What's Galentine's Day, I hear you ask?
"Oh it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas." - Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation
Invented by my idol, Leslie Knope, Galentine's Day is celebrated on 13th February and traditionally consists of brunch, all your best lady friends and the sharing of compliments. Here's where you can kick it, breakfast style, with your ladies in Leeds.
The food at Ox Club is seriously, seriously good. For somewhere that's listed in the Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide, the atmosphere (and the prices) are unassuming - letting the food do all of the talking. I would highly recommend their ricotta pancakes with blueberries and honeycomb, but I definitely wouldn't say no to their Korean Chicken or Coconut French Toast, either. Basically, get all your besties together and order everything on the menu. The only problem is that you won't be able to do that much catching up because the food will render you silent in appreciation. It's worth it, I swear.
If you want a fancy lady brunch, then Angelica is the place to head. Whisk your way up in the private lift, take in the views over Leeds and enjoy their extensive range of cocktails whilst you brunch and revel in your mutual affection and awesomeness. In tribute to Ms Knope, you must have the waffles, and in tribute to me, you must have an Aperol Spritz. Get it, girls.
For something a bit more low key, the newly revamped Laynes Espresso is definitely the place to head. Not only do they have a reputation for the best coffee in Leeds, their brunch menu contains such delights as Sweetcorn Fritters with halloumi and chimichurri, Toasted Banana Bread with orange mascarpone, and my favourite, Shakshuka. Not only that, but they stock cakes from the inimitable Noisette Bakehouse, so it's going to be a party in your mouth by the time the brunch is done. Guaranteed.
Cafe 164 is new to the brunch game, but I am ogling their small but perfectly formed breakfast menu every time I pop in for a morning hot chocolate. Basically, I need the Nectarines & Cream Toast in my face, stat. There's plenty of choice for your vegan and vegetarian pals, and their cake selection is pretty epic, too. Plus, since Galentine's Day is all about supporting kick ass ladies, you'll be putting your brunch pennies into the pockets of some of the most kick ass ladies I know on the Leeds food scene. Can't say fairer than that, can you?
Am I saving the best until last? Only if you like your brunches with a side of unlimited alcohol (so, yes, yes I am). The bottomless brunch at Shears Yard features their signature brunch dishes, like Smoked salmon & dill risotto, Garlic & truffle creamed mushrooms on toasted brioche and Merguez sausage & spiced mixed bean cassoulet (so not your standard brunch fare - and all the better for it, I'd say) but also the opportunity to drink as much as you like from a range of brunch-friendly cocktails. Most bottomless brunches that I've seen stick to Prosecco or Bloody Marys, but there are some fancier options on the menu like, my favourite, Aperol Spritzes, and a delicious sounding English 75. It's only available on Saturdays, though, so you'll have to celebrate Galentine's Day early if you're heading here.
Altogether now, Ovaries before Brovaries!