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Cheese? Yes please!: Review of Homage 2 Fromage @ LAB bar – guest post by Lucy Reynolds 

Brie by ‘gum, Yorkshire loves its cheese! Not content with monthly cheese clubs, Leeds has decided to go all the whey (yep, a cheese pun – get used to it) and the wonderful pop up company Homage2Fromage has set up shop in the LAB bar, owned by the Jones Bar group who already successfully run Roxy Lanes Ballroom, Hirst’s Yard and Brooklyn. And it looks like they have another Gouda venture on their hands – you’d feta believe it (ok, I’ll stop…these puns are starting to grate….ahem…).

For a six month pop up, Homage2Fromage are serving the greedy mouths of Leeds the height of sophistication and variety in cheese, in stylish and relaxed surroundings. I popped in with my friend to check out their menu and we were definitely not cheesed off with the results (someone – please help me: I have a problem).

The restaurant offers an extensive menu that boasts small plates as well as larger dishes to share. The prices, especially for the small plates were extremely reasonable, and we opted for a Yorkshire halloumi slider with chorizo and a Yorkshire Rarebit.

Now both my friend and I are particularly greedy and I have to admit, whenever I see the phrase ‘small plate’ I think ‘Well I’ll need about three of them to be satisfied’. Wrong! My halloumi slider was normal burger size in a delicious brioche bun, packed with thin chorizo-bacon, salad, pickles and hummus. I cut it in half to share and was more than satisfied with the size. The salty, squeaky halloumi, piquant pickles and peppery chorizo was mouth-watering and enough for a filling lunch for one.

The Yorkshire Rarebit came with a great little story on the menu, and was huge! The sourdough was grilled to crispy perfection, with unique charcoal cheese inside and Yorkshire cask cheese on the outside. For a real cheese-hound, this would be an ideal lunch and again, wonderful value. Much more than just a small plate.

Full already, we decided to be even more greedy and plumped for a fondue. My friend and I were both cheese fondue virgins so were curious as to the taste, even though we were still pretty full from the ‘small’ plates. Our fondue arrived, with the necessary bread sticks, slices of sourdough, cornichons and sauteed vegetables, and looked the piece.

  

We were only missing the snow and poser skiers because we were transported to Switzerland in the guise of molten garlicky cheese. Full to the eye balls with cheese, we managed to work our way through the vegetables, pickles and sourdough, dipping into the fondue and groaning in fromage-induced delight, thanking sweet baby Cheesus (so sorry!). They also offer raclette, baked brie as well as plenty of other delicious sounding small plates, but we had definitely had our fill, and not wanting to fall deep into a cheese-based coma, we had to stop.

The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the cheese, able to offer insights into individual tastes and flavour combinations. I’m already planning my next visit. I get the feeling that this pop-up might not be popping down for a while – in fact a member of staff said that if the demand was high enough, they’d stay for longer. So what are you waiting for? Get down there and get your cheese on!  

Homage2Fromage

19 Merrion Way

Arena Quarter

Leeds

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My intentions for 2015

This is not so much a food post, but just a general one. I started writing about my intentions for the year, but have snaffled a similar idea to the lovely Amy Elizabeth’s post, just because it looked so much better!! I hope you don’t mind. 

2014 was a year of change for me, it started off with becoming increasingly tired of juggling crazy teaching hours, work load, blogging and life in general, to becoming a part-timer and not being able to blog as much. In my personal life, there has been much change too, with many people who I am very close to that I miss every day, mainly because of life getting in the way and distance. Scattered throughout, there were many amazing things which happened as well, so Iife definitely could’ve been much worse, but there’s always room for improvement.

I’m not one to make resolutions normally, because I’m rubbish at sticking to them plain and simple! However, I must say that I do have the best intentions at the start of a new year to improve though, hopefully I’ll remember not to beat myself up about it if I dont succeed at them all.

At home, eat less junk and cook more.

Run the Berlin marathon, without injuries this time.

