City Buzz columnist: From party animal to culture vulture - the two sides to Jordan Odu

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PR guru and Pink Gorilla Director Jordan Odu has already got the party season all wrapped up, with a new winter wardrobe and a social calendar full of smoking hot parties. We asked him to open up his little black book and reveal what’s in store for Leeds in the run up to Christmas, while he also confessed that he’s becoming something of a culture vulture too…

I love this time of year, as the nights draw in and the city lights up and gets festive. For me, it all kicked off when Kirkgate opened its first ever late-night market, which saw some of Leeds’ best independents come together with a host of cool pop-ups.

Premium cocktail bar Dirty Martini open until midnight Sunday-Wednesday, until 1am on Thursday and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays  launches on King Street in the heart of Leeds

Premium cocktail bar Dirty Martini open until midnight Sunday-Wednesday, until 1am on Thursday and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays launches on King Street in the heart of Leeds

It was incredible to see the likes of Ruby’s Street Kitchen and Jenny’s Jerk Chicken shack up along with fine-dining newbie HOME and The Grub and Grog Shop. You could even get a cheeky glass of fizz at the Prosecco stall.

This was closely followed by the Christmas lights switch-on and the early opening of the German Market, which is now a Leeds staple – Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without it. The sudden cold snap also offers up the perfect excuse for me to purchase some new winter threads, and this year it’s all about Canadian brand Moose Knuckle.

They specialise in urban parka jackets with attitude, and their new collection is absolutely slaying it down at Accent, and giving Canada Goose a run for their money. Go check them out and discover why they have won the race to produce the ‘IT’ winter coat of 2017. I’m already eyeing up a second one as we speak.

Winter chill

Speaking of the winter chill, I finally got around to braving the full body cryotherapy chamber at Future Therapies, where I went in slightly apprehensive, but emerged feeling like I’d been reborn. Honestly, one of the best things I’ve ever done, and perfect if you want to clear your head, shift a few pounds or even get rid of a nasty hangover.

If you haven’t yet sorted your office Christmas party, and don’t want to end up eating cheese and pineapple sticks down the local pub pub, then you need to step to it quick sharp, as all the best spots are filling up. We’ve been spoilt for choice this year in Leeds are far as new bars and restaurants are concerned recently, and there’s never been a better time to embark on an epic bar crawl. Don’t forget to include brand new Dirty Martini, which shot into the city like a bolt of lightning last week, transforming Atlas House into a party-centric cocktail paradise.

Smokin’ on South Parade

Around the corner on South Parade, Smokin’ Bar & Kitchen are gearing up for their big launch. They will be serving up a combination of US BBQ food and cocktails, giving everyone yet another reason to head towards the Greek Street end of town which has smashed 2017 out of the park.

Another city success story I’ve enjoyed has been that of super-chef Luke Downing. Not content with bagging awards and a place in the 2018 Good Food Guide for Vice & Virtue, he’s just opened a brilliant new casual dining restaurant in West Park called Aperitivo. Here, classic Italian dishes and cocktails get a Yorkshire remix, and you can even hit them up on Deliveroo for takeaway pizza.

Culture vulture

But, it’s not all about eating and drinking, and contrary to popular belief, I do have a cultured side too! I can’t wait to catch the Becoming Henry Moore exhibition at Henry Moore Institute at the end of the month, where you can step inside the mind of a genius and admire some of his finest sculptures. Plus the newly refurbed art gallery looks AMAZING!

Over at First Direct Arena, they are counting down to the MOBO Awards, marking the second time we’ve hosted the event and I can’t wait to see the likes of Krept and Konan take to the arena stage.

Follow Pink Gorilla on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest Leeds nightlife news. Take advantage of Pink Gorilla’s ‘Pink Friday’, where you can receive up to 50% off at Accent Menswear.