Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eating Engineering, Leeds, UK

The Round Foundry is a former engineering works located just south of Leeds City Station on the River Aire. It was built between 1795-1797 by the engineer Matthew Murray and his business partners. The Foundry eventually became one of the world's first specialist engineering foundries and it was here that Matthew Murray made his name as a great engineer. His global reputation was based on the quality of the textile machinery, steam engines and locomotives he produced.

Disaster struck in the 19th century when fire destroyed some of the original buildings, including the large rotunda that gave the Round Foundry its name. Those buildings that remain are now listed and have been incorporated into a new multi-million pound development providing space for creative and media companies as well as restaurants, bars and caf├ęs set in a number of courtyards.

The various watering holes and eateries include a 200 year-old gastropub, the Cross Keys, which serves an excellent and popular Sunday roast accompanied by real ales. Local legend has it that James Watt, another famous engineer, hired a room in the pub for three months in 1802 in order to steal trade secrets from Matthew Murray by getting the foundry workers drunk.

Just across the courtyard at the back of the Cross Keys is The Foundry Wine Bar, a small bistro serving delicious and award-winning British fare.

Cross Keys
107 Water Lane
Leeds LS11 5WD
Tel: +44 (0) 113 243 3711

The Foundry Wine Bar
1 Saw Mill Yard
Round Foundry
Water Lane
Leeds LS11 5WH
Tel: +44 (0) 113 245 0390

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dine like a local

If you would like a different eating experience while travelling, check out these organizations which can set up dining experiences with local people/chefs:

US: The Ghetto Gourmet
US & Europe: Dine with Locals
Toronto, Canada: Stranger Suppers
London, UK: The Secret Ingredient
Worldwide: Like-a-Local