Take time to catch up with friends more often, near and far!!

Improve my photography.

Travel more and explore new places.

Listen to advice and take more onboard.

Not to worry too much about blogging all the time, be more choosy and write better. 

Do you have any new year’s resolutions or good intentions to set yourself this year? 

Becoming a part-timer!

Hi, something a little off track today, but hopefully still relevant to the blog. Since I started writing the blog in February 2013, I’ve juggled teaching high school science with extra curricular activities; exploring new places, revisiting old ones and dining out as much as possible along the way. This had always been a part of my life since finishing university and was always something I’d enjoyed, but without the whole sharing my thoughts and opinions on the stuff, until the blog was born.

On the 1st September, quite a big thing will happen in my life, maybe not for you, but for me it is; after 14 years of teaching high school science full-time, I go part-time. The decision hasn’t been taken lightly or quickly, it’s something that has been brewing for many years and finally after much thought and discussion with the other half it was about time I did something I REALLY wanted to do.  Not just do something I was supposedly good at, but something I actually had a love for. The people who know me best have heard me harking on about this for years, so it’s about time something was done about it.

Having had a long think about the blog, part of the reason why I have a passion for food and especially eating out on my travels is because I love visiting different places, whether at home or abroad. I didn’t have a gap year before, or after University, so the opportunity to do the whole travelling abroad thing never arose. Becoming a high school teacher straight after five years at university means I’ve been in the education system for 34 years and counting! So from September, 5 days of hard graft change to 2 days, but I will have to manage my time to not allow school life to leak into my newly acquired free time, like it usually does. Otherwise, what’s the point!

So, what am I going to do with my free time?

Ah, now that’s THE question I have been trying to answer forever it seems. I don’t think I’ve ever known what I really wanted to do, or maybe it’s just fear. Who knows?!

Parental thoughts of me becoming a classical musician were born from playing piano to the highest levels as a child, this wasn’t to be. My first love was and probably is art, and everything to do with the subject. It was my favourite subject at school and I was surrounded by teachers, who looking back were inspirational. This word is used a lot in education, but they were for many reasons, in particular Karl Newlands, who was my A’level Art teacher. Within that there’s always been a passion for photography, which I probably never realised in my youth. My Dad’s 35mm SLR was off limits to me, so at high school I’d often borrow an unused camera from home to take photos of my friends and I, firstly using 110mm film, then 35mm point and shoot. Throughout university and to this very day, it’s rare I don’t have a camera with me, nowadays the SLR to visually document anything and everything on my travels.

So in terms of the blog, having a reduced salary means I’ll need to be more thoughtful about where I eat and the frequency at which the reviews are done. No more, just going out because I want to at a moments notice….maybe. I’ll need to be more strict with myself! 

Being so absorbed in A Tale of Two Sittings the last 18 months or so I’d wondered if just talking about food, which is a massive thing in my life, was all that I was about, even with the other interests and hobbies I have. I think for me it’s all about fear, being scared about what I want to do in life, will I be any good at it etc, etc….

I haven’t completely got my head around it, but content wise, I’d like to start talking more about places I visit/explore, it’s something I’ve always done in my spare time, but never anything I’ve really spoken or written about, I’ve just taken thousands of photos. I hope you’ll support me in this.

I’m not sure whether to link it into A Tale of Two Sittings, or have two separate blogs. Any thoughts??

Having not done a Fine Arts degree, there’s always been something missing and the regret still exists, so with this in mind I’d really like to do something more within photography, learn as much as I can and hone my skills, do some courses and learn. What this will lead to I’m not sure…I’ve always enjoyed photographing friends weddings, travelling adventures and food so I don’t know yet. People in the past have very kindly complemented me on my photos, which has always been appreciated, so I must be doing something right.

For those of you who are already doing, or know exactly what they want to do, and have a clear idea of how to get there I really admire you. I hope to get there in the future. You’ve just got to bear with me….