Head into Christmas with these top tips for festive feasts and fizz
Did someone say party season?
Mr Pink Gorilla is feeling festive.
I love being in the city when it gets all Christmassy and Leeds has upped the ante big time for 2019. Victoria Quarter has aced the brief as far as festive decorations go with sparkling reindeer antlers. They make for an unmissable selfie opportunity.
The German Market on the other hand just isn’t the same without the Oompah Band, frosty steins and dancing on tables, so I’ll probably give it a miss in favour of Hinterland. This boutique winter wonderland pop-up has spared no expense, bringing private hot tubs, an ice bar, drag queens, open log fires and a live brass band to the city centre. They had me at private hot tub, what more could you ask for?
One of the best campaigns I’ve worked on recently was the launch of the new Mulberry Store in the VQ. The two-floor venue is just to-die-for and does their brilliant handbag and accessories collections justice, whilst the party was a knock-out. As well as gourmet canapes from The Ivy, there was entertainment from a Kanye West inspired gospel choir, who had everyone singing along a la Sister Act.
They were so next level and really got me fired up for the Harvey Nichols Gospel Dinner we’re hosting on Thursday and Friday. Guests will be able to enjoy an all-singing, all-dancing gospel choir with a three-course meal. If you’re looking for something out there to get you in the festive spirit, there are tickets left for tonight.
Across town, the thriving Leeds indie scene delivered us another fine restaurant recently when Sarto opened in Munro House. A collaboration between the guys at The Brunswick and Laynes Espresso, this pasta-focussed casual dining venue uses local produce to make the freshest pasta creations outside of Italy. My hot pick has to be Fettuccine with beef Ragu.
Moving over to my neck of the woods, it’s great to see so many restaurants and bars popping up in the suburbs. Dapur Malaysia in Chapel Allerton really impressed me with their take on South East Asian cuisine, I can’t get enough of their chicken in lime leaf curry.
For something less refined, yet equally as tasty, I am slightly addicted to Alley Cats right now. They specialise in unashamedly calorific US comfort food, making them the hangover cure from heaven for me. Tender Buffalo chicken strips doused in cheddar and blue cheese sauce, oh yeah.
Over in Oakwood, there’s a lot of positive buzz surrounding Chophaus right now, which is taking over from Café Sylva. Roundhay could do with some more big restaurants right now, and this premium steakhouse and cocktail bar just looks amazing. They open in just a couple of weeks, so watch this space for the full lowdown.
All you beer lovers out there really need to check out Ossett Brewery, which has just opened to the public for brewery tours. It was so cool to see the entire process that goes into getting beer into the pub, and of course, you get to sample plenty of tank fresh ales. Back in town, one of the many Leeds bars under the Ossett Brewery umbrella is Craft Asylum on East Parade. They’ve undergone a shiny new makeover in time for December and their pizzas are next level.
Anyway, be safe, be merry and have an amazing Christmas.