Tag Archives: Laynes Espresso

Sheaf St. Cafeteria, Leeds

Living down south means missing out on new openings and playing catch-up on visits back, this was the case with Sheaf St. Cafeteria and their collaboration with Laynes Espresso. Opened in early August and located in a much neglected part of the city centre, the Victorian building where Duke Studios now resides has been rejuvenated into an uber-cool space ideal for work and play, whatever takes your fancy.

If you’ve been to Belgrave Music Hall for Layne’s Sunday Brunch, you’ll probably be familiar with the veggie menu, including avocado on toast, shakshuka, pancakes and braised beans. Of course, where there’s Laynes expect first-rate coffee, here they’ve diverted from their regular roasters Square Mile to using coffee from Workshop instead.

It’s common for the humble egg to be a breakfast/brunch favourite, never more so in our household where it’s a definite staple and I love them cooked in any form! Since starting their Sunday brunch service, Laynes’ shakshuka has been a popular choice on the menu, hardly surprising to see it here then. Baked egg dishes are yummy because they’re so comforting, eggs work perfectly with other tastes and flavours – the warming background of spice and chilli heat, oozy eggs enveloped in an aromatic pepper/tomato sauce, all mopped up with a chunk of buttered sourdough – you can’t go wrong!! It’s also for satisfying both veggie or carnivore, add a little Merguez or chorizo or now a think about it a hit of Nduja in there and jobs a good ‘un!

This version had lots going for it – a gloriously runny yolk, lots of peppers and red onion still with a touch of bite in a thick tomato sauce. If I’m picky I’d say it could’ve done with more spice and chilli heat, but that’s totally my preference. My day still started off pretty well nevertheless!  

Sheaf St. Cafeteria

Duke Studios
3 Sheaf St

Leeds Food Tour

With the whole leaving Leeds and moving down south thing going on, I planned a mini food tour to visit some of my favourites in and around the city. The massive choice I had at my disposal made whittling choices down a difficult one, but don’t me wrong, it’s a ‘hardship’ I was happy to take on!! An all day feed calls for a little restraint and careful pacing, especially when you eat as much as I do, the last thing I wanted was to be full to bursting after lunch!

So Friday I dragged a friend round with me to kill two birds with one stone; firstly it gave me a great excuse (not that I really need one) to go visit my faves, secondly I could introduce her to a few spots I constantly talk about.


For breakfast it was a toss up between The Grub and Grog Shop at Northern Monk Refectory and The Greedy Pig; the Pig’s full English is my go-to breakfast (over their pancakes which are also top notch) when I visit, but knowing what the day entailed pushed me towards something smaller. I’d been banging on to the point of exhaustion to my friend about Grub and Grog, so put my money where my mouth was. Their breakfast menu definitely spoils with every dish – my homemade crumpets were made even better by beautiful fermented wild honey and they soon won over my friend with buckwheat blinis with all the trimmings and North Star coffee. I think they’ve won a new fan and she’s vowed to be back.


Buckwheat blinis with cinnamon, fruit compote and yoghurt

Homemade crumpets with fermented wild honey

My love for Leeds independent coffee scene has been well documented on the blog, so it was inevitable there’d be a mid-morning caffeine stop, the last few years has seen the rise of independents above the many chains scattered across the city and with local roasters, such as North Star and Maude it continues to grow from strength to strength. Of the big four (Laynes Espresso, La Bottega Milanese, Mrs Atha’s and OppositeLaynes is my absolute fave and I’m gonna miss ordering my regular; a piccolo and relaxing even for a short time in the tranquility of the shop, all whilst people watching; whether it be the beautifully attired baristas do their thing or Leeds folk go about their daily business outside.


Lunch called for great food in relaxed surroundings, so for me The Reliance fitted the bill! This indie’s been a fave since the early days of my life in Leeds, some 14 years ago and we’ve celebrated many events here – birthdays, Christmases and reunions, it’s always drawn me back basically because they do a great job full stop! Its laid back, relaxed atmosphere and friendly service puts you at ease, they understand the use of local, seasonal ingredients and produce great dishes. It doesn’t cost the earth either! 

It surprised us both that we’d unwittingly gone for a veggie lunch and absolutely beautiful it was too – chargrilled courgettes with fettle cheese, chilli and mint, alongside some greens with a knock out hazelnut butter laced with a touch of chilli. I could’ve eaten a double portion of my herb tabbouleh with aubergine, brought it to life with pomegranate seeds – it was pretty damn awesome! An obligatory side of fries was no surprise choice as far as I was concerned, as they’re always good. 



