It's not often that I walk through the city of Leeds and stop to stare at the view. As wonderful as Leeds is, it's not always the most picturesque of cities. But on Friday night, as we wandered into Granary Wharf, I had to pause and look out over the canal. All the lights were flickering over the water, and you could hear the murmur of Friday night drifting over from the square. Granary Wharf is one of the most gorgeous parts of Leeds, full of swanky bars and restaurants, with a beautiful open square, which on a night like Friday is full of birthday parties, romantic couples and groups enjoying after-work drinks.
One of my favourite things about going to mainland Europe are those relaxing evenings sat outside a bar, nursing a glass of wine and watching the world go by. And sitting outside Livin'Italy on Friday night with my beautiful friend Eloise felt just like that. Warm weather, delicious drinks and riveting conversation - what more can you ask for?
Livin'Italy was a new experience for me - a little gem of a bar tucked away in the corner of Granary Wharf, this really does feel like a slice of Italy right in the heart of Leeds. The decor is rustic, with barrels and wine racks lining the walls, and glasses hanging from the ceiling. A little red Vespa sits in the window, and the staff chat away in Italian. On a warm evening, you could forget where you really are - so effectively does Livin'Italy transport you to Italy.
We went for a berry-infused prosecco cocktail to start, followed by coffees to finish the evening in a continental style. Both were delicious, particularly the coffee - and very reasonable. I spent less than ten pounds on the evening, but left feeling so contented and happy - it was definitely worth double that.
But even better than the cocktails and the coffee and the atmosphere, was spending time with Eloise. She's a stunner (as you can see) and a sweetheart, even if I can't stand next to her in photos because her legs come up to my shoulders. She was a friend of a friend at Uni, but when we both found ourselves in Leeds after graduation, we began to meet up regularly, at first reminiscing about Uni days, but now sharing so much more than that. She's the person in Leeds that I've known the longest, and she's a real gem - I'm very lucky to have her as a friend. Just like me, she's super content with how things are going at the moment, and it's nice to be sharing that now as well.