I’m forever on the hunt for the perfect brunch place; especially one that doesn’t require a trek into the centre of Leeds (Sunday morning chill + crowds of people are not a match made in heaven). I’d heard a bit about Stories however never really found myself in Oakwood to check it out. Buuuuuut last Saturday after a shopping spree at the Chinese supermarket we popped in on our way home, nabbing a parking spot right outside (I’m a big fan of minimal effort brunch).
Stories is an independent Scandi inspired café in the centre of Oakwood and blimey is it the kind of place you want to hang out in; design beauty at its finest – I didn’t managed to get any interior shots but have a look-see at Helena Marie’s site for some lovely pics. We visited around 11ish on a Saturday morning and it was fairly quiet when we went in (with a steady stream of takeaway visitors) but by the time we left it was packed.
It’s not just the interior the Nordic theme extends to; it’s evident throughout the menu too. Smoked fish, pickled veg, smörgås, rye bread – yum! The suppliers for the most part are very local and all artisan/indies too. The lunch menu doesn’t kick in till 12 (I’ll be back for you Burrata & Pesto Smörgå) so I went for Yorkshire Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese on Sourdough (£5.50) and P went for the Poached Eggs on Sourdough (£6). Both were delicious and the quality of the ingredients evident – the cream cheese was especially good, really dense and creamy, definitely a million miles away from Philly. We also had a few drinks; a Flat White and Cappuccino (I can’t remember how much they were but probably around £3) and a juice each. Stories cold press their own juices, and like everything, come in gorgeous packaging. I had the Red Juice (£4) a sweet mixture of beetroot, carrot, ginger & apple and P had an Orange Juice (£3). All the fruit & veg used is from Kirkgate Market – again keeping it local.
There’s a counter of cakey treats which we couldn’t take our eyes off of throughout brunch so obviously weren’t going to leave without a few; a Salted Caramel Brownie for me and a Peanut Butter Brownie for him (again I’ve forgotten the prices which I assume means they’re reasonable as a previous place’s £17 tuna wrap is etched into my memory). The brownies were just right; a bit crispy round the edge but gooey in the middle. I would have preferred a bit more salt on mine but it definitely didn’t stop me enjoying it (or wolfing it down as soon as we stepped in the front door).
So is Stories a new addition to my brunch roster? For sure – the place is gorgeous, the coffee is great and the food is delicious – here’s hoping they open a second café in Meanwood!