Chargrilled courgettes, fettle, mint and chilli

Herb tabbouleh with grilled aubergines, Harissa yoghurt and pomegranate

Dinner wasn’t booked till after 7pm, so we had a few leisurely hours to kill – what better way than spending them with cocktails and a mini feed to keep us going?! I wanted to pop into Roland’s for one of their fancy cocktails, but we’d got there before opening time, damn shame, so went back up the street to Neon Cactus for a caipirinha and a lagerita. For the mini feed I suggested Red Chilli, even though their originally from the other side of the Pennines it was the ideal place as I’d developed a hankering for dumplings. Of course one portion of dumplings is never enough, so we also shared salt and pepper chicken wings and sesame pan fried dumplings because lets face it, it had to be done!  Of the few Chinese restaurants my parents have tried in Leeds, even they liked it so that can only be a good thing, especially with their exacting standards. 

Caipirinha and Sammy’s Lagerita

Guotie – shallow fried Beijing dumplings with minced pork

Salt and pepper chicken wings

Pan fried minced pork dumplings with sesame, ginger and spring onion

For dinner my first choice was to revisit Zucco, this Meanwood Italian has established itself amongst the best restaurants in the city. I’m so glad I booked as it got busy quickly and for good reason too – glorious food and friendly service. We settled for two plates each, I predictably went for dishes I’d enjoyed before – beef pappardelle and zucchini, my friend thought her choices in particular the smoked haddock and scallops were beautifully cooked. It was probably a good thing we weren’t really sharing as perhaps that dish didn’t really lend itself to it unlike the others. Regardless, the dishes were cooked faultlessly and it was another place my friend would definitely be keeping in mind for the future. 


Smoked haddock and scallops

Deep fried zucchini

Braised beef pappardelle

Flash fried verdura

Originally the plan was to make Bundobust my last stop for a spot of old school supper and join in their 1st birthday celebrations, but however tempting the idea was I just couldn’t manage anything else!!

If you had a day to eat your way through Leeds or anywhere else that matter, where would you go?








Laynes Sunday Brunch @ The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen

Last month’s Sunday brunch event at The Belgrave Hall was so popular that I was expecting the same again, but with a few improvements. It had been fully acknowledged that due to the influx of the masses who seemed to literally come down at once, there were a few niggles here and there with service, but we were reassured that it would run a little smoother and less crazier next  time around!! This time brunch lovers were given table service in an attempt to smooth out the creases, this certainly made it seem a little less frantic from the outset.

At the helm with the food menu was Laynes’ Carl Fleischer who again was being inventive with his brunch selection. Whilst Jim and Dan from The Grub & Grog Shop fame were his right hand men helping to bring the menu to life.


I LOVE having a decent brunch, really falling in love with it when visiting friends in Dublin, on that occasion brunch cocktails were also A MUST, and ever since it’s been a memorable food and drink highlight of mine. With our Laynes brunch we had to have a Laynes coffee too – a flat white and a piccolo to be exact, unfortunately we did have to wait a long time to have our order taken (so we had a couple of cheeky glasses of wine while we waited), but when they arrived I can say that my piccolo was up to the usual Laynes standard. 


Looking at the menu I could have worked my way through most of it, on this occasion I went for the braised beans with pancetta and sourdough, with an extra poached egg, while the other half chose the ham hock sandwich with extra bacon.


My dish of braised beans was certainly a hearty one, and tasty too by all accounts, a generous portion of chunky pancetta gave the beans plenty of smokiness, feta cheese helped to cut through the richness and the additional poached egg made the sauce extra gooey and yummy. A highly enjoyable plate of food. 


The other half’s ham hock sandwich was also enjoyed. A soft brioche bun was filled with ham and lovely caramelised onions, the meat did lack a touch of saltiness so the decision to order an extra portion of bacon was a good one. This did the trick and added a little seasoning.

I really like the menu and the food tastes good, but there is the issue with waiting time during service, which the team at Laynes know needs addressing. I’m sure this is a priority which they will want to rectify ASAP. 

Our brunch for two people (not including wine) was £22.

Next week The Greedy Pig will be unleashing their take on Sunday Brunch, I CANNOT wait to be one of the first in the queue to be well fed on Sunday!!!

Laynes Espresso

The Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

1A Cross Belgrave St
West Yorkshire
0113 234 6160

Laynes Espresso – The North’s Coffee Community, pt II

For the second instalment of my review of The North’s coffee community I wanted to focus on Laynes Espresso. When you talk about coffee in Leeds, here is one of a core group of independent coffee shops that’s spoken about with the utmost respect. It would be a disservice just to talk about the shop itself, as the story that was written before Laynes was born is just as important. 

