German beer tent will not feature at Leeds Christmas Market

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Leeds Christmas Market is set for a major change this year after organisers announced the popular German beer tent would not be present at the 2016 event.

The Christkindelmarkt will see the Bavarian-style attraction on Millennium Square replaced by a Viking-themed bar in a ‘tipi’ tent instead.

The cosy Scandinavian-style drinking den will be located in Victoria Gardens, outside Leeds Art Gallery, from November 18 until December 31, and will be open daily (excluding Christmas Day).

The bar, called Thor’s, is inspired by Yorkshire’s history of Viking conquest, and will include two linked canvas tents with wooden seating, furs and a fire pit, as well as a heated outdoor area.

Drinks served range from ales to mulled wine, cider and hot chocolate, and the outdoor winter barbecue will serve food until 10pm.

The project is a link between two businesses; tipi hire specialists PapaKata, based in York, and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, who run Winter Wonderland and The Ice Factor.

A similar tipi experience at York’s Christmas fair last year proved so popular that PapaKata director Amanda Monaghan contacted Leeds City Council to ask for a spot on the Christkindelmarkt programme.

“We want to create a Nordic winter wonderland, with real log fires, twinkling fairy lights and local ales. It was such a success in York, and we think the Scandi twist is perfect for Yorkshire,” she said.

“It’s a good fit for families - they can have hot chocolate in the day, and there will be DJs at night. It’s for all ages, somewhere where you can take the family that is warm, cosy and different.

“It’s great for the older generation too, and we sell local products and use local vendors,” she added.Entry to Thor’s is free, and visitors can reserve a table for 10 or more people except on Fridays and Saturdays. Groups of 20 or more must pay a £16 per person returnable deposit to book a table on a weekend.

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