Category Archives: Eat

HOLY GUACAMOLE! – Cielo Blanco

Cielo Blanco – Trinity Leeds

Hey guys, I just thought I’d give myself a brief introduction before I jump on in and start rambling! My name is Natalie, but I also go by Lea, it depends on where I’m geographically located as to what people call me. I’m 21 and a graduate of Leeds Uni. I studied Law as an under grad, but am now doing my LPC (lawyer training) and also my business MA, at BPP in Leeds. You’ll normally find me eating (I’m a hopeless cook, but I love to try new food), listening to some form of soul/funk/jazz, travelling, or doing something/anything to do with cars. I live with my flatmate and a small herd of rabbits just outside of Leeds City Centre, but I’m also found knocking about in Manchester, Preston and York from time to time. I write about anything and everything, so check in from time to time and see what I’m ranting on about? It’s nice to meet you, so drop me a comment and say hi? 🙂

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It’s not often that I have a craving for Mexican food, but since some seriously good tacos in Vegas earlier this summer, I’ve definitely been swayed towards the stuff. I managed to contract man flu from said man in my life last week, but on Sunday I felt human enough to paint my face, curl my hair and head out for some food. We initially wanted to try out Trinity Kitchen, but for some unknown reason, they shut at 5pm on Sundays (apparently this might change soon though). Having given up on vietnamese food we took a wander over to the main part of trinity, and into Cielo Blanco, which is tucked into the corner, to the right hand side of Giraffe.

 

20131020_191020It’s hands down one of the prettiest places to eat in Leeds, but if you’re outside, try to grab one of the big tables with the patio heaters, it’ll pay off as it gets later.

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We settled on the Mexican Street Food, chose 6 between us, and then grabbed something minty and sweet to drink while we were waiting for the food to arrive. Mine was the non-alcoholic mojito, purely down to the antibiotics, but it was pretty damn good all the same.

Untitled3The food arrived really quickly, and it smelt amazing. Taking photos involved some serious self restraint!

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We had homemade Guacamole and Sour Cream, Mexico City Pulled Pork and Grilled Pineapple tacos, Chicken Tinga and Smoked Tomato Salsa Quesadillas, Spicy Tiger Prawns with Chipotle and Lime Sour Cream, Shredded Chicken Empanadas, and Smoked Chorizo Sausages in a Ranchero Salsa.

The Empanadas were seriously good, as was the guacamole. Everything on the table was sweet and spicy, all with the creaminess of the sour cream thrown in. But that wasn’t the best part…

20131020_185857Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a serious sweet tooth, and Churro’s have to be one of my favourite desserts. They were perfectly crispy on the outside, with a soft and fluffy inside, dipped in sugar and served with warm chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream. The only other place I’ve come across Churro’s in Leeds has to be in Chiquito, but these beat them hands down. It’s worth dropping in if only for coffee and dessert.

We had a fantastic night at Cielo Blanco, the atmosphere was brilliant, the food was incredible and the service was fast and friendly. It’s definitely possible to have a main (or several like we did), a drink, and dessert for under £20, which ain’t so bad if you ask me. Their sister company, Neon Cactus, on Call Lane is pretty good too, but you’ll pay crazy prices for their cocktails and they don’t serve Churro’s.

I’ll definitely be going back for more, but next time, there will be tequila…

Written by Natalie Upchurch.

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The perfect Sunday Roast

Easter Holidays. A celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, OR for a student,a chance to recharge ones batteries. Days are filled with the brushing off of responsibilities, and the procrastination acceptable of a Sunday. However, what makes Easter Sunday? I believe even the Easter Bunny would have a Sunday Roast, and even though not every student can fork out for a roast every week, Easter is the best excuse to make your tummy sigh with happiness. So here are some tips on how to bag the key ingredients for a cheap student roast in Leeds.

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Meat

Regardless of whether you enjoy chicken, or Beef (a major debate within my student house), as previously mentioned in one of my articles, the best place for best fresh meat, at a student friendly price, is the market. Most of the butchers within the market will provide you with a months worth of all kinds of meat, for under £10, absolutely perfect for a meat hungry student.

