There was sunshine on Leith last Sunday 22nd April as over 200 Edinbugh locals lined up at the Shore for Edinburgh's debut Yelper Party: Yelp's Springtime Spectacular! Yelpers and sunshine were out in full force for an afternoon to celebrate local Edinburgh living. With over 15 local Edinburgh businesses showcasing their delicious ditties and delights, Emily H thought it was 'potenitally the best event I have ever been to!' Well, we do try…!
The Malmaison very kindly hosted the Springtime Spectacular both inside their stunning period hotel building, and out on their gorgeous courtyard in prime Leith Shore position. As the guests began to arrive, the smell of the New York Steam Packet barbeque had the Yelpers smiling in anticipation before they even entered the Spectacular. Val M was hop, skipping and jumping all afternoon after 'being greeted by the ever smiling Yelp crew, handed a flower, followed by immediate invitation to drink beer and eat a burger'. Innis & Gunn made sure every single Yelper had a bottle of beer in hand to accompany the New York Steam Packet slider burgers – what a way to start the day!
But enjoying the very rare rays of Edinburgh sunshine with beer and burger was only a taster of what was hidden inside. There was sunshine both outside and in, namely in the form of 100s of wee Sunshine in a Cup smoothies at the Hula table! Susan and the Hula girls were blending up their signature smoothies and juices, as well as some of their delicious wraps and Stoats porridge bars. Baxter T kindly asks Hula 'can I live on your cajun chicken wrap please?' Sounds…spicy!Who says you can't have your cake and eat it? Cakes by Lyndsey wowed Yelpers with her gorgeous cakes that looked almost too beautiful to eat (Almost…) Joe A admits 'for someone like me who isn't the sweetest of sweet-tooths, claiming the candy-coated truffles on sticks as my favourite grub of the day really is a new personal precedent.' Cupcakes and cake pops ahoy! Keeping it sweet, Burgh Bakes brought the gourmet, hand-made marshmallows with the most unusual of flavours such as Key Lime Pie and Lemon Meringue. Fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth perfection!
Illegal Jack's made sure there was some hearty good grub to curb any sugar highs, with their meat and veggie chillis. Not only is their tex mex award-winning, Ian D loves both 'the signature meat and veg chilli accompanied with the best banter in town, which ensured that hardcore fans and newbies alike left their table grinning from ear to ear both for the food and chat!'
Feeling full just reading about all the deliciousness? Well, loosen those relaxi-pants – there's more where that came from! Union of Genius were ladelling out the most unusual and delicious combinations, of home-made soups with artisan breads. Charis S had 'never tried a Chorizo and Kale in a soup and thanks to Union of Genius I have and it was lovely.' And even those who were wheat or dairy free were able to indulge with Love Pure Cakes. Baking up gluten-free, dairy-free cakes packed with superfoods like honey and algae, these delicious cakes such as Bakewell Tart can be bought at Union of Genius as a post-soup treat, and proved a match made in heaven on the day!
Did someone say more cupcakes? 100s more delicious, delightful cupcakes? Cuckoo's Bakery lived up to their name by making many a Yelper a little bit loony over these iced beauties. We didn't see one Yelper leave without at least two cupcakes in hand, from red velvets, lemon sponges, to banana, chocolate and peanut butter. Nothing crazy about that…
It wouldn't be a Yelper party without beer. And cider. And rum, and gin, and vodka and cognac. BrewDog brought the attitude as ever and kept Yelpers refreshed with their Punk IPA. And after trying Thistly Cross Cider's local home brews, Linda C admits 'the strawberry Thistly Cross cider will be my favourite accessory this summer. It should take pride of place in everyone's picnic baskets!' And if both those went down a treat with Illegal Jack's chilli, luck would have it you can get both in the restaurant too!
But wait – what about the rum? 80% STROH rum at that, a firm favourite for Luke D. There were many a merry Yelper that sunny afternoon. Al P was so taken by the 'incredibly smooth with blackberry and blueberry flavours' of Brockmans Gin he couldn't bare to tarnish it with tonic, and Cariel Vanilla Vodka's 'icecreamy loveliness is a most humungously good thing, which amazed and delighted a non-vodka drinker' such as Baxter T. Add in a few more tipples of Xanté Pear Liqueur and AIVY flavoured vodkas and that, Ladies and Gents, is how we through a Yelper Party.
