Melting Hearts in Leeds this Winter

Ah Christmas, the most romantic time of the year! Nights may be getting colder but that doesn’t mean romance has to.

I want to share with you what I think are some wonderful date ideas during this cold winter season. They won’t guarantee fireworks and butterflies – that, I’m afraid, is out of my hands – but I do promise they’ll provide an entertaining and enchanting experience for you and a lucky someone.

If you fancy kicking off your date before dark falls then pop along to the Leeds City Museum, located right by Millennium Square, where they are holding an indoor Etsy market every day from 11-4pm, beginning on December 6th. This market pops up all over the UK and celebrates local crafters and designers, encouraging people to shop local this Christmas. You can browse their selection of stalls that will be selling a range of handmade, vintage items, so if you’re looking for Christmas presents for your family this year, this is a great place to start. Helping each other choose gifts will certainly make the whole debacle of picking out presents a lot more pleasurable.

When night begins to fall and you’re done mooching around the indoor market, it’s time to brace the chilly outdoors once again, but fear not, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself warm. Perhaps a nice hot mug of Christmas cheer or a steaming plate of delicious food? Well, the Christkindelmarkt offers just this. Located in the centre of Millennium Square, the German Christmas Market proves to be one of the most popular events, with its adorable authentic log cabins and abundance of colourful fairy lights. Grab yourself a traditional German delicacy such as Currywurst or Bratwurst sausage, all washed down with a warming glass of Gluhwein, and finished off with a sweet stollen! You can also browse the range of seasonal gifts, including handcrafted toys, jewellery and Christmas decorations. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to listen to some traditional German folk music which, to me, screams Christmas like nothing else. If this weren’t enough, there is also an outdoor ice skating rink right by the market where you can enjoy skating under the stars. If, like me, you aren’t very good at it, then it’s the perfect excuse to hold each other a little closer for balance.

So, you’ve purchased all your handmade gifts, stuffed yourself full of German culinary delights and skated your feet sore, it’s now time to wind the night in, but where? All Bar One is a classic, cosily furnished bar that offers a slightly more mature experience. The cocktails, although slightly on the expensive side, are sure not to disappoint and the Cocktail of the Month: Truffle Shuffle, a silky smooth blend of Baileys, Honey Tequila and cream is highly recommended. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can even book a Cocktail master class, where you can learn the ins and outs of how to make your favourite alcoholic refreshments – you’ll be sure to impress your date with your bartender moves.

During the Christmas period there are also a couple of seasonal events to get you in the mood. The Hedonist Project is a unique seasonal concept bar that has been transformed into a winter mountain ski themed lodge. It’s the perfect place to escape the chill and get ‘piste’ this winter. Leeds is also welcoming an exclusive Game of Thrones themed pop-up inn running from Friday 25th November to December 9th. It will be taking residency in the old Cafe Rouge unit downstairs in The Light every evening between 5pm and 10pm. The medieval décor and themed cocktails, such as The Three Eyed Raven, and the offer of an enormous meat feast, along with the chance to meet a John Snowe lookalike makes for a magical evening that you and your date will undoubtedly enjoy. Even if you’re not a true Game of Thrones fan, this is sure to be guaranteed fun.

If none of this takes your fancy, then you can always keep it simple with a film at either the more contemporary Everyman cinema, or, for a more traditional experience, you can visit the Hyde Park Picture House. This cinema doesn’t merely showcase the latest releases but some more classic, independent films, which is perfect if you want something a little different. The experience comes at a reasonable price as well, with tickets starting at around £5.50. During the Christmas period, you can’t go wrong with snuggling up close with someone and watching an old classic!

Alice Vivyan-Jones

(Image: Martha Stewart Weddings)

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