Today marks the end of the fantastic Leeds Food Month, and I said goodbye to it in fitting style at the Yorkshire Post Food and Drink Show, visiting twice over the weekend to make sure I got a bite of everything I wanted! I started on Friday, heading over just 90 minutes after it had opened (along with half my colleagues) to treat myself to lunch in the sunshine away from my stuffy office.
After a circuit and a half of the stalls and a lot of dithering, it was pointed out to me that half my lunch hour was already gone and if I didn’t choose soon I’d be going back to the office empty-stomached. I followed my heart to Thai Edge and enjoyed a delicious helping of duck with cashew nuts for just £4.50, topped up with a few free samples of chicken satay while I was waiting in the queue!
Conscious that Friday sugar cravings were sure to kick in at some point during the afternoon, I went back for dessert, making a beeline for Northern Bloc for a scoop of ginger caramel ice cream. I also dropped by Tarte & Berry, a Yorkshire-based team of sisters pedalling some of the best brownies I’ve ever tasted – I split a salted caramel and a white chocolate + raspberry with one of my workmates and they were so rich it took me most of the afternoon to get through them. Rumour has it they’re living in Trinity Kitchen during June and July and I doubt I’ll be able to keep myself away!
The necessity to conform to the rules of professionalism kept me away from the drinks tents, so when Sunday arrived in sun-soaked glory I knew a second visit was in order. Arriving around 4pm having skipped lunch I had a serious case of the munchies, and opted for a fruity hot dog from the Yorkshire Hot Dog Company; pork sausage topped with a chunky apple and cranberry garnish. My friend opted for a box of starter goodies from Chaophraya – tempura prawns and vegetable spring rolls!
Stomachs lined and craving gin, we were drawn to The Maven’s beautiful Hendrick’s-themed Gin Garden, complete with fake grass and rose-bordered entrance gate. My friend stuck with the classic G&T, while I was distracted by an Elderflower Collins that turned out to be the perfect choice.
This month has made me so proud to be a Loiner – there’s been a lot of debate recently about the quality of Leeds’ food scene and whether it will ever measure up to London, and I think Leeds Food and Drink Festival coupled with newcomer Leeds Indie Food have shown that there is indeed life outside the capital. Cheers, guys!