My friend Chloe has been mentioning for a while now that one of her favourite local treats is to browse the Oxfam second-hand bookshop in Headingley and then go for a bite to eat somewhere afterwards.
This sounded like an ideal way to spend a couple of hours on a chilled out Sunday to me, so we finally managed to go together a few weeks ago.
We parked at the car park at Headingley Taps (on Bennett Road) as it’s free on a Sunday and is just a short walk around the corner to the book store. There are a number of other charity shops on Otley Road, so there’s plenty of choice if you’re on a bargain hunt.
The Oxfam book store is really big, with two rooms full of not just books, but also music and greeting cards. As well as fiction, there are also plenty of non-fiction books on a number of topics including philosophy, religion, history, language and some on local life in Leeds.
We spent a lot of time browsing all the books and I managed to come away with some that have been on my “to read” list for a while, as well as a couple I’d not heard of before by authors I like. (For anyone who’s not read them yet but wants to, I also noticed that the full “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy was in stock. No comment on that…)
The intention was to just go for a slice of cake and cup of tea afterwards, but then we walked past “I Am Döner“, a new kebab shop just a couple of doors down from Oxfam, and saw a couple of people eating some really juicy kebabs, and we just couldn’t resist.
You may be thinking it’s pretty odd to go into a kebab shop on a Sunday at lunch time. Surely that kind of eating is reserved for the very early hours of the morning after a night of heavy drinking. This wasn’t your usual kebab place however. I actually think the phrase “döner kebab” does them a disservice because of the connotations we Brits have about it, but maybe places like this will help people realise a döner kebab can be a tasty meal and not just a late-night questionable choice.
I had a lamb kebab and Chloe went for chicken. We ordered the small option, but they were pretty large! Both came with pickled pink cabbage, roasted vegetables, salad, crumbled feta, herb and garlic sauce and a squeeze of lemon. It was so tasty – fresh, juicy and full of flavour.
I Am Döner also have vegetarian kebabs (with halloumi) and – surprisingly – “vöner” kebabs which are vegan, as well as rice and salad boxes.
The place is mainly for take-aways (if you can’t be bothered leaving the house, you can order through Deliveroo), but there’s also a small seating area by the window. We sat and ate our food inside and I was pretty pleased as there was some awesome music in the background (food always tastes better with a great soundtrack) – Cat Empire, a banjo version of “Sweet Child O’Mine” and a couple of tracks that I’d not heard of but ended up “shazzam-ing” to find out.
You can tell the food was good because we were sat looking at Reds across the road and I still didn’t have any food choice regrets.
Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I hadn’t expected a second-hand book store and kebab shop to be worthy of a blog, but they so were. I’m looking forward to repeating it all again shortly.