Writing about delicious food is my favourite new hobby. I love food. I just love it and I'm not afraid to admit that. Food is my guilty pleasure, I find it pretty difficult to resist anything with chocolate in it. As you may have noticed, I've been doing a lot more food reviews recently, because well, why not. If you look at the top of my blog, you'll see that I've had a lifestyle section there for quite a while now which I keep adding to. It's refreshing to be able to write about my own experiences. Most people who read about beauty, will generally like nice eateries (and cocktails), well I do anyway, and I hope you'll like this place too. Lets just say, The Alchemist is so much more than just a bar...
The Alchemist opened in Trinity Leeds not so long ago... if you go here on a Saturday night for a drink, you probably will be queueing out of the door. I'm guilty of standing in this queue, like a boy waiting outside Game for the new FIFA to come out, apart from this time, this was a young girl, waiting to be served these magical cocktails which everyone speaks so highly of. I'm going to be honest and admit to you that I didn't even take a second glance at the food menu the first 3 times I visited, I went for cocktails. This is what most people do at Alchemist, sample their magical potions. But I am going to show you why this little gem is much more than a quirky bar and actually, my new favourite place to eat.
The decor is gorgeous, it's very me: think fairy lights twinkling all around, big plush leather seats, no expense spared to make this bar/restaurant look elegant and simply divine.
The little restaurant is tucked away at the opposite end of the room to the bar. There are only a few tables, which is probably why it's always fully booked (or, the fact that everyone keeps coming back for the delicious and well priced food). In true Em style, I had olives to nibble on. I love olives.
My brother studied the cocktail menu and went for 'the colour changing one'. They use dry ice and all sorts of exciting things to make this bar, into a bit of a science lab. Things literally blow up in front of your face and pow, there you go, you have a cocktail. It's seriously cool.
I took my boyfriend a while ago and we drank from little tea cups and watched as our 'Mad Hatters Tea Party' drink was brewed in front of us. Everything about The Alchemist is simply magical and actually, very exciting.
Boring me, went for a strawberry daiquiri. It was absolutely, delicious, well worth being boring for.
My Mum went for a virgin passion fruit cocktail, which she said was simply delicious. The drinks at The Alchemist are expensive, I'm not going to lie, to be honest, they are the same price as other bars such as Angelica, they range from £7.00ish, which in todays day, isn't too bad (it is if you're a student and you're used to 80p shots) but going to The Alchemist is an experience, it's exciting, new and actually quite captivating, it is so much more than going to a bar on some dodgy backstreet and downing £3.00 cocktails which are full of god knows what. Getting a cocktail made for you at The Alchemist is like a magic show, the bar staff really do entertain you and take their time making a creation right in front of your eyes. I don't want to give too much away, but it's worth going to see trust me. I was very surprised at how well priced the food was, actually, cheaper than the cocktails.
The starters came and boy, did we order too much. We got the bar snacks platter which was only £11.95, and look at how much we got (we shared this between three of us, which is very good value for money, we were so shocked - how exciting). We're talking potato skins, nachos, battered prawns. Me and my Mum, being food lovers, also ordered extra Nachos and some spring rolls. We were hungry, why not ey.
The nachos went down a treat. One day, I will probably turn into a nacho.
Me being me, I went for a standard Em meal again. I went for cajun chicken fajitas and again, you get a really hearty portion. In fact, probably too big. I began to wish I didn't indulge in so many starters. These were £11.95 which again, is a pretty standard price for food. You could come here with a friend, on a budget and easily afford a main and a fancy cocktail for just under £20.00 each. Easily. Which I think is pretty good. Safe to say, the fajitas were incredible. Just as good as the fajitas that I've had at 'real mexicans' such as Las Iguanas or Chiquito.
Mum went for the Cowboy Chilli. She had me wishing I ordered that too. I loved the presentation and actually gasped when I saw how cool it was. Stackable little bowls, each with different things inside, tip them all onto your plate or eat from the stacks, your choice. Genius. At £9.95 again, for such good presentation, great tasting food and such a big portion, to be eaten in such a gorgeous place, it's pretty cheap, yet nothing about The Alchemist feels cheap.
My big bro went for the steak. Of course. 'A lads meal'. He said it was cooked right, medium rare, spot on according to him. Tender, juicy... just as good as a £30.00 steak at a proper steak house and boy, does he know his steaks. This impresses me a lot, you'd really expect somewhere which is famous for it's cocktails, to slip a bit when it comes to food, but no, the food really was up to standard and in keeping with how incredible the cocktails and bar service was too.
Mum got even more excited when she found a secret compartment at the bottom of her barrel full to the brim with salsa, cheese, guacamole and sour cream. Again, genius. Why didn't I think of that?
Finally they ate, (whilst I kept annoying them by taking photos)
The cocktails kept flowing. I kept picking out juicy numbers, they really are delicious.
The lights dimmed and it was time for dessert. My brother went for the Flaming Rum Baba. At £5.50, again, it's pretty well priced. We all tucked into this because I couldn't stomach a dessert after such a humongous main. I let the team down. Bikini body time and all that too... or not.
Knowing that I'll be wearing a bikini this week, really didn't stop me stuffing my face with a calorific hot chocolate. Of course I had room for a hot chocolate. Complete with toasted marshmallows. It got me a little bit excited for winter.
The rain poured in Leeds, but there were certainly no low spirits inside. The food was delicious, the staff were incredible (Cat served us and she was really great so thank you very much Cat if you ever read this)
The Alchemist has a great outside seating area, which is heated. Don't worry, parts of it are under a canopy so you can stay dry and warm, whilst soaking up the Northern atmosphere. I looked like a bit of a weirdo taking photos so didn't want to photograph random people drinking under a canopy, I felt like I may get sued or something. They have an Alchemist in Manchester too which I must try.
And there we have it, a fabulous evening at The Alchemist was had by all. The new addition to Leeds' restaurant scene: The Alchemist, a place which is bursting full of life, welcoming for everyone (there were people of all ages eating, including children) and just a real pleasure to eat at. The Alchemist is like a taste of London, it's brought something exclusive to Leeds, it is very modern with an upmarket feel to it. It's high-end, quirky and unique as is everything that it offers. The theme of mixing potions is ridiculously cool but the best thing is, although it has an upmarket feel to it, there is no sign of anyone being pretentious (as mentioned, the staff are very hospitable), there are no feelings of pressure when visiting The Alchemist. Yes, the cocktails are more expensive than your average cocktail but as mentioned before, it's an experience which you won't get elsewhere, which sets Alchemist above the rest. Plus, the food is very well priced (and incredibly scrumptious). I left the restaurant feeling slightly tipsy, full to the brim but rearing and ready to go back, as soon as possible.
Have you heard of The Alchemist? Do you like the sound of it? Will you be visiting any of their restaurants? Do you like this kind of style?
Lots of love, Em x (I am still in Barcelona, how exciting!)
P.S, I've been shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan 'best new beauty blog' award and I am speechless, I'd love to have your vote. You can vote for me here. Voting ends really soon! Thank you so much, it means the world to me.