The Tiled Hall Café in the Leeds Art Gallery is the perfect setting for a lunch break, morning breakfast or just a quiet space to relax.
It was originally the main library reading room and now this grand Victorian hall is covered in original turquoise and coloured tiles which were completely covered up with shelving in the 50’s and 60’s.
In 2007, the space was restored to its former glory to display a blend of brightly coloured decorative tiles, gold details on the ceiling, huge granite and marble columns and dramatic archways, and amazing parquet flooring made of oak, ebony and walnut.
It’s difficult to understand quite why the space was ever hidden in the first place. Interior styling has now gone full circle and these original tiles are once-again, making this hall such a special place.
Sunlight pours in through the tall arch windows, making it a really light and colourful space.
The hall is now a buzzing cafe which serves teas, coffees, soup, sandwiches, cakes and all the usual treats.
I ordered a pot of Yorkshire tea as I felt that such a historical venue demanded one of the finest teas. When I sat down at my table I was looking around in awe of this magnificent piece of architectural brilliance, so much so that I almost missed my cup when pouring the tea for the first time.
My lunchtime treat was chicken and orzo pasta.
I can see why this would be a popular place for a lunch hour as by mid-day the place filled out nicely. One of the best things about my hour spent here was just feeling so relaxed and grateful to be in Yorkshire.
This former reading room is part of the Leeds Art Gallery and Central Librarybuilding, so it’s also handy for art-lovers, but frankly you’d walk halfway across the city to have a bowl of soup and a cake in surroundings like these. It’s just inside the Art Gallery on the left, and there’s a separate entrance from the Central Library (whose opening hours it echoes).