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Manahatta Bar

Manahatta Leeds Launch

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Last Thursday I attended another restaurant launch in Leeds – this time it was the Manahatta bar on Merrion Street.

Inspired by the ‘industrial glamour’ of New York, it was indeed pretty upmarket, although definitely not pretentious.

Manahatta bar is part of Arc Inspirations which includes the Pit, Arc, the Box and Trios. All of which can be found nearby in Leeds, Harrogate or York.

The bar is pretty big as it is both upstairs and downstairs, but is filled with intimate tables and cosy circular booths.

Manahatta Bar

Manahatta Bar Manahatta Bar

The Managing Director, Martin Wolstencroft, gave a talk in ‘The Library’ a cosy room filled with high tables and stools, accompanied with, you guessed it, a book-case filled with New York style collectables, including photos of Marilyn Monroe.

Martin said he wanted to create a space that was welcome to “all like-minded people, who want to have a good time and enjoy great food”. It seems he has created what he set out to achieve and having visited many of his other bars during my student years, I think this has to be the best yet. 

I was lucky enough to sample three cocktails including a classic Kir Royale, a Cucumber Cooler (my favourite – so refreshing) and a Geisha Girl – which although pretty in pink was a bit strong for my taste (I blame the Sake).

cucumber cooler

Geisha Girl

We were also invited to sample several dishes and the ones I tasted were all delicious. The Yakitori beef skewers were divine, so juicy and tasty and I also enjoyed the tempura beans – they looked like chips only surely healthier?! (Hopefully…probably not but we can pretend).

manahatta food 

It was lovely to be able to sample the new menu and taste the cocktails – as well as getting a sneak preview into the venue before the official launch. I’m definitely going to be going back there with Howard, as soon as we have a free Friday night!

Another great quirk to this place (and whoever’s idea it was – very well done) was to add a #ManahattaSelfie slogan across the mirrors in the girl’s toilets, because lets face it, we all love a good toilet selfie after we’ve had a few cocktails too many.

Danielle and I had to try it out, it would have been rude not to…

manahatta selfie

We then went onto another blogger event – Thursday night’s seem to be very popular for events (so I keep hearing) and I was very impressed with the final twist of the night – a free lift in a New York taxi! 

Thank you to the staff at Manahatta Leeds – I had a fab night! Check out their menu at  and follow them on Twitter @ManahattaLeeds 


manahatta taxiaa



The Black Swan Launch


Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the media launch of The Black Swan – a new pub in Leeds on Call Lane that used to be Bar Room Bar.

Now Bar Room Bar is somewhere I did used to go occasionally during my years as a student, however stepping into the Black Swan on Thursday I realised it had been completely transformed and I much prefer it now.

The overall atmosphere is cosy, it’s definitely somewhere I could go with my boyfriend, friends and even my mum! For some food, or just a quick drink, it caters for both audiences.

On arrival we were treated to a special ‘Bloody Mary’ cocktail, that was pretty strong. After chatting to some other bloggers and journalists we were then ushered into the main eating area downstairs, where the open kitchen and humongous pizza oven is based.

Bloody mary

Black swan leeds

Whilst one of the head chefs taught us about sour dough, two of the bloggers who attended had the opportunity to don an apron and have a go at making their own pizza. Not only did we get to sample their creations after, we were also treated to some homemade sour dough focaccia bread, to dip in balsmic vinegar and olive oil. The bread was impressive, very soft with a slight saltiness that was completely moreish and made me instantly want to come back, just to eat the bread again. (I am also quite sensitive to gluten, but this bread didn’t seem to affect me, probably because it was so fresh and homemade).

sour dough

making pizza

Next up was a cocktail making class from the expert bar staff. We were first taught how to make an Espresso Martini – which is one of my favourite cocktails and their version certainly didn’t disappoint. The cocktail was sweet but not sickly and I could have happily had several more.

Black Swan Cocktail Making

Espresso Martini

Also during the night I sampled the Mojito and a Pink Swan. The Mojito was great but I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pink Swan as it was a little sickly for me. It looked very pretty though and even came with an edible flower!

Pink Swan cocktail

After the cocktail making class we sat down to a pub quiz that was all about Leeds! My quiz team partner, Nathan, and I, were hopeless at the picture round but we did manage to get some right in the main quiz, so we were quite chuffed with ourselves.

Overall the night was fun, informal and informative. Well done to the fabulous Shackleton PR guys who organised it – I know how hard they worked.

A lovely end to the night was when we each received a Black Swan goodie bag, complete with our own jar of sour dough and some Black Swan slippers, which highlights their ethos that the pub should be a ‘home from home’.

Black Swan gift bag

The next day I actually was lucky enough to be invited back to sample their lunch menu. Choosing the venison with dumplings was definitely a good choice – it was really comforting and tasty. I had a cheeseboard for pudding but I have to say my fellow diner’s apple and blackberry crumble looked even better.

Thank you Black Swan Leeds for a great evening and lunch! I shall be back…

For more information visit and follow their Instagram: @black_swan_leeds


Black House (Grill on the Square)

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My boyfriend, Howard, has recently ordered a Black House card through work which enables the user to have 20% off when they book online.

After receiving news last week that I had been promoted at work it was an obvious choice to go and celebrate.

We had been before for Howard’s birthday in January as they offer 50% off for the whole month (book early online to avoid disappoint – it gets booked up fast and I’m not surprised why).

We started off having a beer outside on the terrace due to it being a (rare) sunny evening in Leeds.


Beers on the terrace

Moving inside we ordered 6 oysters (£12.50) to start, followed by deep fried brie with sweet onion and blackcurrant compote (£6) for me and thai fish cakes with sweet chilli dip (£5.75) for Howard. All delicious and reasonably sized portions.

rock oysters

Half a dozen rock oysters

For mains I had Rib Eye steak (225g, £14.95) with chips and a side order or peppercorn sauce (£2.25). Howard had the special Rib Eye steak with scallops and parmesan mash (£24.95) and we shared the French beans with garlic and shallots (£3.50).

 Rib Eye steak

Beautifully cooked Rib Eye steak

Neither of us could resist pudding, I opted for the super yummy summer berry pavlova (£5.75) and Howard went for black forest trifle (£6.00). We finished these off with a cappuccino (£2.50) and a liquer coffee (£4.75).


Summer style puddings

As we had booked online with our Black House card the discount was automatically added to our bill meaning it was a total of £102 – not bad for a lovely meal, attentive staff and great atmosphere. It’s worth mentioning that from about 8pm they have a pianist who sings – I personally loved it as it really added to the atmosphere and the songs were a different take on popular tracks.

For more information on Black House in Leeds see here.