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I think once you have children, the nights that you get to spend with your other half, enjoying each other’s company without the sound of a toddler screaming she wants In the Night Garden on, become a distant memory. Well this is why woman created date night. A night you get to put your glad rags on, drink copious amounts of alcohol and eat in a restaurant that does not have a soft play area.

My partner and I always chose quite a similar format for our date nights; drinks somewhere beforehand, dinner then home to bed. So as soon as our little princess has been carted off to her grandparent our evening of fun can begin.

We all know that there are many places in Leeds you can drink in, however, once I have found somewhere that I enjoy I find it hard to go elsewhere.

For us, we like somewhere a bit quieter to begin with, somewhere we can catch up and have very nice drinks, but not feel we are shouting over some really drunk man or a couple who are screaming at each other. This is why I would recommend Epernay. Epernay is a lovely champagne bar which has an outside area that is actually inside (no worries of freezing to death in this English weather). You can unwind in here with a few glasses of something fizzy (and I mean just a few), you don’t want to be that person who had one too many in a quiet, civilized bar (trust me, nobody likes that person).

Then on to dinner, me and my significant other love food, especially meat, so The Grill on the Square is always our preferred choice. Everything about it screams date night, from the twinkling fairy lights lining the windows to the pianist playing away in the background.

Blackhouse - The Grill on the Square

We always arrive about half an hour before our table is booked, giving us time to enjoy a cocktail (or two) at the bar, my favourite being a sloe gin crush. I don’t know whether it’s just me but when you have children you never get to just sit back and relax, being nosey at other people as you are constantly on tenterhooks, worrying about what is going to be broken next. So on our date night, we make sure we never have to rush, we can just enjoy our surroundings and each other.

So now on to our favourite part of the night (until we go home that is), the food!!! I am one of those annoying people who love to share everything, my partner hates this but I like to make sure I have tried everything. Just to know that what he has isn’t nicer than what I have. The Grill on the Square has the perfect answer for people like me; to start with their Blackhouse Sharing Platter. A mixture of crispy calamari, Thai fishcakes, duck spring rolls and bang bang chicken skewers, with dips galore.

Then on to the main. The ‘big daddy’. A 1200 gram porterhouse steak, served with everything you would need (chips, French beans AND a sauce). Now I don’t know if you have ever seen or tried to eat 1200 grams worth of meat, even when sharing this is not for the faint hearted. Luckily for me I have a partner who has a bottomless pit for a stomach so I can have a few pieces and he can devour the rest.

What’s that phrase, quality over quantity? With this steak they hit both aspects; it literally melts in your mouth, and the presentation is undeniable. In fact, it has proven to be one of the best steak dishes either of us has ever had, thus far.

After our meal the night normally ends the same way, I awkwardly sit trying to undo my dress, making sure that no one notices but to ensure I can breath again. We finish up our drinks, pay the bill, jump in a taxi and spend the rest of the night in bed, however on the rare occasion we have not been out faced by the food or the bottle(S) of wine (and the rest) we always head to The Botanist to finish off the night

Botanist Logo

Botanist is always full with lots of noise, so is completely different than what we want at the beginning of the night. But after a big meal we are probably starting to feel a bit sleepy and this place will always wake you up, plus their raspberry amaretto sours aren’t half bad either...


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