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It’s not as if Leeds folk need an excuse to dress up but with Christmas well and truly upon us why not put on your finest finery and make like a real lounge lizard to one of the city’s best hotel bars. Malbar, Malmaison A multi-million pound refurb has given the Malbar, housed in one of Leeds’ eye-catching Victorian buildings, a new lease of life It was looking a bit dark and dingy and the footballers and WAGs had long since moved on but after a multi-million pound refit, the Malmaison is back in business. Set in the basement, the Malbar and Chez Mal brasserie are still moody looking: acres of gleaming mahogany, black leather and subdued lighting but the ambience is more New York than York Road (for the uninitiated, a very unlovely part of Leeds) and the footballers have been replaced with the likes of MOBO Awards movers and shakers. Warm up with a Gingerbread Martini or Mal Mulled Cider with Spiced Rum cocktail, which start at £5. And if you just can’t tear yourself away you can always check in to one of the upgraded rooms upstairs. Malbar, Malmaison, 1 Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG, 0113 426 0047, malmaison.com The Gin Garden, The New Ellington Specialist gin bar in Leeds’ financial district offering over more than 300 varieties A bit of a schlepp in six-inch heels, it’s worth the effort nonetheless, whether gin is your tipple or not. The Gin Garden at the New Ellington Hotel in Leeds’ Georgian financial district stocks more than 300 varieties of the stuff, most of which you’ll
With new restaurants popping up in Leeds all the time, one of the latest and most exciting prospects is Turtle Bay, which has opened on the site of the old O'Neill's store in The Light. Offering a menu based on the power of the scotch bonnet chilli – with starters, mains and desserts all containing this feisty ingredient – it's clear what the distinguishing features are that help to set Turtle Bay apart from other restaurants in Leeds. In terms of bringing a specific cuisine to the masses, Turtle Bay builds on the same idea as Las Iguanas, which was set up originally by the same owner. With this in mind, there is a nice relaxed area in which to enjoy 2-4-1 cocktails as well as a spacious dining area. The drinks offer runs all day (except between 7pm and 10pm), so there certainly are savings to be made for those looking for a post-work drink. As is the trend these days, you can watch on as your food is grilled in front of you. Alternatively, you could work your way through the cocktail menu, boasting drinks made with over 40 different types of rum. With the likes of dark, light and even the feared over-proof rums on offer, the bar team know their stuff and can help you go beyond your standard rum and coke option. Food-wise, the emphasis is on spicy dishes and jerk chicken. The jerk chicken brings with it a healthy dose of chilli, while the curried goat is all about aromatic flavours. This is a restaurant that does not attempt to stay true to the original recipes but in
While there is undoubtedly something special about watching a live music performance, there can be the occasional drawback. This could be an unruly crowd, unpleasant venue, shoddy sound system or simply an endless queue for an overpriced beer. If only there was some way to enjoy the music without these distractions. Perhaps, say, by getting the band to play in your house? Rather than a flight of fancy, that is exactly what gig organisers Sofar Sounds offer. The company was first established in London in 2009, when a group of friends decided they were fed up with going to gigs, only for audiences to talk throughout performances. So, instead of telling others to be quiet, the friends brought the musicians and music-lovers into their homes, hosting living room gigs for family, friends and other enthusiasts in order to establish 'an ethos of quiet and respect' for performers. In 2012, Joe Lawrenson, Joe Montague and David Henshaw from band Dancing Years launched Sofar Sounds Leeds, helping to build the group's community not just across the UK but in 179 cities globally. Every month, Sofar Leeds organises secretive gigs in a whole host of interesting and intimate venues in and around the city, providing music fans in the city a great opportunity to discover new talent. To attend a Sofar gig, simply choose a city, sign up to the mailing list and you will be notified of the date of the gig. The venue remains a secret until the night before the gig and the line-up is revealed up
