Whilst I am off exploring Vietnam with Eleanor (keep up to date with my travels via INSTAGRAM and TWITTER) I have some bloggers taking over my site! First up is Em from Ems Living For The Weekend all about how to spend 24 hours in Leicester!
“I’m Em, I’m a Midlands Based Travel & Lifestyle Blogger, I’m fairly new to blogging, however I enjoy travelling, writing and taking pictures, so it just made sense. I’m a real foodie, with sushi being my absolute favourite. I’ve got some exciting things coming to my blog soon, including a colab with a great charity, some new beauty products and of course lots of travel posts as I’m currently undertaking a £2000 travel challenge to visit 21 places.”
I’ve been contemplating writing a “24 hours in Leicester” guide for some time, as I’ve been an official resident of Leicestershire for over a year now. So, when Kaylea asked me to do a guest post for her blog I jumped at the chance.
My partner is a surgeon and when the job came up at Leicester Hospital, as pleased as I was for him, I have to admit, I inwardly groaned. Leicester is one of those awful concrete cities isn’t it? With no character or history? Honestly, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. I have never known a city with a more diverse culture, friendly locals, and a fascinating history dating back over 2000 years. So yes, I am a convert, I’m in love with the city. If I had to choose I would say my favourite things are the huge selection of restaurants and the annual Diwali Festival, which is the biggest one outside of India.
Below is my suggested guide of how to spend 24 hours in Leicester:
If I had my way, every day would start with brunch, so I strongly recommend you head to The Knight and Garter for an epic meal in style. They have a great menu, offering the usual options such as Eggs Benedict or croissants, to the not so usual including crab and steak with eggs. They also offer unlimited Mimosas if you’re in the mood. The restaurant and decor are very sophisticated without being pretentious. The staff here are also really friendly.
After brunch, it’s time to take in some of the fantastic culture & history the city has to offer, first stop is a museum.
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery is a small but interesting free attraction, located on the beautiful New walk. It’s home to both local and international pieces. It’s an interesting way to spend at least an hour for all ages and they have their very own huge dinosaur. Aside from the dinosaur (obviously), my favourite room here is the ancient Egypt section.
Craving a sweet treat? If it’s a warm day, head into Gelato Village for, in my opinion, the best ice cream in Leicester. If it’s a cooler day, then head to Cocoa Amore, for amazing chocolates for both eating and drinking. Apparently, they have supplied Buckingham Palace, if it’s good enough for Her Majesty, it’s good enough for me.
Next head to the King Richard III visitor centre, here you will learn all about the remarkable search and discovery of King Richard III, just a few years ago. Also learn about the life of King Richard III and Medieval England. This attraction gets busy so consider booking if you would be disappointed to miss out.
To finish off your history lesson, it is only right to take a quick stop across the road and into Leicester Cathedral, the final resting place of the king. It’s free to walk around the cathedral and there are plenty of knowledgeable volunteers to answer any of your questions.
After all that culture I would be ready for a cocktail, my favourite spots are The Fish & Chip, here I order their Bathtub Martini, not only is it delicious but it also comes topped with a little rubber duck, very instagramable! Another favourite is Rickshaw Ricks, this place has a really cool vibe, it has a separate dinning area and bar, with an extensive cocktail menu, here my favourite is a minty rum drink called R.I.P Fidel, served in a skull mug.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, try the brand new Prana, this café only opened a few weeks ago and it is based inside such a remarkable building, with a very high decorative ceiling. Their menu offers lots of plant based and vegan options, they have a wide range of incredible teas and coffees here as well as lots of yummy cakes.
In the mood for some retail therapy? You’ve come to the right place, Leicester is home to the largest outdoor covered market in Europe, they have all manner of things for sale here, their fresh produce is brilliant and so much cheaper than the supermarkets. Random trivia fact: Gary Lineker’s dad used to work here.
If you’re thinking fashion over food, head to The Highcross Centre, here you will find over 100 shops, 40 cafes and restaurants and a cinema. Whilst this place is huge, it’s designed well, so it never feels too busy, you are sure to find there is something for everyone.
Be sure to also check out Leicester Lanes and the Silver Arcade for lots of lovely independent shops, cafes and galleries. There is a great florist in the Lanes called Flowerworks and they sell beautiful fresh and potted flowers.
Dinner time, I’ve really struggled to pick just one restaurant to recommend as there are so many and most of them are wonderful. We are lucky enough to eat out about once a week but honestly the biggest problem is choosing where to go. After much deliberation I have decided my favourite restaurant has to be The White Peacock. This is a stunning fine dining restaurant, with a varied and exciting menu. They offer deals on week nights such as two courses for £20, which really is a good value for the standard of food but make sure you book this one up in advance.
If you’re in the mood for another drink and some music after dinner, head over to 1901 the Turkey café. They have a huge range of fun themed cocktails in this small but cosy bar. They often have DJ’s or live music here at the weekends.
After your long day in the city, you’ll be ready for a good night sleep. Head to The Grand Hotel, right opposite the Turkey Café and close to the train station. This beautiful Victorian building is just as impressive on the inside with a fabulous bar, Marco Pierre White restaurant and room service. Your room has everything you’ll need for your stay, like good Wi-Fi and a big TV.
Before you head home it’s time for breakfast, obviously Leicester has lots of amazing spots, however for something a bit different head out of the city centre to a little neighbourhood called Stoneygate, this is 10 minutes by Bus/Car/Taxi or a 30-minute walk. Here you will find lots of little cafes and boutique shops. My favourite breakfast spot is Cue Coffee, they serve their whole menu all day, so whether you fancy eggs, granola, a sandwich or a piece of chocolate cake you’ll be in luck here. They also serve delicious coffee.
I hope that was helpful, please let me know if you try out any of my recommendations and what you think, I’d love to know.