LEEDS'S LISTED BUILDING RESTAURANT
If you want to enjoy one of the most beautiful listed buildings in the city as you savour a cocktail or glass of fizz then head for The Lost and Found.
The ambience, in what was the former Leeds Club, is almost surreal. Its hard to imagine that once this was a meeting place for the city’s leaders and an inner sanctum for the textile and engineering barons.
The Leeds Club has always been one of the city’s best kept secrets and people would just pass by this Victorian building with no idea just what it was or what it was used for.
A Grade II listed building it was build by surgeon William Hey as a residence for his son and grandson in 1820 and in 1849 was turned into The Leeds Club.
Enter this building and soak up the atmosphere and grandeur. Close your eyes and imagine the city’s captains of industry drawing up in their carriages or new fangled automobiles and sweeping through the doorway in their black frock coats and top hats.
You can imagine swirling clouds of cigar smoke pervading the air as these captains of industry drank their favourite tipple, read the stocks and shares pages in a pristine newspaper before dining in the elegant restaurant.
The décor here is still as amazing as it was then and if you get chance descend to the lower loos and you will see the only listed toilet in Leeds standing amidst a washroom of original green tiles, gilt edged mirrors and gleaming brass taps.
Leeds Club’s rooms also included a ballroom, billiard room and one of the most decorative staircases in the city all which have all been tastefully and lovingly restored to their original glory.
The restaurant is on the first floor and climbing the stairs is in itself an eye-opening treat as the full glory of the dining room unfurls as you reach the top of the staircase.
Our table looked out onto Albion Place, which took on a different focus when viewed from above through the restaurant’s large windows.
Our starters arrived very quickly but we could tell that the bread with which it was served on was not freshly toasted and in my colleague’s, case was more than overcooked.
I chose the Ham Hock and Pea Terrine. It was smooth and flavoursome and the piccalilli mayonnaise gave it a kick. My colleague’s Crispy Salami Bruschetta with whipped ricotta and fennel was decidedly tasty, the cream cheese contrasting beautifully with the flavour of the salami. However both starters came in very miniscule portions.
My colleague chose from the pasta section of the menu. Her Cured Salmon and King Prawn Linguine was tossed in chilli, lemon, rocket and toasted pine nuts.
The salmon was very light and like the prawns cooked to perfection making it very tender and tasty. All in all this was a more than satisfying dish of top class cuisine.
I opted for the Pork Tomahawk cooked in their Josper charcoal oven, giving it a great smoky flavour. The ultra large chop was cooked in a crispy sage and onion crust which added such a lot to the flavour of the meat. There was also a hint of apple under the crust.
As an accompaniment to these dishes we shared a very crispy and delightful Caesar Salad with a tangy dressing and some seasoned skinny fries which were hot and very crispy.
When it came to something sweet I had no doubts in choosing the Cardamom and Ginger Rice Pudding. This was delicious it came with roasted pineapple and edible flowers and really put a new spin on the old favourite pud. The pudding was creamy and the rice soft – just like mum used to make.
My colleague’s choice of the Passion Fruit Cheesecake was a little less pleasing. This was a new take on Cheesecake with a ginger and coconut crumb sprinkled on the plate and pieces of stewed passion fruit – had they got it right we wondered, was something missing, because this was the strangest sweet ever even for an unorthodox one.
When it came to coffee time we were pleasantly surprised with the choice and quality and decided to savour the atmosphere in the foyer sitting in the sinkable leather chairs whilst we soaked up the building’s decadent atmosphere.
The Lost and Found, 3 Albion Place, Leeds l Tel: -0113 4931450
Open: Monday to Wednesday and Sunday 10.00am – 11pm, Thursday 10.00am-midnight; Friday 10.00am-l.00am; Saturday 10.00am-2pm