Leeds has long since thrown off the shackles of dull northern city and is these days a bustling, multi-cultural destination well worth a visit.
From the informative Royal Armouries Museum to the beautiful surroundings of Roundhay Park and from the historic Kirkstall Abbey to the stunning Trinity shopping centre, there’s plenty to do when visiting England’s seventh biggest-populated city.
My wife and I recently spent a lovely weekend in Leeds and I must say the highlight of our stay was the place we resided – the Queen’s Hotel.
Situated right in the centre of the city, and next to the railway station, the Queen’s is a stunning-looking 1930s building that hints at the luxury within.
Looking out over City Square, this four star hotel boasts classic Art Deco-style bedrooms, a wonderful restaurant and is close to excellent shopping and some lovely restaurants and bars.
We arrived on a busy Friday evening and were delighted to find the Queen’s offers a valet car parking service from the front of the hotel. The car was taken away and we didn’t use it again all weekend.
So once we’d dispensed of our vehicle, we checked in and it was straight up to our room. We’d booked on the exclusive eighth floor – The QClub – where the luxury is literally taken to another level.
The bedroom was stunning and we had access to an exclusive executive lounge where we could enjoy complimentary bottled beers, wine, soft drinks and nibbles from 6pm to 8pm each evening and take in fantastic views of Leeds from the private, heated outdoor terrace.
Complimentary hot drinks were available throughout the day, along with freshly-baked cookies and a fruit bowl. There were computer workstations in the lounge too, with high-speed internet access
Our room had a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, a cordless telephone, fluffy bathrobes, deluxe toiletries, a selection of teas, coffees and biscuits and a fridge stocked with milk and small bottles of beer, wine and water.
A free deluxe QClub continental breakfast is served every morning in the lounge, but we chose to go down to the restaurant, where we enjoyed the best full English breakfast we’ve ever tasted.The food was so fresh and so tasty that what can often me a mundane meal was actually one of the highlights of our stay.
The food in the restauarant was superb too. After a fairly long drive from south Lincolsnhire on our first night, we were thirsty and famished... but we soon scratched both those itches.
Grilled at The Queens is a warm, welcoming resturant with attentative customer service and impressive food and drink menus. For her starter my wife went for the beautifully presented trio of prawn, which consisted of lemon-scented shrimps, warm garlic prawns and tempura cutlet, on three different levels with Marie Rose sauce. I opted for one of my favouries – smoked haddock spring onion fish cake, with crisp leaves and tartare sauce. It was heavenly.
My wife tried something new to her for her main – monkfish. She said it was cooked to perfection and thought it was superb. I went for a chicken dish that was equally gorgeous.
We shouldn’t have had dessert. We knew this, we were too full. But the menu was too tempting so we indulged. My wife said her banoffee cheesecake and ice cream was a taste sensation and mine, well, it was superb. I went for the Strawberry Eton Mess and it was one of the tastiest desserts I’ve ever had, full of beautiful fresh strawberries.
Leeds is a lovely city with friendly folk and plenty to see, buy, eat and drink. The customer sevice you get in the shops, bars and restaurants cannot be beaten anywhere else in my view. And if you want to experience all that and a little bit of luxury too, for prices that won’t break the bank, I would highly recommend the Queen’s Hotel.
• The Queen’s is also a popular location for business trips and features excellent conference and meetings facilities, plus a beautiful ballroom that’s suitable for up to 500 guests.