Vegetables

It is worthwhile exploring the vegetable shops surrounding your halls/accommodation, as I live in Headingley, I have found a cute little vegetable shop with a fresh catalogue of vegetables for your desires. A small bag of parsnips and broccoli comes to 50p! These shops are also great for other meals, for example, eggs are just 10p each! If yo do not have any vegetable shops surrounding you, which is unlikely, you always have the vegetable stalls at the market to rely on.

Desert

I like to bake, therefore I pick up some eggs from the vegetable shops, and other ingredients from a local supermarket at a small price. Baking is great to enable you to explore some hidden culinary skills, is a great distraction from anything you would rather not think about, and is extremely fun to do with friends. However, if you are stricken with Lazyitus, local shops provide cheap ice lollies or ice creams and cakes at a good price.

Entertainment

Every Sunday lunch needs entertainment, and I have found a great way to pass time! It may sound pretty sad, but trawling charity shops for board games is great when you find Cluedo for £1.99, it has passed many hours for the housemates and I when we have rejected the daily responsibilities in preference to resting our overtired brains. Plus you can play these board games while your food goes down!


Now I don’t know about you, but I have a Sunday Roast to make, and a murder to solve… Happy Easter guys.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds metropolitan University.


Dinner with your parents in Bristol

You know all the best takeaways’ numbers by heart and the perfect place for a kebab on the way home, but somewhere appropriate to eat when your parents come to visit? Hmm. Whether it’s for that first trip down to see your halls or a graduation dinner, there is a restaurant in Bristol to suit every family.

The all-English family
If your parents are homely, traditional English types who love nothing more than good old-fashioned pub grub, they might well like Goldbrick House. The menu features old-time favourites such as  fish and chip, rabbit stew, steak and lamb wellington – just a little bit posher. Those on a tighter budget might prefer the rough-and-ready but incredibly tasty Pieminister on Stokes Croft, where you can get a pie, mash, peas and gravy for £5.95.

The ‘special dietary requirements’ family

If you have vegetarian or vegan family members to cater for, Café Kino at the top of Stokes Croft is a good place to start. Everything on the menu is free from meat, dairy, eggs and honey, and if you’re allergic to something the catering staff are happy to adjust your meal. Otherwise Café Maitreya is another, more adventurous vegetarian café with good reviews.

The fashionable family
Those who like to ‘be seen’ ought to head up to Clifton to find the more fashionable eateries. The Avon Gorge Hotel looks out over the Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge, frequented by many Clifton socialites for after-work drinks or a high-class evening meal.

The hippy family
Parents with a penchant for lentils, tofu and vegetables will find plenty to eat in Bristol. Number one has to be the One-Stop Thali Café, which has various restaurants around the city. If they’ve been to India (highly likely) they’ll probably have sampled a thali before – a combination of vegetable subji, basmati rice, tarka dahl, keralan salad and homemade chutney, served in a special dish. You can also get chapattis, beer, chai and a whole host of other bits and bobs to go with it. Oh, and non-veggies need not worry – there’s now a chicken curry option as well. Alternatively you could wander down the road to the Canteen for some tasty food and laid-back Bristolian atmosphere… Just make sure you get there early if you want a table.

The millionaire family
Ok, ‘millionaire’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are places in Bristol for the wealthy to dine. San Carlo on Corn Street does absolutely delicious Italian food that is well worth the price tag. I recommend the tomato pasta with clams, king prawns and sunblush tomatoes. MMM! Riverstation is also up there with the most expensive dining Bristol has to offer, or for some nouvelle cuisine try Bell’s Diner down in Montpelier.

The hungry family
Whether you have several teenage siblings who need a lot of calories or are just downright greedy, all-you-can-eat places are dotted around the city. Flavourz lets you sample food from all over the world, and you can go back for as many helpings as you like. Cosmo operates on the same principal, but is limited to Pan-Asian dishes.  

