Hessian – Leeds

Oakwood is fast becoming my favourite place for a lazy weekend; Stories, Preston (by the North Bar folk) and Stew & Oyster. You could happily while away a day visiting all the nice bars and cafes. Now Hessian has also opened; started by the owner of Filmore & Union it has the makings of a real gem – interesting menu, quirky venue and great location. A few weekends ago P and I had actually intended on going to Stories a few doors down however it was absolutely packed out so we poked our nose into Hessian. Equally as packed bar one little table at the back – a sign of fate if ever I’ve seen one.

The decor is eclectic; lots of mismatched furniture, multiple styles of Moroccan tiles and stripped wooden surfaces. It should be too much, it shouldn’t work…but it does, it has a cosy feel, like you could sink into a corner for a few hours. We started off in that corner by the open kitchen at the back with brunch; a Flat White each (£2.60) and a Green Machine Juice (£4) for me. Coffee is good, the proper stuff and the juice was a refreshing mix of apple, cucumber, greens, lemon & ginger – perfect if you’re trying to kick a hangover (maaaaybe I was). And food? I went for the Corn Fritters (£8) and P went for the Pulled Pork Hash (£8), we shared a portion of the Polenta Wedges (£3).

My dish was the perfect balance of sweet corn, salty halloumi, rich tzatziki and blow your head off green chilli. I very rarely eat foods all together (yup I’m a weird separate eater, I go round the plate in order of least favourite) but this mix was the perfect forkful – so much so that I forfeited my weird eating quirks. The Polenta Wedges were equally as good; fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Delicious with the spicy yoghurt dip it was served with. P was less happy with his hash though which was pulled pork, beans, cheese served with a fried egg and sweet potato. He thought it lacked a bit of seasoning, and even after he added some salt he thought it wasn’t that special – I definitely triumped at ordering this time.

After brunch we moved to the sofa in the front window to have a slice of cake with P’s sister (see what I mean about the kinda place you could while away a few hours?). I had a Cherry & Tonka Bean Brownie (I think it was around £4) which was the ultimate grown-up treat. Really rich and gooey with an intense tonka bean flavour coming through – definitely in the top 3 brownies I’ve ever had (I do not write this lightly!)

Although P didn’t love his brunch, I thought mine was fantastic (and guys, that brownie). I’d say Hessian is the perfect pit stop if you’re going for a long walk around Roundhay Park, or even just pottering in Oakwood. They also open for evenings which I am DEFINITELY going to try. Along with being a bit of an Oakwood fan girl, I’ve become a Hessian one too…


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