Leeds Forum

Interview Helen Wells, 82 County House, above Vicar Lane

We find out what it's like to live in the heart of Leeds' shopping district

Interview: Helen Wells, 82 County House, above Vicar Lane

How long have you lived in this apartment and how does it compare to where you lived before?

I have lived here for about four or five months, the location is so much better here compared to where I used to live Chapeltown. The apartment is definitely of a higher standard and a lot warmer and the location is brilliant – close to things like the Victoria Quarter – beats the local Happy Shopper any day!


What do you do for a living and where is it located?

I work as part of a marketing team for an engineering company. Ny office is located down at Brewery Wharf which is five minutes walk from here.


What’s the best thing about living in this part of town?

I love the fact that it is so close to work and I don’t have to endure the daily bus commute and there are so many good shops that are too close! Also my favourite bars are really close and my apartment serves as a good hotel for my friends to stay after a night out!


Do you live on your own?

I live with two other people, a guy and a girl.


Do you enjoy living with other people?

Yes I do because I enjoy eating meals with them and talking about what we’ve been up to. Also if I’ve had a stressful day at work there’s always someone to confide in. It’s also good to have someone to let you in when you’ve locked yourself out!


Do you prefer to stay in with a good film or hit the bars?

I like going out, I enjoy socialising and releasing the stresses of a week at work.


What would be your ideal night out?

Firstly some drinks with friends and housemates, then out to town for some food and a few cocktails and more recently a spot of bar-nastics!


What is your ideal night in?

Sofa time, which is rare. Some good TV, good food and wine, and some good conversation!


Where do you usually go on a night out?

I like a mix of different music and atmosphere depending on who I’m with and when I go out. I like Mojo and the bars on Merrion Street, down The Calls and The Adelphi, Neon Cactus for a good burrito and The Maven, which does great cocktails. I usually go there at the end of the night as it has a really nice atmosphere. I think I’ve just covered most of Leeds – which just about sums up living in the City Centre!


What are your most treasured possessions?

I love my cushions that are made from beautiful fabric I got at a market in Africa, a chair that I re-upholstered myself which took ages! I have some rings which mean a lot to me… I love jewellery. Also my 1980s Polaroid camera, my films are in the fridge next to the wine and butter.


Do any of your housemates have any annoying habits?

No, if anything they have made me realise I am not as tidy as I thought I was!


Do you have any unusual hobbies?

It isn’t unusual but it is certainly a hobby – I like upholstery and recently completed an upholstery course which took a year, it takes a lot of time and patience but it’s worth it in the end.


If you were stranded on a desert island with one suitcase what would it contain?

Definitely some music, sun block and glitter! What more would you need?!


Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Michael Jackson, Édith Piaf – to drink champagne and dance on the table with. Also Andy Warhol, Gary Barlow and Bob Marley, it’s just a shame only Gary is alive, but I would quite happily just invite Gary


What is your favourite thing about Leeds?

Its ‘Yorkshireness’ in the sense that people here have a particular sense of humour and you tend to find some amusing characters. There are some really good shops in Leeds too, especially in the Victoria Quarter which is also a really beautiful building. I also love the night life and think it’s a good location to be in for people to visit as I have friends who live in London, Ireland and Newcastle.


Is there anything you think that Leeds is lacking?

Green spaces like parks and places to sit on summer days, the city centre is very built up and it can be hard to relax if you live and work here.

Posted on Wednesday 8th February 2012
Laura Fishwick

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