One of the newest bars along Leeds’ flourishing Merrion Street, Slate certainly impresses from the outside. Set in a stunning Tudor-style building, I felt like I was about to enter Shakespeare’s birthplace rather than a pool bar and pizzeria.
The historic exterior marries beautifully with an factory-inspired interior that’s become a somewhat familiar feature of so many Leeds bars. Perhaps it’s a hark back to Leeds’ booming industrial heyday?
As I walked in, one of the first things I noticed was an impressively long bar adorned with Victorian mosaics and funky yellow exposed light bulbs dangling overhead. I almost expected to turn around and see a woman bent over an old sewing machine making garments.
Snapping back to the present day, we were greeted by friendly bar staff who offered us a cocktail and we opted for an Elderberry Martini and a Summer in Leodis. The latter contained gin, Pimms, lemon and apple juice with lavender syrup and blackberry jam. This was lemony and a little strong for me – although Jake liked it. But the Elderberry Martini ticked all of the boxes: sweet, foamy and elegant, the St Germain paired beautifully with the raspberries, mango syrup and Chambord.
Next up were the pizzas. Having only just been to Rome, our standards are quite high – but we certainly weren’t disappointed. We were presented with two huge thin wood-fired pizzas – one topped with barbeque pork and the other bursting with smoked speck, goats cheese and roasted artichokes. Crispy, gooey, cheesy and laden with gorgeous toppings, if I closed my eyes I was back in Pizza Ivo in Rome. The mixed salad was fantastic too – the little round cherry peppers were a really special addition and when sliced up they gave our pizzas a sweet and tangy hit with every bite.
A visit to Slate wouldn’t be complete without a game or two of pool. This game is far from my forte but luckily Jake was on hand to demonstrate a few tricks of the trade.
If you’re looking for a place to while away a few hours on a weekday evening with mates, you can’t go far wrong with Slate. It’s chilled, friendly, fun and relaxed with fantastic food and cocktails to boot. Plus it’s close to some other fab haunts such as It bar, the Belgrave and Mojo so I’ll definitely be back. Even if it’s just for a quick wood fired pizza to reminisce about Rome…