Dave Olejnik has always had a love of coffee, maybe it’s coded in his DNA. In the late 90’s he frustratingly couldn’t find anywhere that sold good coffee, but then a pivotal moment occurred when in his early 20’s and unemployed, Leeds coffee pioneer Opposite opened and became one of the first decent coffee independents around. This is where a friendship with Opposite’s owner Louise began, getting a job there killed two birds with one stone – he started earning a living while drinking coffee for free – all was good!!

Here Dave learnt his craft, Opposite was to become one of the major players in Leeds’ independent coffee scene setting a benchmark for other coffee shops to reach, with attention to detail in every aspect of the business being essential.

Meanwhile, with Dave’s other love of playing in bands, his life became a combination of coffee, touring around and stage manager at the Cockpit. Another fortunate meeting occurred here when he became friends with the boss of the now popular Northern Quarter haunt, The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen. The next few years saw Dave travel the world as a guitar technician, however, his passion for coffee still burned brightly, to the point when working in the USA he’d use his free time to quietly research the coffee industry. A typical example was in Seattle where he once lived, Dave saw firsthand how the blend of great coffee and the aesthetic could result in a coffee community for like-minded people. These little jaunts are where it all started to click into place with what could be achieved.

Now back in the UK in 2009, Dave met Paul who worked for Coffee Community, which had a large part in driving forward the coffee scene. He worked for 3 years as a consultant travelling across the world training and auditing, helping to improve the skills and expertise in a number of establishments. With the knowledge and experience he’d gained from this, and also from Opposite, he decided to set up his own coffee venture.

In 2011 Laynes Espresso was born and from the start Dave knew location would be essential. It had to be in the city centre near the high street, partly to show that people didn’t have to conform and go to the multitude of coffee chains. You could get a superb product with service to match from a local independent, just down the road!! To me, and many others it’s a NO-BRAINER!!



Laynes Espresso has since become very much a coffee lovers haven, one of THE best places for the drink anywhere in Leeds, situated at the bottom of Leeds City train station making it ideal for commuters. This is my other ‘go-to’ place for a coffee when I park this side of town. My favourite is a piccolo with a Brioche Bostok slice, made by the Dumouchel Bakery in Garforth, they are just perfect together.


From street level it has an orange facade which I love, and then a completely unpretentious feel once inside. It’s odd really because I’ve been in there many times since this slow burning affection for the drink has developed, and even though I don’t really know any of their names behind the counter, I always feel at ease there. Walking from the noise and busyness of Boar Lane into Laynes I find a form of tranquility and calmness that’s immediate. With the sounds of the Synesso coffee machine, chatter and the team behind the counter quietly getting on with the job, it always seems a very peaceful environment to me.


For Laynes it’s really about the product and service, what the place lacks in square footage it completely beats that hands down with its coffee. Their regular espresso is from friends, London based roasters Square Mile, and they regularly change their guest coffee such as using local roasters North Star as well as from other parts of Europe.




Also serving breakfast, sandwiches, soups and cakes, they champion local producers, such as Leeds Bread Co-op and Bondgate Bakery from Otley for their bread, White Rose Bakes, a York-based producer of contemporary artisan sweet baked goods and Leeds locals R.K Harris & Sons for the fruit and veg.



Dave is immensely proud of Laynes, as he should be as the place has the affection of many, and is testament to how he works with the rest of the Laynes team. Where staff turnover is virtually non-existent and retention is very high, there’s an obvious loyalty which exists.

Recently Laynes has started serving brunch at The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, which was instantly hugely popular and indicative of the following that both of these parties have.

The man behind the food is Carl Fleischer, who first joined the fold when a student, initially training to be a chef. Dave with Paul, his colleague from Coffee Community, were devising a City & Guilds Barista training course at Rotherham Catering College, when Dave noticed a young man not only with an interest in food, but also in coffee. He soon moved to Leeds, working with Opposite at the Victoria Quarter site and then with Laynes.


Laynes are also in residency at The Belgrave, serving coffee and cake to the masses daily, with a lot more seating to play with you know you can get great coffee in the Northern Quarter as well now.

Whilst Laynes are working with other Leeds independents such as The Belgrave, another part of Dave’s philosophy is to push the expertise of coffee drinkers and makers, whether practising baristas or domestic home drinkers. Offering a number of training courses to people at all levels – from basic barista skills, latte art to commercial training. With Dave’s depth of knowledge and expertise in every facet, he is more than equipped to provide a service to novices, potential coffee shop owners and professionals alike.

