I am constantly impressed with the Leeds food scene - there's always something exciting going on and if you're in the know, you can have some pretty amazing experiences for surprisingly little money. Keep an eye out on Twitter and follow the right people, you might end up eating one of the best meals of your life - which is exactly what happened when I booked myself and Emma some tickets to Trestle.
Twelve people. One Table. Unusual locations. That's what these guys are all about - pop up dining with incredible food in slightly odd locations. It's exactly my cup of tea, and for just £35 to boot. The events are just once a month, and with just twelve people dining you have to be quick off the draw if you want a space but let me tell you, it's totally worth it. In August, the table popped up in Friends of Ham's new extension - which currently looks a little bit like a construction site as it doesn't open until the autumn. No problem, of course, as it just gave the night more of a furtive, temporary feel - with fairy lights piled in buckets and lamps hung from bookshelves to light the space. They'd decorated the table beautifully with wild flowers and - most importantly - individual printed menus dictating what delights would grace our plates.
One of the things I love most about pop up dining is that it's done by people who are passionate about food - both the chefs and the diners - which makes for an often unique experience, especially for the price. Not only that, but the menu is only created once (or maybe twice) before it's lost to memory - you can never have that exact same meal again. For those of us who eat out often, the novelty is thrilling. The best food I have ever eaten has been at nights just like this - at Chateau Marmot, Dinner at the Manor and now Trestle - but I can never eat those dishes, that way, again. So it's best to savour the moment...
Especially when you are presented with such gorgeous dishes as we were on that Friday night - mouthfuls of creamy burrata punctuated with sweet grapes, a slow-cooked yolk mopped up with fresh bread and salted butter, salty mackerel with fresh fennel and cucumber, soft pigs cheek with crunchy celeriac and apple and perfectly cooked pork belly which is still occupying my daydreams. All topped off with a beautiful strawberry dish that defies explanation - not least because I ate it so fast that I couldn't remember... Washed down with Slovenian wine - an unusual but incredibly wonderful choice, just solidifying my desire to visit Slovenia as soon as possible. My words cannot possibly do this feast justice.
If you're a Leeds resident (or even if you're not), then Trestle are definitely ones to watch - I'll certainly be back and I hope to see you there.