The festive season is well and truly upon us but if you’re still feeling like the Grinch then check out these top things to do in Leeds that are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit: 1. Visit a pop-up winter lodge at The Faversham The Faversham Known for its seasonal pop-ups, this year see the return of the The Faversham's its Winter Lodge – the perfect place to escape the chill with its cosy festive décor and winter warmer cocktails that include mulled wine and ‘spiked’ hot chocolates. Previously available for hire for Christmas parties, the lodge will be opened to the public for the last time on December 16, so go and see what you've been missing! 2. Get merry on Pintura’s winter blend gin A photo posted by Pintura Kitchen & Bar (@pinturakitchen) on Nov 9, 2015 at 4:11am PST If you didn’t think gin could get any better then we have some good news for you. Pintura Kitchen and Bar has teamed up with the award winning Portobello Road Gin to bring you its very own Winter Blend that is designed to smell and taste like Christmas! Created by bar manager Matt Coates, Pintura’s winter gin is a warm blend of spices, full of festive cinnamon and orange flavours. It'll be available to enjoy as part of the restaurant’s signature drink – a large gin copa serve. 3. Watch 'The Nutcracker' at Leeds Grand and Opera House Northern Ballet The iconic Christmas production has come to Leeds Grand Theatre! Performed to Tchaikovsky’s enduring sco
Do you love the theatre and other live performances that you find at London's West End – but can't be arsed with a lengthy journey to the capital? Cinema group Vue can offer a great compromise for a festive night out. Both Vue Kirkstall Road and Vue The Light is offering customers the chance to watch some of the best live events taking place this month, either live streamed or screened to the big screen. In December this includes shows from the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera House, National Theatre and Kenneth Branagh's Theatre Company. So, if you couldn't get a ticket to watch Benedict Cumberbatch's performance of 'Hamlet' or would feel self-conscious munching on nachos during 'The Nutcracker', this might just be the next best thing. The following performances will screened at either one of the two cinemas in Leeds this December: December 10 – Royal Opera House Live: 'Cavalleria/Pagliacci' December 12 - Metropolitan Opera: 'The Magic Flute' (encore) December 13 – Royal Opera House Live: 'Cavalleria/Pagliacci' (encore) December 14 – Florence and the Uffizi Gallery December 15 – National Theatre: 'Macbeth' December 16 – Royal Opera House Live: 'The Nutcracker' December 24 - Kenneth Branagh's Theatre Company: 'The Winter's Tale' (encore) December 27 – Royal Opera House Live: 'The Nutcracker' (encore) Find more details about the screenings and tickets here. Vue The Light, No.22, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL. Vue Kirkstall Road, Cardigan Fields,
Highly anticipated Caribbean restaurant and bar Turtle Bay has revealed it will be making its grand opening a charitable affair, by asking diners to pay what they think for their meal. This opening day fundraiser aims to raise money for the Leeds West Indian Centre Charitable Trust, with diners on the first day of trading being asked to make a 'pay as you feel' donation, rather than their bill. Turtle Bay has then pledged to match the amount contributed by customers with its own donation. The proceeds will be put towards one of the Leeds West Indian Centre Charitable Trust's community projects, to help ensure the continuation of its Friday Luncheon Club for the elderly for at least another year. The 'pay as you feel' event will take place on December 15 (bringing forward the restaurant's original plan to open on December 21), from 11am until 9pm. The minimum donation is £1, with the maximum being the usual price of the meal. Drinks will not be included in the fundraiser and must be paid for separately. Turtle Bay is accepting bookings for the evening, but is also encouraging people to turn up on the day, too. The new Leeds restaurant is the result of a £1m investment and has seating for 150 people within the 4,200 sq ft venue in shopping centre The Light. Turtle Bay 'Pay as you feel' fundraiser. December 15, 11am-9pm.Turtle Bay Leeds, 14 The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL. Book your table here. Enjoy more guilt-free eating in Leeds.
