eaters welcomed (my words not theirs); CEO Martin Wolstencroft reiterated the need to be on the ball with ever-increasing spectrum of dietary requirements.  For example, at breakfast you could have a Full English, or pancakes.  If neither of those is to your liking, there’s smashed avocado on toast, or you could go for Super Granola (No grains, no dairy, no gluten, no wheat, no sulphites)!

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 4Our arrival drink, a pea and mint bellini.

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 9Teriyaki belly pork.  Am not a great lover of pork – these bites were incredible!

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 10Crushed avocado & pea toasts.  Crispy duck spring rolls.Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 11 Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 12Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 13Vanilla cheesecake.  Salted caramel and chocolate torteBanyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 21

When you’re left wanting more, it’s always a good sign.  My return date to Banyan is booked for a few weeks time and am looking forward to full-sized meals, hopefully sat outside!

You can visit the Banyan website to see the full menu here

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READER DISCOUNT:

Banyan Leeds have kindly offered readers of LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE 20% off.  Simply quote LIFESTYLEYORKSHIRE20.

(Code must be quoted at time of booking and booking made through http://arcinspirations.com/banyan-leeds/bookings.  All offers are subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All offers can be withdrawn at any time (without notice). Offer valid until 31st May 2016.)

~O~

 

The Star Inn The City

Late 2013 The Star Inn The City opened on the bank of The River Ouse in York.  Sourcing most of their produce from Yorkshire, we had to check it out in its first week of opening and were wowed.  Andrew Pern has created a masterpiece.

It has since been a first ‘port of call’ of the day to any outing to York and last week we returned once more on a family birthday for their divine waffles and pancakes with coffee.

You will love the country decor; clever touches here and there that simply make you smile.  It has the feel of home away from holiday home… log-fires, home-cooked food like the kind some clever member of your family cooks on special occasions (if you’re lucky!)  It is light, airy and spacious so you have room to go and be yourself.

We have yet to experience it in summer, when the decking overlooking the river will provide a glorious setting for chilled afternoon drinks; yet to taste lunch or evening meal.  But all in good time,  I get the feeling The Star Inn the City will be in the City of York for many more visits.

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