I think I've now exhausted all of the coffee shops in Leeds city centre so wanted to try somewhere a bit different. I've discovered some fab places in the Leeds suburbs and after a quick Google search, I discovered another.
House of Koko is in Chapel Allerton so it is fairly easy to reach by both bus and car. There is a fair bit of parking in the area, although it's worth noting that some of it has a time limit. I parked up right around the corner so I could spend as little time in the sun as possible and retain my morgue-fresh complexion.
Inside, the cafe is really cute and colourful. It has wooden tables and mismatched chairs with gorgeous mustard yellow booth-style seating running around the walls, making it perfect for groups or individuals. The decor is really simple, with predominantly white walls that are decorated with framed pictures and one wall with some funky plain wood bookcases. Some of the walls and the windows are decorated with hand-painted chalk-style drawings, which are really cool and match the cafe's signage.
House of Koko has a food menu that is suitable for meat eaters and vegetarians. Unfortunately, a lot of it was bread-based so no good for me with my gastric band, but both of my friends found something they fancied. While I wasn't up for any food from the menu, I was spoilt for choice when it came to the cakes, pastries and cookies.
I had two cannolis, a chocolate-filled one and one with pistachio cream, and a lemon lobster tail. All of these were showcased in large glass jars that I could easily have taken home (preferably filled with pastries) and were only £1 each, which is absolutely brilliant.
As well as looking awesome and being super affordable, the pastries were also absolutely delicious. Every layer of the lobster tail was really flaky and they all crunched as I bit into it and the lemon cream in the middle had just the right amount of sweetness and wasn't too overpowering. Both of the cannolis were also so tasty. The pistachio one was the sweetest but I could still taste the pistachio nut in the cream while the chocolate cream was incredibly smooth and rich. I easily could have eaten the same all over again.
Not only is the coffee from a great company, it is absolutely delicious. Other than Greek and Vietnamese coffee I've had recently (which are different more than better), I don't think I've had a better cup of coffee than this latte. I love a nice strong cup of coffee and the taste of this latte was strong without being bitter or overpowering.
My drink perfectly complimented the pastries and helped cut through the sweetness. Even more importantly, my coffee was actually hot. For me, this is a big thing as I have been to far too many places recently that have served me a tepid cup of coffee. I like to take my time with my drink, so cold coffee (unless I've ordered it iced, of course) is a big no-no.
The fact that House of Koko serves up such fab coffee and is only ten minutes from my house means that I am going to end up far too tempted every weekend to drive over and indulge.
We didn't feel rushed, despite the fact that it was fairly busy, and were even offered a free latte as an extra one had been made by mistake (by this point, we were all very full and happy so we didn't accept). When we left, the people working said goodbye and didn't immediately swoop in to clear our table as we headed for the door, which is something I've found happens a lot elsewhere.
Everything about our last-minute visit was great and all of us agreed that we'd need to go back. The husband also got mad that I didn't bring a cannoli home for him, so I'm going to have to take him as soon as possible too. I think I might have found my favourite local coffee shop and it is definitely going to be the cafe of choice when I have friends and family visiting. I strongly recommend heading there yourself.