They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Ghosties Favorite Leeds Bars Volume 3

Lets dive straight into this one... This is my regular regular pub/bar, one I've called in to over and over, and even had the privilege to work in for over a year in the past (so this one could be a little biased, but hey... I don't care).

Welcome to Arcadia; (part of the Market Town Taverns chain)

In truth there is not much to look at from the outside, all tucked away at the end of Headingley Arndale center, but the large floor to roof windows definitely let in plenty of light during the day. As with most of the MTT the interior is kind of what you may have come to expect. Nice and cosy, lots of warming woods with plenty of cushioned seats and stools to park your ass while you savour your delight of choice. Disabled access and toilets are also available for those in need. Arcadia also boasts a very dog friendly atmosphere so you can bring along the whole family. (as long as there over 18!!)

On to drinks;

Arcadia offers 8 real cask ales which they are quite proud of when it comes to quality. They have been awarded the full Cask Marque of Excellence for over 5 years now for the beers - pretty much since they opened! Of the 8 pumps 2 are regular beers - Black Sheep and Timmy Taylors Landlord, 2 are regular breweries - Copper Dragon and Elland, and the other 4 are changed according to what's in the cellar. (which can range from a wide variety of traditional Yorkshire breweries) Maintaining the rigorous task of line cleaning and beer testing comes pride of place in the list of jobs, so you can confirm the cleanest and freshest pints around!

They reckon they get through around 38/40 firkins of beer a week (a great feat for such a small bar) so you can guarantee every time you go in you can be sure of a different ale to sup. If you like a beer so much though, you can partake in the two pint offer. No this isn't real ale in a stein, but you can take out a 2 pint carton of your favorite ale to enjoy once you get back home, with no additional cost of course!

Now it's not only real ale that gets a look in round these parts. The bar comes equipped with 6 different keg lines (3 shown above) which boast some of the best Belgian, German and other international brews. Don't expect to be getting served Kwak in pints though - as leaders in responsible drinking - the stronger Belgian beers only come in halves.

Fancy a bottle of something a little special? Arcadia's got ya covered;

Being supplied by the monsters of international beer bottling, James Clay, the bar has something for everyone, why not have a look through the wee booklet of beer whilst you have your first pint.

Now I must stress that even though this bar is in the middle of a string of pubs which runs through Leeds, which some minor delinquents may refer to as the Otley Run, THIS BAR IS NOT PART OF THE OTLEY RUN! Don't even think of coming in here with your fancy dress on, you won't even get a sniff of alcohol! Large groups aswell - as part of the license Arcadia has the right to refuse service to large groups (probably about 8 or more.) It's nothing against large groups of people (unless your costume wearing bastards!) it's just part of the license.

Who is the holder and maintainer of this plaque which allows the sale of 'proper booze' to Headingley residents? None other than General Manager; Rhian Aitken! And with the fire dog that is A.M. Graeme (he says he has no second name!) at her side the two are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the promotion of all things good accustomed with real ale, real beer and just plain fantastic drinks!

These guys do such a fantastic job in the bar that they received the accolade of being the Leeds Branch of CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2009 - 2010! (a once again, much fought over prize!)

Now you may think the entrance above looks like the opening to a bomb shelter, and you wouldn't be far off! The building that Arcadia is situated in used to be part and parcel of a large bank. This means that deep in the bowels of the bar, there is a safe, and not just a little old metal box like you may be thinking. Yes Arcadia's beer store is a safe! A small room underground, the safe is surrounded on all sides by over a foot of reinforced concrete! (try tunnel into that one to get your beer!) If you look hard enough round the bar you can find old frames which contain original cheques which used to be used in the old bank. Don't go thinking it's a small beer store though, no this is a big safe!

If your looking for my proper beer nerd-ery aspect of the bar though, it's pretty obvious when you get up to the fonts; (much better than your average bare walls ey?)

There are a lot of extras to be had and gained at Arcadia. There is free WiFi, there is a quotes board (which gets cleaned every week - put in a quote and win a free pint!) A recent addition to the bar is a great pub quiz held every other week. You can also hire out a separate room for events, or you can come along to the (becoming popular) Arcadia Events nights, the next being a gin master-class hoasted by Gerry's;

The last bit to tell you about is the small details but this bit needs getting right! -

        FOOD; Food is served at different times,
                     Thurs + Fri - Start at 12 and ends at 2.30
                                           Comes back on 5 then ends at 8
                     Sat - Service is from 12 - 8PM
                     Sun - Service is from 1 - 6PM

Opening hours - 12 noon till 11PM every day.

Arcadia Ale and Wine Bar, Headingley
34 Arndale Centre LS6 2UE
0113 274 5599

Now there's just enough time to get the bragging shoes on to mention about two bastards sharing a double bastard... (Ghost and Graeme) Get yourself up to the Grove if you want some of this, but then come back to Arcadia for a much needed 'Proper Pint!'

Volume 4 coming soon!! 


  1. mmm Double Bastard!

    Since I'm coming over to pick up some Monsieur Rock tomorrow, I'm guessing it would be a good time to check this place out...

  2. Hey saw your comment on Pete Brown's blog. The dungeon master of The Session is here if you're interested:

    It's all self-nomination.

    Double Bastard looks good. I can't even get that beer here, and I'm in the (oft ignored) midwestern US and it's already over there. Telling!

  3. Brian - good to see ya as always

    Flagon - cheers for that, will have to check it out.