Brunch bonanzas, famous faces and the great outdoors - Leeds is stepping up summer 2021
Something landed in my inbox this week which me stop and think.
For the first time, in what actually must be about two years, I got a press invite to try the new brunch menu at Dakota Leeds.
Now this might not sound ground-breaking, and in the grand scheme of life, it probably isn't.
But, emails like this, especially in my previous role as City Buzz reporter, sometimes landed so often I could get away without cooking for days.
It goes without saying that any illusions of eggs benedict served on an exclusive sun terrace in one of the swankiest hotels in the city with a side order of prosecco have been firmly replaced with burnt toast, a half cold cup of coffee and the laptop to look at for the last year and the rest.
So it is a welcome surprise to be given some inspiration to get out of gym gear and trainers, find an outfit that hasn't seen the light of day for a while and enjoy some of what Leeds does best at a weekend - food, drink and living the good life for a good time.
The next day I was asked to get in touch with the PR team at the FirstDirect arena. They were having a recruitment day to fill more than a hundred vacancies from bar staff to chefs, managers and supervisors as they prepare to host a re-designed programme for 2021 with 2022 set to be one of the venue's busiest years in its eight year history.
Now, I know there have been breaks in lockdown and places have been open on and off, outside, table service, masks on etc etc, but, the Dakota brunch, it isn't the only one to be back with a bang since the lifting of social distancing, mask wearing and group numbers restrictions a fortnight ago.
Combine this with a line-up at FirstDirect which kicks off with Ricky Gervaise on August 21 and will see Europe's Strongest Man, McFly, Genesis, JLS, Elton John, The Offspring and Blondie before the year is out - and you really get the sense that Leeds is starting to live again.
Of course, that is not to say that everything is back to normal and for many people, there are still concerns about illness, safety and anxiety which are perfectly understandable.
Many places are still retaining safety measures and good practice and making the most of the outdoors. For example, there are several dates set for the North Leeds Food Festival at Roundhay Park and drive-in cinemas at Harewood House.
Leeds always has had something for everyone - but the city seems to be taking it up a level for summer 2021.