Posts tagged ‘Chapel Allerton’

February 13, 2014

George & Joseph cheesemongers, Leeds.

It’s safe to say that avoiding supermarkets is a lot easier if you have brilliant local alternatives. Specialist shops might mean that you need to go from place to place rather than buying everything from under one roof, but the pleasure you can take from buying your food from someone who really knows their stuff turns food shopping from being a chore to a delight.

In North Leeds, one such shop is George & Joseph, a cheesemongers in Chapel Allerton. Tucked away down Regent Street in LS7, this little gem specialises in Yorkshire cheese and warm welcomes. I’ve been in a few times now, and always come away with gorgeous wax paper-wrapped cheese which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed. There’s something for all palates ranging from soft, mild goat cheese to strong blue cheeses as well as the crackers, chutneys and platters you need to serve your cheese on.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Fleming

Photo courtesy of Stephen Fleming

The first time we visited, Stephen the friendly owner of George & Joseph recommended the Old Winchester cheese which has become a firm favourite. It’s not a Yorkshire cheese—it’s from Lyburn cheese makers in the New Forest— but its firm, almost crunchy texture and strong nutty, Parmesan-esque flavour have got me firmly hooked. It’s genuinely my favourite cheese of all time. And that’s not a thing I say lightly.  Also, the cheese is made with a vegetarian rennet, which means its great for those looking for an Italian style hard cheese without the animal rennet that Parmesan always contains.

I’m thinking that a George & Joseph themed cheese tasting evening might be round the corner. Although don’t expect me to share the Old Winchester…

Do you have great local stores near you? Are there any other places in Leeds I should try too? Let me know!

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Margot and Barbara is changing! I’d really appreciate your feedback. Click HERE to take part. Thank you 🙂

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November 4, 2013

Food, Glorious Food: BEDN #4

I’m starting to type this post with a stomach full of fluffy oven-baked potato, lashings of butter, a spot of parmesan and cracked black pepper, and a glass of red wine. Simple food, cooked with love, and completely perfect for Autumn.

We moved home on Friday, and I thought I’d share a couple of photos of our new kitchen. It’s not huge, but it is very sunny and, not shown in the photos, it has a table and chairs too, so we can sit and eat at the table together. Eating at the table as a family is such a huge memory of my own childhood and one that I hope to pass on to my own children. Its a time to catch up with each other, share stories, make time. And as such, it’s more important than what is on the plate in front of you.

Yellow kitchen aid mixer

Sunny little kitchen…

Having said that, what I eat is important to me, and has been at the forefront of my mind since our decision to quit using the supermarkets for a month (at the least – the way things are going it might be a permanent decision!)  We’ve set up a regular vegetable box delivery with Abel and Cole, which I really like because of the flexibility they allow with making changes to what we have delivered. As I have an allotment, very often the food I am getting in a veg box is the same as that I have grown, so to be able to say ‘no’ to various things when I’ve got a home grown glut is very helpful!

Kitchen

Freestanding kitchen unit. Spot the ‘moving-in’ Nutella glasses of prosecco!

In addition to that, since moving here we’ve bought bread and delicious cakes from Crust & Crumb, a local cafe/delicatessen, and spied a great local fruit stall that we’ll be paying a return visit to. Hunting around our new local area of Chapel Allerton in search of non-supermarket food stockists is a great way to get acquainted with the area. It looks like we’ll be spoiled for places to go out for food too!  I’m feeling really lucky to live in a place with so much independent retail. Next on the list of places to buy food from in Leeds are Millie’s, a family run food store in central Leeds, the Leeds Bread Co-op and obviously the Leeds Market. I’m going to find out when all the farmers’ markets nearby take place too. There’s nothing quite as pleasing to eye or stomach as a wander round a good farmers’ market!

But, most of all, I’m looking forward to cooking for family and friends again, and inviting them to sit around the table with us, break bread, share stories and create new memories.

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July 25, 2012

Lomi Lomi

Recently, I had the best massage of my life at Lomi Massage Leeds. I’ve taken a while to write this post because I wanted to be sure of myself before I wrote about it. You see, the massage therapist is a dear friend of mine and I wanted to be sure that I was writing about the massage and not just being kind because of how fondly I think of her. I’ve thought back on it for a while now, and I’m reassured. It really and truly was the best massage I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot. I’m even qualified in Swedish massage myself, and I believe wholeheartedly in the power of massage for mind and body, so this is high praise indeed from me.

Often, when I have a massage, I spent far too much time thinking ‘Relax, relax, relax for heaven’s sake. You should be RELAXED by now. Why aren’t you relaxing?…’ Then, I start thinking of my to-do list and all hope is lost. Obviously, this means that by the end of the massage I’m not feeling much better than I was at the start. Having studied massage myself too, I kind of know what I’m looking for, and what I’m expecting, which can mean that if it fails to live up to my expectation, I’m terribly disappointed. This sometimes can happen if it feels as though the practitioner is merely going through the motions as if by rote, without really being genuinely involved in what they’re doing.

Jo’s calming personality and true belief in what she is doing mean that you have a real trust in her and that in itself allows you to relax almost right from the start. I know that it helped that we weren’t strangers, but I do believe that you’d feel that way from the start regardless. She’s simply one of the most grounded, kindest and positive people I’ve ever met. The secret location (a hidden cabin in the leafy Chapel Allerton area of Leeds) also helps, as you feel a little disconnected from the world for a while, which feels perfectly suited to the experience. She also works from Bivouac in North Yorkshire, another beautiful location.

Lomi Lomi  is different to the Swedish style of massage more commonly practised. It originates from the Hawaiian islands and is based in the spirit of Aloha. Simply put, this means universal love and it creates an atmosphere of open-hearted acceptance and kindness that you can feel from the minute you arrive. This massage is a wonderful way to be nourished and nurtured, and to take some time out of your regular routine for your mind, body and soul. The long firm and intuitive massage strokes flow over and under your body and you drift off into a real place of peace. As the massage began, I cried. At the end, I cried. I know this sounds odd, but they were not sad tears, but a sign of the much needed release of built up tension and anxiety. I felt so much better afterwards. More at peace with myself and with the world. This feeling continued long after the massage ended and thinking back to it, I return to a calmer state of mind.

Lomi Lomi massage is a beautiful, nourishing and powerful experience. I hope to repeat it again very soon.

PS: I want you to know that this isn’t a sponsored post in any way. I paid for my massage, and I wasn’t asked to write a blog post about it. I just loved it, and wanted to share that with you. Especially if you’re looking for a massage yourself…