Tag Archives: culture

OnRoundhay Festival Preview, by Lucy Reynolds 

I am currently counting down the days to the OnRoundhay Festival on Saturday 17th September and I’m happy that it’s less than a month away now. Aside from the awesome combo of bands like Wolf Alice, Primal Scream and the mighty James, I am equally excited (OK, it’s food…I’m a lot more excited) about the John Lewis Food Village, which appears to offer a little bit of just about everything to the hungry festival goer. Leeds Indie Food are offering an embarrassment of riches, with Loiner legends Manjit’s Kitchen and Laynes Espresso, alongside a personal favourite of mine, The Madeleine Express, which is basically Noisette Bakehouse on wheels. If you haven’t tried one of Sarah’s cakes, you haven’t lived. The sea salt chocolate brownie is so delectable, you’d sell your granny to get another!

Manjit’s Kitchen
Laynes Espresso
Madeleine Express

I’m not one to just stay with my tried and tested favourites though. After a lot of dancing and prancing to music, I will definitely be trying dishes from Clawhide, Bánh mì Booth, Yakumama and Piggie Smalls. It also appears to be the year of the ‘shack’ with The Mac Shac, Crabbieshack and Longhorn’s BBQ shack serving up tasty treats…I hope I actually have time to catch the music. There are even more food stalls to choose from…I’ll just have to fast for a week I suppose and then blog about my gluttony after, giving all my gastronomic choices the obligatory shout out. Phew, I feel stuffed already. 

Claw hide
Bánh mì Booth
Yakumama’s tacos

And to top that, we have just had the exciting announcement that Olia Hercules, of Mamushka fame, is going to be part of the Chef line up, joining fellow gastronauts like Murray Wilson of Horto, Greg Lewis of Pintura and Simon Jewitt of Norse, along with other accomplished chefs from far and wide. So much to see and only one day – I’ll make sure to wear my running shoes to get around everything I want to see.

The OnRoundhay Festival marks the long awaited opening of the Leeds’ branch of John Lewis and I, for one, cannot wait! Just another jewel in Leeds’ crown – make this honorary Northerner a bit dewy eyed. Who needs London when you’ve got Leeds? 


All photos courtesy of I Like Press


Jamaican Rum Tings @ Belgrave Music Hall

On the 22nd August, Belgrave Music Hall will be hosting a Wray & Nephew takeover as they bring Jamaica Rum Tings celebration of Jamaican culture to the city’s Northern Quarter. Sounds like it’ll be a great event – it is supposed to be summer after all!! The event will be doing its best to mimic the country’s well known relaxed party vibe with music from DJ’s Toddla T and Daddy G (Massive Attack) playing exclusive Reggae sets with support from MC Serocee, Manchester Sound System Dub Smuggler, London’s Rompa’s & Shepdog and Leeds’ own Reggae Roots & Bass!

There’ll be plenty on offer in terms of liquid refreshments, Wray & Nephew will be bringing along Overproof Rum for their thirst quenching Reggae Rum Punch and there’ll be a Jerk BBQ to satisfy hungry stomachs.

As part of the celebration there’ll be fun and games with Wray’s Drinks Trolley Free Pour Challenge – watching guests try pour a perfect 25ml measure, also a Reggae Rum Punch Relay Race, where teams try and make a Reggae Rum Punch faster than the Jamaican 4x100m relay team’s world record; of course there’s prizes for winners courtesy of Wray & Nephew.


Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum presents: Jamaica Rum Tings – Carnival Warm-Up Party Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds Saturday 22nd August 2015 Rooftop/bar entry 12pm-2am, Gig, 7pm-2am

Advanced ticket prices excluding booking fee: £4 Early Bird, £5 General, £15 Group of 4.

Tickets guarantee entry before 7pm and are available from RA, Ticketweb & Skiddle. Tickets cost more on the door.




Have a nosey at their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter to find out more:


Twitter: @wrayandnephewuk

INSTAGRAM: @wrayandnephewuk 


Heritage Open Days 2014

Have you heard of Heritage Open Days? I hadn’t until last year, wanting to find out, a little research told me it was four days of cultural events held in September. Many historic buildings and monuments around the UK, many which are normally closed, would open their doors to the public. Heritage Open Days have actually been going since 1994, to my surprise and occur throughout Europe, all with the aim to make the public more aware of their cultural heritage.

From a list as long as your arm, a few really caught my eye; Temple Works, Hyde Park Picture House and Kirkgate Market.  Unfortunately school kept me from touring the market, but I managed to reserve spots on the other two.

My first tour was to visit Temple Works – a Grade I listed building with a remarkable history, driving passed on a number of occasions I’d seen this unusual facade, but I’d no clue what the building was. Found on Marshall Street in Holbeck, about five minutes walk from the Cross Keys pub. Built as a flax mill by the industrialist John Marshall, a man well known for his exploits with mill buildings (he also built the neighbouring building Marshall Mills).


This mill was unlike others, because on first glance it has an unusual exterior, which looks completely out of place compared to its surroundings. Its facade was designed by John Bonomi and resembles an Egyptian building.


Another unusual facet to the mill – it’s just one floor, other mills had multiple floors, this would helpfully reduce the chance of deaths in event of a fire. But it was the design of the Main Space which was flawed from its inception, and the consequences of this were eventually too much for the integrity of the building. 

