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Introducing an Instafoodie – Out in Leeds

Our Instafoodie feature continues where we give our readers the chance to meet the people behind some of the biggest food blog accounts in and around Yorkshire.

Our next Instafoodie is India Benjamin who runs ‘Out In Leeds’ on Instagram. Her account has nearly 7,000 followers as she aims to find the best places to eat in Leeds.

We had a chat with India to find out more about ‘Out In Leeds’ and how the idea came out.

When did you start your Instagram page?
I technically started Out in Leeds in 2016 but I think I only posted around four times until 2018! I started posting regularly last year.

Why did you want to become a food blogger?
My page was always less about food, more about showcasing how fab Leeds is. I moved here from the south and wanted to convince my friends to move up rather than stay in and around London! I used to post about stuff to do in Leeds but its evolved to be food focused as I love eating out.

What do you love the most about food and drink?
Food for me is really a social thing. I love eating and drinking nice things but if it’s by myself, it’s only half an experience. Trying new foods with a friend, or visiting a favourite restaurant with my partner, it’s something to look forward to and enjoy.

What is your favourite place you have visited?
Ah this is a hard one! I don’t have a singular favourite place to go, but some of the places I love enough to go back regularly include Doner Summer, Ox Club, The Swine That Dines and Tobacco Road. Kendall’s is amazing, we went for New Year’s Eve last year and I will definitely be going back when restaurants are open again.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I think the best part about running my account is when someone messages me to say they’ve tried one of my recommendations and loved it, or that they love my page for deciding where to go. It makes the whole thing have more of a purpose, rather than me blindly talking to myself about food (although that is also great).

What is your proudest achievement?
I’ve worked with some really cool brands in Leeds, and I’ve had restaurants work with me multiple times because my posts have got them really good results – that’s something I am proud of! My biggest achievement outside of collabs is the mega threads I did during the first lockdown. I made a highlight of every way to support local restaurants – from take-outs, to dine at home, to cocktail kits, to vouchers. It took me hours and involved constant maintenance but it was great to know I was helping Leeds independents. I also did one for Help Out to Eat Out, and a general one for food and drink deals.

What would you say to someone thinking about creating an Instagram foodie page?
I think the most important thing is to ask yourself why you want to start one. If it’s just to get free stuff, you won’t go far – people can smell that a mile off. If you genuinely want to share your passion, be persistent and your community will come. Be original – think about what makes you unique and why someone should follow you and not a different account. And get a ring light because it really improves how photos turn out!

What are your plans for the future?
I don’t really have any concrete plans for Out in Leeds other than keep sharing what I eat and drink and see where it takes me. As long as people in Leeds can find where is good to eat, and people outside of Leeds can see how fab the city is, I’m having a good time.

Take a look at India’s food page by visiting ‘Out In Leeds’ on Instagram.

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