From absolutely nothing a few years ago, Leeds is now littered with top-rate independent coffee shops. The latest one is Mrs Atha’s a quirky little place on that odd, desolate feeling pedestrianised road behind House of Fraser.
They’re springing up all over the place, these indies, to such an extent that it’s possible to say that if you still buy coffee from Starbucks, Cafe Nero or – God forbid – Costa Coffee, you should be run out of town.
Mrs Atha’s brings a sliver of light to a dingy corner of Leeds. It’s a quirky little café, vintage styled with a keen eye on the needs of the people who’d be using it. It’s old-fashioned, yet bang up to date. Hard to describe, but the place looks gorgeous, decked out in dark wood, paintings, and bare brickwork, accessorised with vintage china. It must have cost a fortune, and the investment shows.
All the cosy vintageness sits perfectly with a clientèle who seemed to have brought half an Apple stores worth of gadgetry with them, and it’s all overseen by a pair of tattooed baristas, who on the considerable strength of my rich, thick crema topped and heart-stoppingly good espresso, seem to know their stuff. £1.40, if I remember correctly.
A perfect place for a spot of urban hipster watching.