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

Drydock in Leeds

Scratching my brain in wonder of something to write about this week, it suddenly dawned upon me that I had yet to bequeath to future students the underlying love and passion of students in Leeds. A most popular and well loved element of most Leeds Metropolitan University student’s lives that is looked at with a warm glow in the hearts of those who have spent many a times sipping on a milky hot chocolate and clasping the cup as it sends hot shivers back into your frozen bloodstream caused by the severe winds and snappy winter weather, or delightfully letting the fruity cider twangs fizzle on your tongue underneath the reassuring glow of the sun. The days in which your timetable is that terrible, you find yourself having your breakfast in the lecture before the sun has risen, and before you could fully prise your eyelids apart, only unearthing from the towers of notes your now numb hand has carved into the majority of your notepad when the sun has crept sleepily back into the clouds, and the moon has appeared. The one day of the week in which you only have one hours lecture or seminar, and meet up with a close friend who shares the same benefit. Whatever the reason, it won’t take much for the average student in Leeds to stroll over to the beautiful, and stunningly captivating Drydock.

Behold...the Drydock

Why is it called Dydock? A Drydock is a narrow basin, or vessel, used for the construction or maintenance of boats and other watercrafts, but why is this called Drydock? Your sight is not failing you, Drydock is a boat, in the middle of the University area of Leeds, why? We dont need to know why, all we need to know is that it is a fantastic venue for you and your friends, and is not to be underestimated. In the day, Drydock feeds its beloved students and visitors with finger licking food, sending your taste buds crazy even at the thought of it, just like my mouth salivating right now at the image of the incredibly addictive Scampi, or the  mouth watering burger and a pint for just £3.75, with music videos playing throughout the venue, you can sing along to some much loved classics while waiting for your order. The staff at Drydock are relaxed and extremely friendly, and this tone is echoed throughout Drydock, with pool tables, many machines, and varied seating to further relax your hard working bones, as tense as concrete, there is even a glass roof which is opened on those rare hot afternoons. Upstairs you can look upon the students still hard at work, and pity them under the shade of the sunshades with the music still lulling you into a  relaxed state.

At night, the fairy lights in which Drydock adorns create a warm, and romantically comfortable social haunt, with selected drinks just £1 with Drydocks very own Yellow card, set up to reward and show the appreciation to regular customers. During Freshers fortnight, and from then on, Drydock is never quiet, with many groups chosing to start their night at their much loved haunt, and sometimes even ending their night, with the relaxed atmosphere a welcoming come down from the humming of ones ears, and feelings similar to that of being a sardine in a tin.

Drydock knows exactly how to entertain its customers, ensuring that there is an event for everyone;

Beginning the week with Monday night being Quiz night, as the customers excitedly fight it out from 8.30pm, what better place to compete with friends in a relaxed and beautiful environment.

Tuesdays at Drydock are Quids night; with drinks such as cider, lager, shots of wild, bottles of Becks, and Smirnoff Ice just £1 for the rest of the night, it is easy to stay up to date with your mates’ drunken states, even with a low bank balance.

Every Wednesday is an exciting event in which attracts flocks of music fans and skilled performers, the open mic night starts at 8.30pm, and accentuates the undercurrent of Leeds’ passion for music.

Thursdays are Energiser night, set up to keep Leeds students going all night, Smirnoff or Jeigermeister and Relentless for £1.50 single, or £2.25 double all night! How can you stop with those prices?

For the more sophisticated students Drydock has two nights of the week especially for you, with Fridays and Saturdays celebrating  cocktail night, with two cocktails for just £5 you can keep your tails wagging for as long as you like.

To commemorate the ending of a weekend, and the beginning of another hard working week, Drydock gives you pool competitions every Sunday, starting at 8.30, so if you think you are a pro with the table, head on over and put your talent to the test, you are amongst nothing but friendly people, happy prices, and a stunning venue.

Whichever night fits your personality the most, or if you have a free break in your timetable during the day and need somewhere interesting to eat, with, in my view, some of the tastiest food in Leeds, head over to your loyal and willing Drydock, not only does it have amazing taste in Music to adorn your ears, the staff serve you with a smile, and polite, friendly conversation, don’t forget, this place is extremely popular with students, so it has to be cool right? Students don’t make Drydock look cool, Drydock makes students look cool.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

And where should I eat?! For the Newcastle Foodie

So you are due to arrive in this North-East city within the next couple of weeks. You are all set: you already think you know the best spots to party and are looking forward to the heaving night life scene. But have you thought about food? Of course you have, what else do students think about?

