Category Archives: Food

Culture Vulture: Green-themed cream tea at Headingley’s Bowery!

Originally published on Thurs 4 August 2011 at

Nestled by the side of a busy crossroads, it could be easy to miss The Bowery, a wonderfully unusual café in north Headingley.  One of Leeds’ hidden cultural treasures, it’s home to a fascinating little art gallery – climb the stairs and you’ll find an ever-changing range of exhibitions by local artists. If you feel like you want to get involved with making art, there are regular workshops covering everything from photography to floristry, too.

Downstairs, alongside the coffee and cake, you’ll find a boutique nestled with ceramics, textiles, jewellery and other artwork on sale from local designers and exciting emerging artists.  And if that wasn’t enough, they sell some of the finest coffee in the land, recently making it into The Times’ top 10 coffee shops in the UK.

It might be worth checking it out on Sunday 21 August, when it’ll be taken over for an afternoon quiz with a difference. Leeds University student Kristina Diprose is hosting a cream tea fundraiser for her work with the UK Youth Climate Coalition, a national non-profit organisation working to bring young people together for positive action on climate change.  This November, Kristina will be one of ten young people from the UK attending UN climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, taking the concerns of British youth to international decision-makers.

She says of her chance to attend the South Africa negotiations: “This is an amazing opportunity and I’m so excited to be involved. Young people need to make sure that negotiators and world leaders know we care about these talks.  The decisions made in South Africa will affect our generation for decades to come”.

It’s a quiz, sure, but for five pounds, this includes a tea or coffee, homemade scones with jam and cream, a charity donation and the chance to win a pair of theatre tickets to a performance of your choice – worth up to £60 – kindly donated by the West Yorkshire Playhouse.  It could well be better than a pint in a dingy bar!

It all starts at 3.30pm on Sunday 21 August. There’s only 30 places available, which must be booked in advance from The Bowery.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Call 0113 2242284 to book your place, or check out the Facebook page for the event for more details.

Kids’ Spring Half Term Round-up

Originally published on Weds 18 May 2011 at

The Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum, York
Saturday 28 – Monday 30 May

Take the chance to see for yourself the iconic and legendary steam locomotive as it returns to the National Railway Museum in York this half term. There’ll be talks from train experts, who’ll be on hand to tell you more about the train’s history, recent restoration and how it was once the fastest train on Earth! Plus, don’t miss a live bagpipe performance in celebration of the Flying Scotsman’s appearance.

Ryedale Folk Weekend, Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole
Friday 27 – Monday 30 May

Fun for all the family at Ryedale Folk Weekend – with live music, workshops, sing-alongs and more in the 16th century manor house that’s home to the Ryedale Folk Museum. It’s all happening in the picturesque setting of Hetton-le-Hole, and promises to be a fantastic festival featuring great entertainment for everyone. Tickets are £40 for adults, children (4-16) £15.

Dream Bigger Dreams, All Saints’ Square, Rotherham
Tueday 31 May – Friday 3 June

A roadshow with a twist! The University of Sheffield will be holding a series of performances and interactive sessions in Rotherham town centre. It’s a chance for kids to find out what the university does, meet students, and try out a range of activities ranging from archaeology to electronics to medicine! Activities will be running from 10.30am – 2.30pm each day, and are completely free.

Half Term Fun Days in the Energy House, Heeley City Farm, Sheffield
Wednesday 1 – Thursday 2 June

Come along to South Yorkshire Energy Centre to have fun discovering more about recycling and saving energy! Based at Heeley City Farm, there’s pigs, goats and other animals for kids to meet. Suitable for all the family. Free entry – open 11am to 5pm.

Wetwang Scarecrow Festival
Saturday 28 May – Sunday 5 June

To many people, Wetwang is famous for appearing in Look North’s weather map, whenever its honorary mayor Paul Hudson presents the forecast. However, it’s also home to a scarecrow festival – previous entrants have included Noel Edmonds in his ‘Deal or no Deal’ guise, a representation of the ‘Dancing on Ice’ cast and – wait for it – ‘Status Crow’, last year’s winner, depicted in performance of ‘Rocking All Over The Wolds’. Who will be ‘crow’-ned the winner this year? Head to the village hall, Wetwang, between 10am – 4pm during the festival, and pick up a festival guide.

Bridlington Arts Festival Finale, The Spa Bridlington
Saturday 28 – Monday 30 May

Bridlington Arts Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, so head over to the newly refurbished Spa and take in its impressive sea views. The Spa Gardens will feature street entertainers, a colourful array of continental market stalls and a host of free entertainment (weather permitting). The fun kicks off at 11am, and is free.

Zoolab Animal Roadshow, Dewsbury Museum
Friday 3 June

Meet snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies and creatures at the Zoolab Animal Roadshow! A team of rangers will deliver hands-on workshops which use animals as a way to encourage kids to explore the natural world. There’s four one-hour animal handling sessions during the day, with a charge of £2.50 per child.