The Main Space; once the world’s largest single room was to have skylights right across the masonry ceiling providing natural light. The roof was even covered in grass to keep the flax mill humid, stop the environment becoming too dry and reduce the risk of fires. There’s even the strange, but true story of sheep on the roof to maintain the length of the grass!! How did they get onto the roof? Via a sheep lift…how else?!


For the last few years the building has been managed by Temple Works Leeds, the building’s been used faithfully and has developed a culture of ‘living heritage’, where the space is used by a diverse range of creative minds; artists, actors, photographers, musicians, film production teams and much more! It’s become a very popular place for filming horror and sci-fi, not surprising as it has a weathered and worn, semi-derelict appearance.

image image image image

The structure of the Main Space was dependent on the dynamics between the roof and pillars which helped hold it up. Unfortunately, it was too great and its integrity couldn’t be maintained, even after tensioning rods were added. 


To get the building structurally sound again will take a lot of planning and funding, their aim is to raise enough money in order to do this. I’ll look forward to seeing that happen in the future.

The second visit was at one of my favourite places in Leeds, I’m a massive cinema goer and have grown up loving films and the history of them. So being a bit of a film geek, I jumped at the chance to get on the list for the tour around Hyde Park Picture House.  


I’m sure Leeds folk don’t need any introduction, but for those who don’t know this gem the Hyde Park Picture House was first opened in 1914, with self-titled name ‘the cosiest cinema in Leeds’, a title they still try to hold up to even now. It’s been a city landmark ever since, and even though I live nowhere near the Hyde Park area, I still come to watch films here. It’s a pretty special place! Apart from being able to wander the theatre freely and admire its beauty, one of the joys of the visit was having a sneaky peek in the projection room and get close up to their 35mm projectors. Only three exist in Leeds now, two here and one in the Cottage Road Cinema. Of course, they’ve had to keep up with the times and go digital too, but it’s still the old school stuff that does it for me. Ever since watching the classic Cinema Paradiso I’ve always been intrigued about what goes on in that room. The projectionist, who also works at Bradford’s National Media Museum had been in the job for the past fifty years, definitely a job for life!

image image image image image image

I really enjoyed listening to people who know these institutions inside and out. It’s a great way of getting to know more about the cultural heritage of your local area, it was so well worth doing! The added bonus is that all the tours are completely FREE!


Leeds Creative Family Tree @ Leeds Gallery, Leeds

Last week I attended the launch evening of the Leeds Creative Family Tree, which is an ongoing not-for-profit project designed to showcase the huge range of culture and creativity in Leeds.

It all began the winter of 2012, photographer Sara Teresa wanted a good way of introducing people to each other, and after consulting with Split who specialises in creative graphic design, they came up with the  first Quarry Hill ‘family tree’. After the success of this initial idea they decided to develop it further, with the primary aim of encouraging networking and collaboration between people of a similar ilk, and bringing out these creative talents to a wider community. 


The aim of the launch party was to distribute the first two volumes of the Family Tree, which showcased the talent in the Quarry Hill and Mabgate/Sheepscar areas of Leeds. As a not-for-profit venture the initial funding came from a successful Kickstarter campaign, where £1756 was donated and raised from the generosity of organisations and individuals alike. This was used to print and distribute the first two family trees.



There was a great turn out to the event, with many of the people included in the family trees and supporters of the Kickstarter campaign in attendance. It was also fantastic to see two of these creative talents, and members of the family showcasing their produce – Leeds favourites The Grub and Grog Shop and That Old Chestnut!!

image image

I picked some really moreish Peanut Butter Tiffin which was incredibly unctuous!!! It was so good I left with another piece of Peanut Butter Tiffin, but also their Chocolate and Stem Ginger Tiffin!!

Dan and Jim from The Grub and Grog Shop at work
Leeds Bread Co-Op Nigella seed flatbread filled with:  1) beer braised brisket, beetroot, white radish & pearl barley with water cress and a horseradish & ale reduction, 2) Charred cauliflower, roasted hazelnut, spring onion, pomegranate& lentils with parsley, scotch bonnet and  a natural yoghurt dressing
Pickings & Tidbits – Leeds Bread Co-Op Nigella seed flatbread filled with:
1) beer braised brisket, beetroot, white radish & pearl barley with water cress and a horseradish & ale reduction,
2) Charred cauliflower, roasted hazelnut, spring onion, pomegranate& lentils with parsley, scotch bonnet and a natural yoghurt dressing


Of the two wraps I had I preferred the vegetarian option, which was absolutely bursting with flavour!!! With great textures from the pomegranate, lentils and charred cauliflower, it had a lovely combination of delicate and punchy flavours, heat from the scotch bonnet. It basically worked brilliantly together, was well balanced and was very YUMMY!!

After a lovely evening with my friend Alice I took home copies of each family tree, I can’t wait to see them framed and in their new home. If you’d like your own copy, then they are available from Gallery Munro HouseDuke StudiosEnjoy and East Street Arts

I’m looking forward to following the journey of The Creative Family Tree further as they map out other creative hubs in Leeds one at a time. Areas which they will cover in the future include – Leeds City Centre, Holbeck, Chapeltown and Headingley.

It was a great celebratory event bringing the cultural and creative talents of Leeds together, I look forward to the seeing the next volume!!