Instead of my usual weekend choice of retail therapy, I opted for a day of cleansing and culture. Amongst the shopping complex and bars that fills Leeds, it is clear there is still a strong sense of community. Curious to see how this Northern City has developed, I headed to Millennium Square for Leeds City Museum. I'm told if you want to know how Leeds was formed then this is the place to go and the added bonus is it's free. With Leeds being so diverse, it also teaches you about the world around us.
Upon entry, I am welcomed by an informative map of the galleries to explore. Starting with 'The World View', I noticed the opening exhibition focused on Africa. With a vivid display of masquerade costumes, it's like you have set foot on the continent. 'Life on Earth' is about our planets 540 million year history. Explore the civilisation of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians with 'Ancient World'. History like this wouldn't be known without people collecting material, which is where 'Leeds Collectors' comes in. Finish the tour with the 'Leeds Story'. See how fashion, housing, music, sport and even shopping have transformed the city. This gallery is sure to make an impact that when you go back outside, you will see Leeds from a whole different perspective.
Learning builds up an appetite so onwards to lunch. After a quick bite, I made my way towards Commercial Street for the Lush Shop. This store offers a spa day with a twist, mixing pampering with your favourite Lush products. Making my way to the Basement for my treatment, I was greeted by a friendly staff member. Standing in a quaint country kitchen, it was everything you would expect and more. A large wooden table in the centre proudly displayed coloured bottles with particular words on them. This was the starting point for the Synaesthesia massage, a treatment joining all the senses. You are asked to select a word which the treatment would be designed on, subconsciously pinpointing your mood. In my case, it was the word 'energised'. The massage bar was bursting with citrus aromas, associating with energy. The massage was like none other, each movement perfectly in sync with the music.
Coming out, I have to say I felt quite refreshed and liberated. Now to end the day with a relaxing mug of hot chocolate from Starbucks!