If you’re a regular on the Leeds scene, chances are you’ve partied like a rockstar with PR guru and Director of Pink Gorilla, Jordan Odu. He’s the man to see to get your brand noticed and has been behind some of the most lavish launches of 2017. As our brand-new lifestyle columnist, we can’t think of anyone better to give you the skinny on the thriving city nightlife.
“What can I say about Leeds in 2017? It has been an absolute whirlwind, and when you think this city can’t get any better, someone throws a curve ball and another game-changer. I describe it as a small-big city with heart and large ambition – where else in the UK do you see the likes of John Lewis and Harvey Nichols mixed in with so many cool independent shops, bars and restaurants, all within walking distance?
One minute you can be soaking up a John Legend concert at the first direct Arena, and the next you’re kicking back to some choice house cuts over at Bar 212. I love this place.
As one of the most diverse cultural melting pots in the north, it’s a city that embraces the new with open arms, whether it’s a daring new bar concept or a technology innovation. In the last 12-months I’ve noticed a more collaborative approach to projects around the city, which has produced amazing results.
This inspired myself and business partner, Deborah De Vittoris, to launch The Leeds Cocktail Experience last year, working with some of the city’s best-loved brands. Veteran independents, like Maven and Jakes, side-by-side with notable newcomers, including Neighbourhood and Tattu.
Last Friday we hosted our third event bringing 16 of the best bars together for an evening of amazing cocktails. Each bar partnered up with a premium liquor brand creating a bespoke cocktail, giving 700 cocktail lovers something they wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Speaking of cocktails, Leeds has really upped its drink game in 2017. We helped launch two rooftop restaurants from D&D London this summer, which turned out to be the biggest parties of the summer, followed by Living Venture’s Red Door, serving up an amazing menu of weird and wonderful drinks.
On the food side, Luke Downing’s fine-diner, Vice & Virtue, has had an incredible 12 months, winning awards and being named amongst the best restaurants in the UK with the BBC Good Food Guide. It’s awesome to see virtuosic independents holding their own against the big players.
Things show no signs of slowing down towards the end of the year. In addition to working on the launch party for the Platform co-working space and new BBQ joint The Smokin’ Bar, we are collaborating with Future Therapies, a new clinic bringing cutting-edge equipment to Leeds for ground-breaking health and beauty treatments - including the UK’s first whole body cryotherapy chamber which invigorates the body with super-chilly blasts. Celebs like Kate Moss, Floyd Mayweather, Ronaldo and Jennifer Aniston are all fans and if it’s good enough for Kate Moss, it’s good enough for me.
It’s this kind of revolutionary technology that seals Leeds’ reputation as a hub for cutting-edge innovation, and we reckon it’s going to transform the wellbeing industry and become the next big thing – you heard it here first. Here’s to Leeds becoming the next European Capital of Culture in 2023 – I can’t think of any place better.