Here in Leeds we can never be fully sure of the weather, and so when the sun (admittedly amidst the clouds) peeked out for the Launch of Yelp's Passport To Leeds City Centre, of course a hoard of folk came down to celebrate in style. That's right, over 50 folks flocked down to celebrate the launch of Yelp Leeds' first ever Passport promotion, and were treated to delights for all the senses, all packed into one awesome party. The purpose? To introduce folks to the range of fantastic offers on during the week. The result? A most delightful afternoon klatsch of epic proportions. So what is Yelp's Passport To Leeds City Centre? It's a wonderful week, celebrating some of Leeds' best independent businesses, where participating venues put on an excellent offer for the duration for folks to avail themselves of.
To begin, everyone was welcomed into the folds of The Marvellous Tea Dance Company's kitsch, gorgeous tea rooms, in the most fabulous way – with a welcome cup of Yorkshire tea, and a slice of rum and raisin brownie, both of which were most well received. Whilst the musicians readied themselves in the yard, yelpers had a chance to take some tea, served in the most beautiful tableware, whilst getting a good look at all the trinkets and treasures of the tearoom and in the upper echelons of Bird's Yard Boutique – a true haven for vintage and crafts.
Once everyone had refreshed with a cup of the good stuff, it was time to delve into the Yard, where a vision of bunting and balloons awaited them. As well as entertaining themselves with the ever amusing Wheel Of Yelp, The Greedy Pig supplied the most delectable bites to eager peckish mouths, offering up goats cheese, walnut and beetroot wraps, lemon drizzle cake, mini chocolate cookies, pulled pork and veggie tartlets!
Whilst folks got their mouths 'round those tasty treats, the wonderful Holly of Gerry's Wine & Spirits, and Mark of Wray & Nephew, ensured no one guest went thirsty, offering up such sumptuous sips as delectable Wray & Nephew Rum Punch, Cinnamon Treacles laden with Appleton, Koko Kanu and Pineapple, mini Mint Julep shots and an array of other drinkable delights. Once everyone was well watered, everyone took a seat, or had a mingle, in preparation for the sounds of some of Leeds' finest musicians.
First up was the vintage beauty, Ruby Macintosh, who stole everyone's hearts with a mixture of classic covers and velvet original songs. Her rendition of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy couldn't have been more fitting with the theme and style of the venue, and transported everyone back to an era gone-by. Then, folks were gifted to an incredible impromptu set from Antonio Lulic, rock-folk singer-songwriter from England's fashionably impoverished North East, whose gravely tones engaged everyone's ears and captivated their senses.
Leeds' favourite singer-songwriter, Gary Stewart was to follow, offering up a fantastically folky mix of lyrically virtuoso originals, and finished with a firm-favourite, Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al, which of course had everyone singing along in unison. To end the event with a proper bluesy bang, Dan Beesley and The S.S.S.S.S performed the final set, and what a way to finish! Not a foot went un-tapped, not a hip went un-swayed, not a head went un-banged, as these kings of country played their captivating carousal. With knee-slapping banjo melodies, incredible violin solos, authentically astounding vocals, and an utterly infectious vibe, there was no better way to beat the drum for the beginning of Yelp's Passport To Leeds City Centre. So much so, that the band couldn't get away without at least one encore, and the crowd were left baying for more, and dancing under the marquee in delight. To top it all off, the rain arrived the moment the party was finished. Talk about perfect timing!
And so, after plenty of announcements, chats and mutual love for Leeds' indie business was shared, everyone left fully informed, fully fed, fully fuelled up on excellent booze and aural excellence (and a few yelpy goodies heavier) for the week ahead. Of course, there's still four more days left to get out and celebrate, taking in the offers about town, so what are you waiting for? Check-in and check out who's in the business of being awesome in Leeds – and see what you can get during Yelp's Passport To Leeds City Centre before it's all done!
A tremendous thanks goes out to Bird's Yard and The Marvellous Tea Dance Company for hosting us in their vintage haven, The Greedy Pig, Gerry's Wine & Spirits and Wray & Nephew for their fantastic fare, Matthew Kitchen for his fabulous photographs, and the wonderful musicians who leant us their talent. And, of course, the wonderful Jenny L of Edinburgh for her help on the day! Fancy listening to more? Check out their pages, and catch them live about Leeds town. Want another sip or sup? Get offline and get involved! Tempted to treasure hunt? Now you know where the trinkets may be found! Check out the reviews here, the photos here and spread the word, Yelp it up, and share the love!
And I'll catch you on the Yelp side. Thank you, good night, much love, Rowena H.
These fabulous chaps are involved:
The Marvellous Tea Dance Company
Primo's Gourmet Hotdogs and #Brownies