The tiled café of Leeds Central Library is a great place to meet people or just to chill out in splendid solitude with expresso and laptop (free wi-fi). The cakes are good and the setting and atmosphere is stunning. Look around you at the tiles and the beautiful ceiling. Tip: if you are alone sit by the window – in winter it is warmer there as you are near the radiators and you can people watch inside and out. Write a postcard or a letter – it has that ambience to encourage pen on paper and if need be you can buy art postcards in the shop below, or a book or a notebook. It is an especially good spot if you have been fooled into making the journey to Leeds to go shopping but can’t be bothered. Go on subvert yourself! The art library above is second to none and you can join without being a Leeds resident. The art reference section is excellent for tracking down obscure painters, etc which even the internet lacks details on. And there is a gallery as well with a top quality municipal art collection that includes paintings by Walter Sickert. Just to tantalise and frustrate you there was a brilliant Henry Moore exhibition there in 2012 that I chanced on when avoiding shopping. So good went back a few times. So be warned: this place will seriously enrich you without busting your pocket and it has an excellent café thrown in for good measure which will also feed the soul and the body.
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