In the Leeds University Student Union, the Hidden Cafe is neatly tucked away downstairs, just begging to be discovered. The layout seems almost like somebody's house, with artwork by students decorating the walls, and the decor of the counter and kitchen area harks back to an old-fashioned tea room. The atmosphere is far more charming and relaxed than the hurried, often heated aura of a chain cafe, which makes spending the afternoon with a friend, a drink, and a paper, a real escape from the bustle of student life.
A meal deal is offered for £2.99, and the toasted sandwiches and hot drinks make the cafe a cheaper alternative to Costa or Starbucks, as well as being much friendlier, too. You can even have a customised milkshake - choose a chocolate bar to be blended in, and you have your perfect drink.
Teapigs tea is also available to buy at the counter, which, as I found this Christmas, makes wonderful presents for those with finer tastes. Homemade cakes also add a personal touch to the selection of foods, there really is no comparison between these and the factory-made alternatives you would find in your standard, chain coffee shop.
Whether a student or not, The Hidden Cafe is a welcoming and relaxing environment. Bring a friend or two for a happy and content afternoon.