Hey there! How is your week going?
I thought I’d pop in with some recommendations for a foodie day out in Leicester! If you’re in the midlands, it’s definitely worth a visit to Leicester. In fact, there are loads of great foodie destinations in the midlands – Nottingham (my home town) is another great one (see my post about the best places for lunch in Nottingham here!).
Leicester is a lovely small to mid sized city, compact and flat, perfect for exploring! We caught the train which is a short walk from the centre of town.
First on my foodie hit list was a visit to Gelato Village, I’d heard amazing things about gelato and other delicious offerings (waffles, sorbetto and gelato lollys!). Leicester also boasts TWO other gelato spots – Whipee Gelato and Bru (where the cake is also apparently excellent) but based on reviews and word of mouth, Gelato Village is the best (and it’s run by an Italian family which seems to add an air of authenticity). But that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t try them all, right?
Gelato Village is on the edge of Saint Martin’s Square, an adorable independent shopping area with cute shops and quirky cocktail bars, a really short walking distance from the centre of the city. The area around here, nicknamed the Lanes, are great for a browse, with lots of cafes and shops to pop into.
I got a HUGE gelato cone with pistacio, salted caramel and dark chocolate gelato – delicious! When I go again, I’ll probably get all pistacio as it was just so good, but I might also be tempted by some of the special seasonal flavours they have in, like gin and tonic.
After gelato and a wander around to some lovely shops (I’ll get more into that soon but the area around Gelato Village is full of nice shops to wander around!), you may be thirsty! Leicester is full of great cocktail and gin bars, many of them in the same area!
We headed to 33 Cank Street, a jazz and cocktail bar with friendly staff handily right next to Gelato Village (they also do delicious looking food) but we just stopped in for a couple of cocktails from their extensive menu. I tried a blood orange gelato, which was sooo tasty – prices range from £6 – £8 but some cocktails are on offer 4-7 daily and all day Sundays.
For lunch, I decided on a visit to Peter Pizzeria at Welford Place (just outside the city centre, but again a really short walk), a huge pizza restaurant with really cool, eclectic decor (and ping pong tables). Is it the law that restaurants have to have these now?
The main pizza menu is pretty small, but you can customise the offerings to your liking (and they even do a Nutella pizza too….). I had a ricotta and olive pizza with pistachios on top (I can’t get enough, clearly!).
As well as food and drink, we did a bit of shopping and sightseeing! One thing I love about Leicester is how flat it is for walking around – yes I am #lazy! It also has great chain store offerings if that’s what you’re into, with two big shopping centres and some really cool stuff, including the area around the lanes and Leicester Market, a great food and drink market where fruit and veg are sold in bowls and everything is amaaazing value for money. There’s lots more about what Leicester has to offer shopping wise here.
We popped in to have a look at the Guildhall, a free visitor attraction that gives you some info about Leicester’s history. There’s a nice family friendly cafe and free events on too and it’s very close by to Leicester Cathedral, where you can also pop in free to see the tomb of King Richard III.
If you are interested in history, there’s also the central King Richard III visitor centre (entry is £8 for adults) which we didn’t go to.
I also LOVED the square outside Leicester Cathedral and the guildhall, which features a Richard III sculpture and graves from the cathedral set amongst beautiful plants and seating areas. It’s a great place to sit and the combination of the spectacular old graves and people sitting eating their lunch is strangely moving.
Wandering around The Lanes
The Lanes is a lovely shopping area with cafes, quirky shops, bars and restaurants (and also one Gelato Village!). St Martin’s Square is the area to explore for fantastic independents that you can’t find elsewhere.
Some of the shops, like Harriman and Co (below) reminded me of the gorgeous homeware shops that I explored in Amsterdam.
I’ll be back to Leicester very soon for more gelato! If you’ve more tips on what to eat and drink and where to visit, leave them in the comments for me and other blog readers 🙂 .