I’m taking a break from writing about London (should be more tomorrow) and so instead, here’s a blog post about the Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in Leeds. It’s a place that has been on my to-do list for a while, and on Saturday Christine and I, along with a couple of friends, happened to be in the area and so we paid a visit.
Downstairs is a large open space, with a bar and two food hatches; then, upstairs, there’s a gig venue and then a rooftop terrace. The views up top aren’t that great, thanks to other, taller buildings in its midst, but could be quite nice on a good day. We decided to stick with the ground floor, on some comfy sofas.
For drinks, the Belgrave offers up to six cask beers on at any one time, plus a variety of craft keg beer and many more in cans and bottles. There’s a well-stocked spirit selection and so presumably cocktails are available, but I stuck to beer during my visit.
As for the food, you have a choice of two pop-up food vendors, which supposedly rotate every month. Dough Boys do excellent pizza, and have seemingly been there since the venue opened. At the other end, Patty Smith’s Burgers do, well, burgers. We didn’t try the burgers, but their chips are excellent – seasoned with rosemary. Previously, this outlet has hosted Fish&, a food truck specialising in fish and chips that’s often seen elsewhere in Leeds (and occasionally Bradford), amongst others. Bar snacks are available, including Monster Munch and Pom Bears. Sadly, despite the sign pictured above, there were no pies on offer at the time.
The Belgrave’s decor is mostly reclaimed furniture, with a very worn, rustic look. It’s very hispter-ish and probably takes inspiration from Dalston and other recently-gentrified East London communities. I say ‘probably’ since I haven’t been to those parts of London yet, but that’s the vibe I get from the place. The toilets are modern, although they’re the stainless steel prison-style toilets with no seat, so expect to get a cold bottom if you need to sit down to do your business.
There are regular gigs taking place, although capacity limits mean that these tend to be less well-known bands. In other words, I’d never heard of them, but friends have been to gigs here before. Down in the bar, the background music is cool, if a little eclectic, and not too noisy during the day so you can have a reasonably conversation. A DJ takes over around 6ish on Saturdays, and so we left before then, because we’re old.
Price-wise, I found the Belgrave to be very cheap on the whole especially as it’s in Leeds city centre. The food is half price before 5pm on Saturdays, and we were really impressed with it. Some of the drinks were a little on the pricey side though.
I’m really glad we finally found the time to visit the Belgrave Music Hall and would happily go again. The rotating food outlets give a reason to go back regularly, as does the frequently-changing beer selection.