Earlier this year, a former textile mill on The Headrow was transformed into an exciting mixed use events space. Spread across four floors and 11,000 square feet, Headrow House plays host to a huge beer hall, the Redondo Beach cocktail bar, and a 200-capacity performance space. Come the summer, it's also likely to become a go-to drinking spot, thanks to two huge roof terraces. Launching on Thursday December 3, the latest addition to the Headrow House is Ox Club – a new project from the team behind Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, with the same culinary skills responsible for Patty Smith's Burgers, Dough Boy Pizzas and Fu-Schnikens. Using one of only three Grillworks grills in the UK – a large aluminium grill that cooks over wood and charcoal – Ox Club offers a unique menu of top quality Yorkshire meats and fish cooked in a way that owes a great deal to Spanish and Argentinean culinary traditions. Serving up a nightly menu of small plates and wood fire grilled mains, the Ox Club menu includes delicious sounding dishes including cherry wood smoked ox cheek with bacon jam and flageolet beans; and scallops cooked on coals with grapefruit, coriander and brown butter. On the weekends the restaurant will serve an American-style brunch service from 10am, serving dishes including hanger steak; cheddar eggs and home fries with smoked tomato jam; and corned beef and kale hash with chimichurri. All ingredients will be locally sourced from farms around Yorkshire, with meats and fis
Returning for its second year, the Magical Leeds Reindeer Trail sees a a bespoke collection of decorated reindeer statues dotted at locations across the city centre. Should you spot one of the ten creatures while out doing your shopping, be sure to take a photo with it – you might just win a great prize, just in time for Christmas. The Reindeer Selfie competition launched on December 1 and will be running until December 15. The rules to enter are simple: explore the Leeds Reindeer Trail, take a selfie with any one of the Magical Leeds reindeer, then tweet your pic to @VisitLeeds using the hashtag #MagicalLeeds. The winner of the competition will be awarded with a £200 Trinity Leeds gift card and two tickets to watch the Northern Ballet's performance of 'Swan Lake'. Two runners up will receive two tickets for the Opera North production of 'Cosi fan tutte' or 'L'eslisir d'amore' at Leeds Grand Theatre. The winners will be drawn on December 17. Click here to download the Reindeer Trail map, or look here for more details about the competition. More Christmas events in Leeds.
Its pop-up bar The Rum Shack was a summer success and now cocktail pioneer The Hedonist Project has taken up permanent residence in the trendy Lower Briggate area of Leeds with a new, Scotch themed new drinking establishment: The Liquor Store & Whisky Parlour Still, if you’re not a whisky lover, a blended malt man or a single grain gal, fear not – The Hedonist Project will be changing its identity every three months to focus on a different alcoholic beverage. Each transformation will not only see the food and drinks menu change, but also the décor and even the background music. But for now, it’s all about the Scotch. With over 60 fine whiskies, there’s plenty for connoisseurs, with an extensive list of cocktails, too. Here are five concept cocktails you need to try: 1. Rare Old Fashioned Justin Gardner If a whisky bar can’t get an Old Fashioned right, then something’s gone wrong. This new take on the whisky classic is infused with heritage – quite literally. Made with two single malt whiskies, demerara sugar syrup and spiced bitters, your glass is smoked by torching an old whisky stave to infuse it with the barrel’s oakiness. 2. Blood and Strand Justin Gardner The traditional Blood and Sand gets its name after the 1922 silent film, but this zingy cocktail gets its moniker from the beach that its key component – Caol Ila – originates from. The mixologists at The Hedonist Project have removed the orange from the taste, but not from the nose, whipping tog
If you’re after tips for New Years’ and ‘Betwixtmas’ musical events, then fear not; Time Out Leeds have a specialist guide arriving shortly. In the meantime, there’s still a busy month of live music and DJs in the city through until the big day. Here’s just a selection. Willis Earl Beal - Headrow House, Tuesday 1stCharming singer-songwriter out of Chicago, Willis Earl Beal returns to Leeds for a charming winter performance. Polar Bear - Headrow House, Wednesday 2ndContemporary jazz ensemble Polar Bear continue to delight fans and new converts alike, mixing experimental impulses with a surprisingly pop aesthetic. Lanterns On The Lake - Brudenell Social Club, Thursday 3rdEthereal, understated yet quietly dramatic, Lanterns on the Lake have gained a following over three albums for their intimate and powerful live performances. Clandestino - Distrikt Bar, Friday 4thThe classy disco and acid night returns with residents, and enigmatic cult selector Ivan Smagghe, playing lo-slung sleaze and out there house music. Tropical - Canal Mills, Saturday 5thDefinitive and roof shaking lineup of UK grime featuring scene heroes such as JME, Preditah, Plastician, Slimzee and more on the decks and on the mic. Django Django - Leeds University, Saturday 5thCelebrated British art-rock band Django Django returned earlier this year with their second LP, Born Under Saturn. They play old favourites and new cuts at this much awaited University gig. Alt-J - First Direct Arena, Sunday 6thMercury w