I love Laynes and I’m not surprised it has such a loyal following. It’s somewhere you can relax, have a perfect coffee and in my opinion THE best cake to accompany it. I’m biased about the Brioche Bostok slice, but you’d be foolish not to try one. 

To conclude from all the above, all that’s left to say is there’s really  NO reason to frequent any coffee shop chain when you can go to an independent like Laynes – small but perfectly formed.

Laynes Espresso

16 New Station St
West Yorkshire
07828 823189



Belgrave Street Feast @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

The Belgrave Street Feast was held at one of my current favourite haunts Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen on Saturday. I was gutted to miss the first event last year so was glad to see a second and was definitely going to be seeing what foodie goodness would be on offer!!


A number of well known, local street food heroes were selling their wares and showcasing great flavours from different cuisines.

Fish& – Andrew worked his magic selling out with his fantastic mussels dish! Freshly steamed Scottish mussels, cooked with the Fish& twist of chilli, parsley and Brooklyn Brewery lager. Simply yummy, you can’t go wrong with delicate mussels, rich flavours and a fresh bread bowl making the perfect vehicle for soaking up the cooking liquor! There was also a fantastic looking Chilli corn chowder which went down well too!

Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth
Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth

Dough Boys Pizza – regular twitter and blog followers may know what an ardent fan I am of Ben, his team and their consistently yummy pizza!! My friend and his daughter feasted on three ‘slices’ (quarter of a pizza each): Sausage fest, Screaming goat and Into the Woods – all for less than £4!!! You’d be foolish not to get a half price slice 12-7pm, seven days a week!!!

Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!
Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!

Fu-Schnikens – Ben from Dough Boys makes these wonderful Taiwanese Bao called Gua Bao. These little gems have already found fame and love in London, courtesy of Bao London and Yum Bun, so Ben has brought his take to Leeds. They are steamed buns filled with hoisin, crushed cashew nuts, sesame seed, palm sugar, picked carrot and mooli, then topped with either:

  • braised pork belly
  • glazed portobello mushroom
  • crispy panko breadcrumb chicken

My name was all over the MEAT being the hungry carnivore I am. You must know by now how much I LOVE juicy pork belly with a passion, and katsu chicken – chicken deep fried in honeyed Japanese panko breadcrumbs. OH MY!!!!!! It’s a good thing I don’t know how to make the buns, because I’d be making these all the time!!! The  additional condiments are JUST RIGHT (ahhh Goldilocks strikes again!), with crunch, sweet, sour and fluffy buns. Writing about them doesn’t do it justice, you just got to eat one, or two in my case!

Ben at the Fu-Schickens street food stand serving Taiwanese Guo Bao!!
Ben at the Fu-Schnikens street food stand serving Taiwanese Gua Bao!!

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Bundobust – a collaboration between much-loved Prashad, the Indian vegetarian restaurant now based in Drighlington and The Sparrow pub from Bradford, serving fantastic Indian street food.


Pav Bhaji - an original Mumbai street food dish
Pav Bhaji – an original Mumbai street food dish

I sampled the Pav Bhaji which was really tasty, with a good kick of heat from the spicing and lovely fresh flavours from the herbs, red onion and tomato. They are soon to open Bundobust on Mill Hill, in Leeds city centre, I’m sure they will make a great addition to the Leeds food scene!

Patty Smiths Burgers:  They like to support local businesses and source all of our ingredients locally, with that in mind they suppliers include Sykes Farm from Wetherby, Leeds based RK Harris & Sons and finally Fosters Bakery from Barnsley. I didn’t eat one on Saturday, but I did a few days earlier and I have to say it’s a great burger!!! The beef patty was cooked just pink in the middle and has a cheese sauce which was inspired! I hate it when you have cheese that’s still solid on the sides, a cracking Chipotle mayo and lovely fresh pickle, lettuce and tomato to go with it!! A soft brioche bun to hold it all together too, a WIN WIN I say!!

Patty Smith's burgers - The 'Dirty burger'
Patty Smith’s burgers – The ‘Dirty burger’

Last but buy no means least, I couldn’t come to the Street Feast without having something from Noisette BakehouseI hope you can tell from my photos that every single thing she bakes looks soooo delicious, and it tastes just as good, if not better!!


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I had my slice of baked heaven with an espresso from Laynes, who were on hand to provide people with great coffee. What a perfect way to end my afternoon at Belgrave Street Feast!!!

Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.
Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.

Here’s to the next instalment!

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street
0113 2346160