August 14, 2012

4 Victorian Architecture in Leeds!

 I'll be honest. I've never been very impressed with Leeds. Despite my being an ardent big-city lover, the nitty-gritty of the packed shopping districts and lack of charm made Leeds distasteful. That said, when Becky from "As a Yank in Yorkshire" and I were planning our second meet-up (we first met in-person when she came up to Harrogate for the day back in June) and she suggested meeting in Leeds. Since she's more familiar with the city, I agreed to give it another shot. I took the train in, since parking in Leeds is a nightmare, and we walked over to the Corn Exchange for coffee, which turned into lunch. 

The Leeds Corn Exchange was first completed in 1864 as a centre for- you guessed it!- corn trade.  After decades sitting idle and decaying, it re-emerged as a multi-purpose shopping centre in 1990.

The interior is just spectacular. While simple in decor, the building's domed ceiling and wrought iron detailing emphasize a clean elegance.

 The lowest level is occupied by Piazza by Anthony, a tasty restaurant (at least the lunch we had was good!) The restaurant is ringed by different booth-type cubbies that hold cheese, bread, cupcakes, and many other treats. The restaurant seems to utilize these foodstalls (and perhaps runs them?) but it appeared as though you can purchase treats directly as well.

 After we chatted and lunched we went out to walk around a bit. As usual, I couldn't resist the lovely architecture!

 We decided to check out Leeds City Market.  I'll preface this by saying that markets here (in Europe) really are a toss-up- they can be meccas of great food and clever gifts or they can be glorified flea markets selling cheap crap.

 This one had an odd mix of the two- some food stalls, flower booths, even a haberdashery and a wool shop (yarn is called 'wool' here)- but near the entrance were a few flea-market type stalls. 

  I did like the ceiling, though- and the whole skeleton of the place.

 A Marks and Spencer's clock!

 We kept walking around,
 seeing buildings and arcades still going strong from their Victorian heyday.

I'm dying for a two-sided clock like this. Only a smaller one that can go in my house. 
We then headed into Harvey Nichols, as I'd never been in one before- it was a bit heady, I'll admit! Some of those price tags had me wondering if I was allowed to browse there!

Have you been pleasantly surprised by a place you'd previously dismissed?

Don't forget- only 2 more days to enter to win one of two sets of cookbooks


  1. I'm loving the Corn Exchange. What a gorgeous interior. We have a car now, so I'm looking forward to really seeing more of England. I will add this to the list. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thanks for reminding me of the wonderful time we once spent in Leeds!It is a great place once you move a little bit away from the shop/mall-oriented city centre. Although even there you might find some interesting places.

  3. I want to move there and never come back.

    Also, we've wanted a double-sided clock for a long time too! We just haven't had the space to make it work yet. Maybe our next place!

  4. Yay for Leeds! I'm glad you enjoyed it more than you were expecting, too. That was a fun day...and yes, another meet up must occur after the 3rd and before you leave!


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