Friday, 24 January 2014

LS BLOG: Lazy Afternoons w/ Outlaws Yacht Club & Mrs Atha's

On paper Outlaws Yacht Club looked like it fitted the bill for a long lunch in some new surroundings and a few celebratory post hand-in drinks.
With the promise of mulled wine and scotch eggs we google mapped it and set off. It’s not the easiest place to find, we walked past it twice thinking it was just a hairdressers because of the steamed up windows and the frantic waving of foils and hairdryers. It turns out, however that the hairdressers is Rebel Pin Up and they are integrated in this one building.

Trying not to let this affect our first impressions, we took a seat close to the bar on some rather corporate looking sofas, picked up the handy little clipboard menus and went to order the very things we’d set out for; scotch eggs and mulled wine. It might be worth mentioning here that the bar occupies the ground floor of a very modern, characterless building just down from Kirkgate market, not quite the location we had expected. At the bar we ordered the pork and chorizo scotch egg, the goats cheese and onion relish toasted sandwich recommended by the bartender, olives and almonds and of course mulled wine. Top marks for the egg and the wine, the service was commendable but in general the food erred on the side of average, perfectly fine but there’s better out there for the same price. I had high hopes for it but unfortunately Outlaws Yacht Club failed to deliver. Aesthetically speaking it was a little vexatious and could definitely be made more of, two clashing genres coalesce in a sort of Alan Sugar meets Pete Doherty way, offset by the sweet smelling clouds of hairspray that float over from Rebel Pin Up.

 Since we were left a little cold by the general surroundings of Outlaws Yacht Club, we headed to Mrs Atha’s to warm up. Had we known we could have had lunch here we definitely would have done; it’s hard to see in from the street which makes it even more enticing but it was the soft glow from enormous low hanging lightbulbs and the smell of fresh coffee that drew us in and we fell in love with it instantly.  Unpretentious hunks of wood topped with a stacks of dense brownies, gnarled bare bricks and walls of art make Mrs Atha’s a genuinely nice place to be, free from the type of mismatching ‘retro’ feel so many places have become slaves to; not a victory roll fringe or circle skirt in sight.

The staff are chirpy, dapper and engaging, and provide a speedy service from a counter made from an enormous slice of tree. Our cappuccinos complete with patterned foam joined us downstairs in no time and we were left to enjoy them at our leisure. 

Any negative feelings ameliorated, we’ll probably head back to Outlaws Yacht Club for another mulled wine but we’ll definitely be going back to spend lazy afternoons at Mrs Athas.

Originally written for Leeds Student 

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