Newcastle has all the normal fast food restaurants you need for your night out, along with a massive selection of chippies and take-outs. In the city centre, you have your KFC, McDonalds and Burger King, and then the more stereotypically Northern Greggs. If you want some, ehem, local food, you can always head down to Greggs and acquire a sausage roll for a little under a pound, always making it ideal for the student budget.

But what about when you fancy someone and want to impress them, or when your parents come to visit and they say they’ll take you out to a meal, wherever you want? You can’t just mutter ‘Greggs’ at them, can you?

Here is a handy guide for some of my favourite restaurants in Newcastle. It is a surprisingly multicultural city, with China Town at the centre of it, and places scattered around everywhere.

Paprika Tandoori – Indian Takeout – Gateshead

Paprika Tandoori is located about 15 minutes away from Newcastle by bus, on Old Durham Road. Although take-out and delivery are available, this is also a small, well-lit restaurant that has recently undergone refurbishment, and the prices are reasonable. But where Paprika shines is its food and customer service: always delicious and always willing to go the extra mile.

Nudo Japanese Food – Town Centre

Nudo is a Japanese restaurant in the middle of the town centre which serves sushi and other japanese plates. The food is reasonably priced, and the concept of the place inviting and relaxed: someone will keep coming to your table to get your sushi orders, or you can order a main if you are short on time. The food is very high quality and the servers friendly and helpful, as I can attest after looking at a bottle for about 30 seconds somebody came and explained what it actually was.

Da Mimmos – Italian – Town Centre

Also located in the town centre near the comedy club, this genuine Italian restaurants offers all sorts of Italian food, from risotto to pizza. It also has very good promotions on occasionally, from 3 courses for £10 pound, making it ideal for the broke student. It has a much posher interior than its atmosphere would let you to believe, but don’t let that intimidate you! Everyone is more than welcome.

The Charles Grey – Pub Food – Town Centre

The Charles Grey is the epitome of the town centre pub, situated up four flights of steps right next to the famous Newcastle monument. It is a great pub to go have a drink at, but they also do food, and it is surprisingly nice. Their opus magnum, however, is their home-made chips, which are only available during the weekdays. They also do student discount so it isn’t painful.

If you are already in Newcastle and have some more recommendations, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments!

Eight Great West Country Treats

Exeter is a great city in which to be a student, however, it also attracts huge crowds over the summer as tourists flock to Devon for family holidays. I’d say there are few other universities where you have so many great accessible activities on your doorstep.

1) Go for a cream tea at Tea on the Green

Tea on the Green is a traditional cafe which overlooks the beautiful Cathedral offering amazing Devon cream teas. It’s a great place to take parents- show them how civilised your student life is, or to bond with new friends in Fresher’s Week. It provides a stunning view of the Cathedral and has a great atmosphere that transports you away from student life.

2) Go to Exmouth

Exmouth is the closest beach to the University of Exeter; it takes approximately 40mins by train or 20mins by car. It’s a huge beach and is a favourite destination for students in summer after exams are over for a traditional seaside haunt. Great for a beach bbq or game of volleyball, and although it can be a little chillier in winter it’s a lovely place to escape to for a walk along the beach.

3) Head South to Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands is a popular beach close to Dartmouth in South Devon, it takes a little longer to get there from Exeter, probably about 1hour 10mins but you will be rewarded when you do by a beautiful cove and fine shingle beach.

4) Explore Dartmoor

Dartmoor is an enormous national park which is brilliant to visit for the day. Although there are some buses which go up there it is fairly remote so the easiest way to go is by car. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the outskirts from Exeter and some particular highlights include: Chagford- a wonderful twee unspoilt village which has a couple of traditional pubs, Castle Drogo- a “modern” castle set upon the top of a hill with fantastic views and Widecombe in-the Moor which is, as it says, right in the middle of the moorland in a beautiful location.

5) Go for an afternoon beverage at Double Locks

If you walk along the river from the quay for about a mile and a half you come to Double Locks, a pub situated by the river. It has a huge beer garden and is a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon. They also do a big event on bonfire night which is reportedly worth checking out.

6) Go shopping down by the Quay

Along the Quayside are a row of little shops, selling a variety of things from bicycles to beautiful furniture. This assortment of shops is great for pretty and unique gifts.