But it wasn't just an afternoon of food and drink. Not in the least. It wouldn't be a Springtime Spectacular without Springtime Flowers and Honeysuckle Floral Design delivered those by the gardenful. Giving every Yelper a flower on arrival, decorating the Malmaison with the most beautiful of bouquets and archways, they also 'created their space' as the event went on, with Vivien and her girls working throughout the afternoon on flower arranging and showing what they do best. Kelly F was swooning after being 'assailed by the smell of flowers, not to mention immediately coveting their bouquet of tulips and hyacinths, wondering if they would sell them to me there and then!'
Lynn from Fantoosh made sure the Yelpers were as beautifully decorated as the venue itself with her fantastic, unique face art. Ian D 'might have been one of only two or three men to be painted by the extremely talented Fantoosh, but the Japanese, wavelike motif she decorated my face with got a lot of comments throughout the evening. I would totally recommend Fantoosh to bring a sparkle and colour to any event. What an artist!'
Decorated, dolled up and feeling fine the Yelpers then had the treat of their own professional and private photo shoot with Trixta Photography! Strike a pose, vogue. And shhh, don't tell the other cities but you Edinburgh bunch are the best looking Yelpers around!What would a party be without live music? Local rising stars Matt Norris and the Moon took to the sun-filled stage outside to serenade with their beautiful melodies, rounding up the party with some song and dance in the sunshine – spectacular indeed!
And last but certainly not least, it simply wouldn't have been a party without everyone who came! As Geoff K noticed 'aside from all the goings on, one of the biggest things the day showed was how much of the of a community Yelp has brought together in Edinburgh' – and long may it continue!
So enough from us. What did some of those very fine Yelpers and guests have to say about the event itself?
'Oh man, the food was spectacular, the drink was spectacular, the peeps were spectacular and the host was spectacular. I'm gonna go ahead and declare it…. The best Yelp event, nay, the best spring spectacular EVER held.' Luke D
'Willy Wonka states that "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." – well if you add 2% of Sunshine in a Cup (Hula), 2% Nacho-y goodness (Illegal Jacks) & a final 1% of Mallow Heaven you will get 110% of awesomeness… and an experience I won't easily forget!' Jenn F
'The whole event felt like the who's who of independent businesses in Edinburgh amongst the familiar faces of yelpers old and new. The day was such an amazing combination of excellent food and drink, brilliant banter and sunshine, I actually ached afterward as I just couldn't keep the grin off my face.' Kelly F
'I am now a total Yelp addict and I am not quite sure what I ever did before I had it in my life! Thanks a million Jenny L! Bring on the next event!' Jennie S
'The Yelp event to end all Yelp events. Or more likely it's only the beginning as this event firmly established Edinburgh as a Yelp city so I'm sure more people will join and the Yelp gang will continue to grow.' Jason M
'Since Yelp's Springtime Spectacular, I've made the effort to seek out some of of my latest discoveries. I'm now a Hula convert, where I was also able to taste a fab slice of 'ILovePureCakes' bakewell tart (fantastic!) and a trip to The Market meant I was able to procure some fabulous Burgh Bakes marshmallows. Next stop is tracking down some of that fab strawberry cider!' Claire L
The biggest of thank yous to the Malmaison for opening the doors of their beautiful hotel for an afternoon of Yelp-fun, and to all the staff who helped keep everything running so smoothly; to all the businesses and sponsors who brought their wonderfully delicious food, drink and fun times and kept every Yelper topped up, tip-top and happy; to Fluid Eye Production for filming on the day (with films to follow soon!), Trixta Photography for the photo booth skills, Robin Mair for the event photography; and special thanks to Katie N, the Yelp Edinburgh invaluable Intern extraordinaire, and Kevin L and Miss Yelp Leeds Rowena H for their help on the day.
You can see all the Yelpers, food, drink, sunshine and fun times in all their glory with the photies here; read all the reviews of the event here; talk about it some more; and if you're curious about what all this yelping is about, send a message to Jenny L and read about the Yelp Elite squad here!
It was Springtime, it was Spectacular and 'Boy did this event live up to its name!' (Thanks Joe A!) Thanks again to everyone who came, brought the food, the drink, the banter, the sunshine and the fun times!
Until next time (oh yes, there will be a next time!)
Yelp Edinburgh Community Manager