Kaleidoscope Mask Making, The Hepworth Wakefield
Monday 30 May

Come and make a kaleidoscope mask at the brand new Hepworth Wakefield gallery! The Hepworth is Britain’s newest major art gallery, the largest purpose-built gallery space outside London, and will undoubtedly become one of the country’s most important galleries – housing hundreds of works from the late legendary sculptor Barbara Hepworth and other major artists. Drop in from 11am – 4pm. Free entry.

York’s Mini May Food and Drink Festival

Originally published on Weds 18 May 2011 at

York’s Food and Drink Festival takes place every September, but this year sees the first mini May festival, with a taste of what’s in store for later in the year.

There’s a big market of real Yorkshire food and drink, covering a range of meat, fruit, vegetables, cheese and beer. It’s a chance to explore some of Yorkshire’s finest produce from some of the region’s smaller producers.

A demonstration area will be set up in Parliament Street, where Yorkshire’s celebrity chefs including Ashley McCarthy of Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton, will demonstrate how to create succulent recipes easily. There’ll also be a licensed café, where you can enjoy a drink, and maybe taste a local speciality for the first time.

The festival coincides with English Wine Week, and there’ll be an excellent introduction to the wines of England from Heart Vineyard, located just outside the city of York.

The evening of the 28th features an informal dinner with the Lord Mayor of York, Susan Galloway, at the Mansion House on St. Helen’s Square. The specially prepared meal will consist of succulent regional seasonal food, prepared by Michael Hjort of Melton’s Restaurant of York.

Local chocolate makers Little Pretty Things will be sharing the secrets of their craft with a hands-on chocolate making workshop for kids (and maybe adults, if you ask nicely!) You’ll be able to try some of their more unusual creations – why not try Yorkshire Brewery’s ‘Ghost Ale’ or Yorkshire Blue Cheese-centred chocolates?

York Mini May Food and Drink Festival is free entry, with some ticketed exceptions including the Lord Mayor’s dinner. For more information, visit

National Vegetarian Week

Originally published on 10 May 2011 at

23 – 29 May

First of all, meat eaters – relax! This isn’t a compulsory programme to force people to give up meat. Rather, it’s a national week of exploration in food, with a focus on trying out different dishes that are meat-free, and raising awareness of the positive aspects of a vegetarian diet.

Organised by the Vegetarian Society, there are events happening across the UK. Here are a couple of events taking place in Yorkshire:

Seven-course Vegetarian Banquet
Friday 20 May, Northorpe Hall, Mirfield , WF14 0EG. 7pm.
Am I hearing you right? Seven courses? All vegetarian? This is bound to be a delight to any vegetarian’s ears, and a great way to dip into veggie food for meat-eaters. It’s £25, but for that you get a wide range of tastes, ranging from pumpkin to avocado to black pepper ice cream. All money raised goes to Northorpe Hall’s work supporting children facing challenges to their emotional well-being and mental health.

An evening with Hansa’s at Waterstone’s, Leeds
Waterstone’s, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AP
Local chef Hansa Dhabi will be in store at Watestone’s to talk about her award-winning Indian vegetarian restaurant, Hansa’s. Established in 1986, Hansa’s is renowned for its authentic Gujarati cooking – a primarily vegetarian cuisine- alongside a friendly atmosphere. Hansa’s two cookbooks have become local bestsellers. Food samples will be available, too.

You can also check out other events taking place across the UK, the National Vegetarian Week website.

Hull Truck Food Festival Fundraiser

Originally published on Tues 15 March 2011 at

If you’ve ever wanted cookery classes from one of the ‘100 Sexiest Men in the World’ (and a Michelin-starred, 5AA Rosette-winning, Frenchman, too), then join celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli at Hull Truck Theatre for some scrumptious food – and help raise money for the theatre at the same time.

Hull Truck’s second annual Food Festival comes round on Sunday 27 March, with cookery demonstrations and stalls from local food producers. It’s all in the aim of generating some cash for the theatre, and exploring a range of exciting produce from around the region.

There’ll be tasting sessions too – try a bit of local cheese, or a range of different chocolates – before moving onto beer tasting and cocktail classes. Experts will be on hand to discuss the history and culture behind the food, as well as offering cookery tips and guidance.

For those with kids, there’s a ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious’ storytelling session, facepainting sessions and drama workshops. Take time out from browsing the food stalls to sample some of Hull Truck’s own cuisine, with a special menu prepared by the Head Chef, James Allcock. Plus, pick up a brochure, and you’ll get 10% off your food next time you visit.

It’s certain to be a sell-out – so if you’re a food fan, book your ticket now!

Full details can be found on Hull Truck’s website at

My writing portfolio: an update

Since November 2010 I’ve written reviews, previews and events listings on the cultural website  Here’s a portfolio of my work so far.

For the latest, I’d recommend that you subscribe to my site via RSS using something like Google Reader – it’s dead easy.  Watch this video for tips on how to do it.

You can find this page in the writing section of my site, too – take a browse!