Now that's the way to get the Bank Holiday weekend started! Despite a rather drizzly month it seems as though the sun was shining just for us on Thursday 25th August, for the latest installment of Yelp Elite party goodness, at Leeds' most fabulous cocktail and tapas bar distrikt. Indeed, it was the golden lining to this fabulous evening of frivolity, which saw over 50 yelpers descend into the cool and quirky cave-like depths of distrikt for an epic tapas-tasting and cocktail-consuming caper.
As folks were welcomed into the fold they were sent straight to the bar, where Johnny began crafting two of their signature cocktails for the guests, including a muddled berry masterpiece – the Baies Sexual – and an artisan coffee creation – the Araku Daiquiri – which turned even the most decidedly anti-coffee drinkers! The Araku Daiquiri included fresh lime juice, Santa Teresa Araku, Santa Teresa Claro and Gomme and the Baies Sexual included Belvedere Black Raspberry, Licquor 43, fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, muddled with lemon and apple juice. (Both are £6 and included in the two for one offer distrikt hold on a Thursday!) Tessa S delighted, 'The bartender was great – very friendly and chatty,' and Tyler K confirmed that 'the cocktails were lovely. Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time trying the berry and the coffee cocktails from the event.' Within moments the bar appeared four deep but that didn't stop Rosita, distrikt's delightful host, from meeting and greeting the guests to welcome them in and explain what they are all about. As Douglas P explained, 'Rosita was a great host and mingled all night'!
Once everyone had been well watered, folks set about having a good hobnob, and filled up the booths to await the much anticipated menu sampling. Some dove straight into the board game booth to enjoy a bit of light entertainment with Scrabble, playing cards, Carcassone and Zombies, like Sarah K, who yelped, 'When my friend and I arrived at the event we immediately bagged the table with the zombie game and headed to the bar.' Others simply played meet and greet and sat down for a right old natter!
Temptations were high as the delicious fare was laid out in front of everyone's eyes, but soon enough the first course of five different tapas samples were ready for feasting on. Each item was prepped, cooked and prepared absolutely fresh on site by distrikt chef Paul, whose delights tempted all into a frenzy of tapas-try! The tantilizing aromas alone were enough to lift everyone up from their seats and in a flash the age old British tradition of queuing took place. (With a queue long enough to snake around the entire venue!) The extended sample menu included pickled wild foraged sea vegetables, rare British beef with wood sorrel crème fraiche, wild crayfish with tomato, corriander salsa and fennel flowers, Yorkshire chorizo with braised cherry tomato and red pepper, roasted Mediterranean vegetable stack with goats cheese and balsamic and crispy tatas, amongst many other items!
As the first course was being devoured folks returned to the bar to refresh their palates with yet more delicious drinks, simply chatting and sipping the night away in the main space, closed exclusively for this Elite event. Despite already being gifted five different samples from the menu, another five were soon to arrive, as distrikt chef Paul continued to make his magic. Before the second sampling began Paul took a moment to explain the passion behind his food, detailing how he hoped to re-inspire people's excitement for truly British ingredients, and explained that much of his menu derives from his expeditions for foraged foods. Many of the tapas items have been influenced by flavours and foods naturally growing in the British countryside, such as fennel flowers and rock samphire!
Nothing was left to waste, as each sample was devoured and dispatched. Laura J sums it up, savouring: 'The food was also lovely, my particular favourite being the chorizo, and there were some really unusual things such as the pickled sea vegetable.' Those thoughts were shared, as Nikolai C observed, 'The food was really good and nicely presented. The second course came with a little introduction from the chef about the (foraged) food which was interesting to know. What I did have was lovely and obviously people seemed to share that opinion as most of the food was hoovered up by the masses'!
Once the party had reached a close a few folks stayed on to take advantage of distrikt's two for one deal on cocktails, and socialise the night away, taking in a few night caps to finish the evening off. A massive thanks goes out to distrikt, for their fabulous and most generous hosting, and Joel Rowbottom, Ian R and Heather M for their photographing skills! Overall the evening was a fabulous success, full of fun, frolics, fine drinks and foraged food samples, but don't just take our word for it! As ever, you can read the buzz and check the pictures – but watch out for some serious food envy! Mind you, the only answer to that is to check out distrikt for yourselves…
Until next time, I'll be seeing you on Yelp!