Sonder Exterior


The Japantro icon of Leeds City Centre

To me, Leeds is such an iconic Yorkshire city, and an icon must also be home to other icons. Sonder is the perfect example of this. This cool coffee shop was brought to my attention by a few friends who had visited their opening event. As soon as I saw the photos, I just fell in love, I had to try this for myself!

Just to give you the lowdown, Sonder is one of Leeds’ new coffee spots and is located within the historic Grand Arcade which is tightly tucked out of the way from all the hullabaloo that includes shoppers and students. Yorkshire entrepreneur and tattoo artist Olivia Fayne created Sonder as a way for her to explore her ideas with Japantro decor. She of course also wanted to get her feet wet with great coffee. To be honest, what could be better to do that than just a hop, skip and a jump from her tattoo studio? It’s right next door! I think this is perfect, but more on why later…

The coffee

Before I tell you more, I think it is poignant to talk about the real reason we’re all here. That’s for the coffee! Sonder has a small range of caffeinated (and non-caffeinated) beverages for you to choose from and this may be a shocker, but I didn’t end up buying one! I was way too curious and could not avoid trying out the Sonder Signature. Quite a curveball actually, this cafe had a few flavourful hot chocolates for the winter weather and I decided to try one of these out for myself. Specifically, I chose the white hot chocolate topped with edible rose petals and pistachio.

Oh, my word. This was incredible!

I felt like this was so unique and really warmed me up after sauntering up from the train station in the rain. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and texture, and I would love to try the other flavours. Unfortunately, though, hot chocolates are out and iced collection specials are in. Sonder now has a trio of iced specials to welcome in the new year and I will be rushing back before these disappear too!

The food

Did you perhaps grab yourself a coffee and are now looking for something else sweet? At the time of writing, Sonder has quite a selection of snacks to choose from. Everything looked exquisite and my eyes could definitely have been bigger than my belly. The Jammy Dodger Blondie was my treat of choice though. It was a bite of heaven in all honesty and is just the right accoutrement for your coffee. You could literally forget about the chaos of the city whilst being here.

If you are looking for something a little more substantial, please do keep your eyes peeled. Sonder have already stated that brunch is sure to come this year and I cannot WAIT to try it! Watch this by my new favourite brunch spot in Leeds…

The vibe

I’m sure you may have seen the word ‘Japantro’ chucked around this page and have asked yourself, what does this even mean? Well, Japantro is that perfect combination where Japanese decor meets retro vibes. With the orange limewash walls and the exquisite but wooden minimalist furniture, I think this is shown quite well! If you like it so much, you can even purchase their worldly wares to take home as a souvenir.

However, it has to be said that Sonder is more than just a pretty shape though. It packs a punch with its flavour and function. You can either use this coffee shop as your own workspace or just grab a small bite to eat and a brew whilst escaping the hustle and bustle of Leeds. No matter what you’re here for though, you’re sure to have a chill time. Olivia Fayne is a master of tattooing and creating an anxiety-less space, and this is also reflected in her coffee shop.

The verdict

In a nutshell, Sonder is Leeds’ answer to conceptual coffee in a conceptual cave. Their motto is that browsing has never been so comfortable… so why not try this cool new coffee shop out for yourself and have a mooch around?

Are you looking for other coffee spots in Leeds to conquer? Have a look here to see what else is offered in Leeds!

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