Leeds

                    
 
When visiting Leeds I usually drink in the city centre and catch a bus or taxi out to the ground. The last time I visited my latest favourite Leeds pub, The Ship, Ship Yard, Briggate, LS1 6LL (01132 468031) was not on the way to a football or rugby match, however, but for a gentlemen's drink in Leeds. However, it was still early in the evening whilst we were at The Ship and the behaviour of our fellow travellers was not yet challenging. This is a superb air conditioned 300 year old pub, with 5 rotating real ales (though they rarely change significantly as far as I can make out) on hand pump, including Leeds Pale, which I would have been happy drinking all night.

The Ship also serves up a menu of locally sourced home made meals (12-6pm Mon-Sat and 12-4pm Sun), and everything I saw there looked very good. There is a long narrow bar with black and white chequered tiles around the bar, and a ceiling of dark lacquered wood, the bar leads up to a raised area at the rear. There are also some outdoor tables, usually bagged by smokers. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, and, if you are hanging around in Leeds post-match, live music is often played here on Saturday evenings. 

A hundred yards south of The Ship is Whitelocks Ale House, Turks Head Yard, off Briggate LS1 6HB (01132 453950/423368), which has been licensed premises since 1715. This is a larger pub, with an unspoiled interior, tiles and copper, wooden panelling, a mixture of Victorian and Art Deco. It also has a long yard with seating for al-fresco drinking. There are up to 8 real ales on hand pump, regulars being Theakstons Best, Leeds Pale and Deuchars IPA.  Food is served in its restaurant, and in the bar area, from 12-5pm and 5-9pm Monday to Saturday and 12-9pm Sunday; you will likely need to make a reservation if you want to eat in the restaurant in the evening. 

 
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