Lifestyle | Trading campus for cafés – Alternative revision spaces

January is upon us. A new year, a new term and a looming set of post Christmas exams for most of the unfortunate students returning to Leeds this week. Many of you will be returning to Leeds with a view to spending entire days slaving away in the library. However, if the social haven that is Edward Boyle level thirteen is not particularly enticing when you actually need to work, why not try working in a less monotonous environment?

There are a number of coffee shops both on and off campus that will provide you with a far more relaxed atmosphere for that last minute cramming session (which, lets face it, you will have to do). Whilst these establishments are less likely to stock an endless amount of books and BNOCs, I can assure you that hot drinks are very much allowed and the staff will encourage snacking instead of removing you from the building after catching you with your homemade soggy tuna sandwich. Listed below are our favourite study locations for when the library has taken its toll during the revision slog.

Café Lento (Headingley)

One frosty evening last year, my housemates and I stumbled across this hidden gem whilst on our way to Sainsbury’s. Lured in by the ‘bar’ sign on the door we decided to try it out ‘just for one glass of wine’. Lento usually closes at 6pm but the friendly owner seemed overjoyed by our arrival and kept the door open until 9pm. Three bottles later we staggered home having found our new favourite dwelling. As its name suggests, life at this little coffee shop moves at a relaxed pace. Regulars come here to read the papers and enjoy Lento’s impressive range of Italian coffees. From a simple Espresso to a Caffè Freddo (iced coffee with cream), the drinks menu has enough to get you through a long day of revision exertion.

Froth and Fodder (opposite the Parkinson Building)

Just across the road from the Brotherton library, with a far quirkier décor, is this popular coffee shop. A constant stream of students and lecturers coming and going will remind you not to be distracted from your never-ending pile of lecture notes. The assortment of old-school writing desks and vintage reading lamps make this café a library in itself (although the collection of reading material is arty books and magazines, rather than course bibles). For those of you who work best in the early hours, Froth and Fodder also starts serving coffee at the crack of dawn (well… 7.30am).

Mrs Atha’s (Central Road, City Centre)

Frequented by students and businessmen alike, this trendy café provides a cosy, unique and spacious setting to work in. The delicious array of cakes, savoury snacks and all day breakfast options will keep you here for hours. There are usually several students nestled here, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and enjoying the scrumptious tea (served on vintage china) in this chic joint. The brother of the owner, an author based in London, spends much of his time writing and working in coffee shops. The owner is therefore keen to attract students, bloggers and writers to use Mrs Atha’s as a chilled-out working environment.

Alice Burns

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