7) Go for lunch/ dinner at the Waterfront

The Waterfront is a restaurant situated by the Quayside, they do enormous pizzas and great food. You can sit outside on large benches and although a little further away, it makes a pleasant change from the restaurants in the city centre.

8) Spend a day exploring campus

Exeter University’s Streatham Campus spans 350 acres and has a whole range of beautiful outdoor spaces. The gardens of Reed Hall are particularly nice to spend a sunny afternoon as are the fields and wood behind Lafrowda Halls which provide a pleasant setting for a break from studying.

Written by Alice, University of Exeter

Leeds Market – A Students Paradise

There is nothing so utterly addictive for a student than rotting away in the middle of a river of mud, with live music pulsating through a crowd of fashionably scruffy looking strangers. That rush of energy in the undertone of agreed amazement is a feeling that no student should miss out on, neither is the chance to get covered in grass, half naked, while the headlining act are serenading the millions with their beautiful melodies.

The temptation is oh so much bigger with living in Leeds, every student has but one subject on their mind as the term ends, Leeds Festival. With, in my opinion, an ever amazing line up of acts preparing to surrender themselves to students, it is no wonder that tickets are valued highly in Leeds, and the subject of such festival is on everyone’s lips. Leeds Festival Website

Music festivals are the student’s equivalent of a middle aged man at the brink of a breakdown, purchasing the latest sports car, then parading it around his mates like it is the second coming, it has to be done at some point. Thus follows a holiday to an exotic destination with a handful of your craziest friends, to laze around the pool making eyes at the bathers on the other side, while sipping the straws of an alcoholic beverage. No student life is complete without one fulfilling these experiences, to the full extent. Many years later you will look back, and, with great pride, tell your grandchildren about how their grandparent got up on stage in a cross dressing Spanish bar, and licked sugar from the soggy arm of the host of questionable gender.

But how do students afford these great experiences? In my breed of students, it is as likely as Amy Winehouse wanting to go to rehab, than your parents offering to pay for such purchases. No doubt every student has, more than once, had to listen to those ear ringing lectures on how you appear to be out of pocket all year, ringing your parents up for pity money every week, and yet have somehow scraped enough change together to afford a music festival and/or a holiday. Unfortunately, not many parents find it plausible that you found £500 underneath the couch, next to the TV remote, and mouldy crumbs.

My source of wisdom for fellow students? Shop at the market. The market has everything you want, at a more student friendly price. Who can get better than the enticing student deals on the butchers row of Leeds market? With a note of five, you are provided with the basic necessities of a students weekly meal; with minced beef, sausages, pork chops, steak, and chicken to name but a few.

In the market, you can get fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat, for under a tenner, with an added bonus of particular high street products being much cheaper than normally expected on random stalls.

I always enter Leeds market with the naive illusion that I am walking into the future of student lifestyle, and to be honest, I have yet to be convinced otherwise. Since my first visit to Leeds market, I have recognised more of my friends, and course mates, rejecting their initial snobbery, and falling in love with the cheap deals in which the place offers.

Not only are the prices student friendly, but there is a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere in the market, very much parallel to the ashamed feeling I am provided with as I innocently enter a more highly esteemed and upmarket store. Every time I exit one of such stores, I am left with the unwelcoming guilt of trespassing somewhere I thought I had the right to shop.

Although, upon first arrival, one may have a slight snobbery towards the market place, and a haunting smell that parades around your nostrils is screaming for you to turn around, you are only provided with good food, for great prices, by friendly faces. I have established many basic friendships with the butchers of Leeds market, who are friendly, bubbly chaps always in want of a new friend to pass away a couple of minutes a day, indulging themselves in their customers life, and asking about that festival, or holiday they are saving up for.

So not only should a student take full advantage of the opportunities in which is placed upon holidays, and music festivals, and basically gathering crazy experiences they can reminisce about in their old age, but I believe they should do so with the help of the market. The market not only saves a student more money to spend on that holiday in Kavos, or the tent for T in the park, but welcomes you with open arms regardless of which stereotype you fit in to, if any. Therefore, add ‘Go to the Market’ to your list of things to do as a student, you will not be disappointed.

Written by Charlotte, Leeds Met