Last week, I started off my weekend with a visit to Ham & Friends. It’s such a gorgeous venue which has been decorated it in a fresh and modern way. You might remember I went to their Christmas pop up last year and I loved it then too but I couldn’t imagine the makeover from then till now for their permanent residence.
To compliment the light this venue gets from the glass roof, it’s decorated in minimalism: marbled and white tables, chrome details, letting the brick walls speak for themselves, tiles to give it a kitchen feel and lots of plants to make it homely. What else can you ask for? Oh yeah, a gorgeous bar with an arched shaped window backdrop. When can I move in?
For such a medium sized space, they’ve managed to maximise it and make the best use of every inch: including an extensive wine section, a cheese room, and a gift shop full of goodies like cured meat (you guessed it from their name), original beers, coffee, chocolate and loads of other condiments. The other half of the venue is set up as a wine bar and with plenty of tables where you can enjoy wine by the glass or a bottle directly from the shop.
If you visit early in the morning, a hot drink might be more suitable. I did enjoy a heartwarming cup of tea (I know I’m not the number one tea drinker. It I enjoy occasionally) with a fruity and hibiscus taste. And look at that lovely pink colour! Tea and pastry was what I needed to get my energy up for picking out well thought out and quirky sourced products to take home.
I normally don’t spend lots of money on wine but with the generous amount given to me on the day, I was able to treat myself to a nice bottle of red wine called Bonkers. A light red wine almost like a rosé, which I really enjoy. The wine selection Ham & Friends offer is incredible and being located upstairs, via a winding staircase, surrounded by massive windows gives it a greenery feel. The wines aren’t what you normally will find in the supermarket range but instead something different and out of the ordinary. I love shopping by the look of the bottle and label so I was pleased to see so many quirky options.
I should probably have picked up some cheese to go with it but cheese has a best before date I knew I wouldn’t meet on this occasion. The cheese room is very impressive and in contrast to the wine area, a lot cooler. ‘Cheesemongers’ know their stuff so whenever I like a cheese out of the ordinary, I shall come here. Truffle cheese anyone?
Instead of cheese, I picked out more beverage. I found a couple of cool beers with flavours I’d never thought of including in beer but after trying a salty beer previously, and liking it, I thought why not. The banana and bacon beers will be consumed this weekend so check out my social channels for my thoughts.
If you live in Leeds, looking for some new quirky beverages to try or like other cheese than the regular cheddar supermarkets offer, make sure to visit Ham & Friends. They’re located at the bottom of Merrion Street and are open Tuesday – Sunday from 11am. Beginning of June their kitchen will also open up serving dinner from 5pm and on weekends also dish out a brunch (no brainer).
Anyone in Leeds fancying coming for brunch with me once available? Have you got any quirky wine, cheese or beer recommendations I should look out for?