Leeds Diary Dates: March 2017

March is here, and that means the start of spring is within reach – can you feel it coming? February has been a horrible month for me personally and I’ll be glad to see the back of it; the hard part is by no means over but I have some great things coming up that I can look forward to and I’m trying to add more to that list. When I’m going through a tough time my instinct is to shut everyone out, put my head down and crawl through it, but it’s time to pick myself up and start letting people back in. With that in mind, does anyone want to accompany me to some cool events in Leeds this month?

3rd: The Cocktail Experience

The Cocktail Experience returns for a second year, collecting all of Leeds’ best bars in one venue to bring their best mixing skills to the table. Each bar collaborates with a different alcohol brand and designs a drink created especially for the evening, so you’ll have the chance to sample a lot of drinks that won’t be available at any other time. Personally I think Cocktails in the City seems to offer more in terms of both extra activities and value for money, but if you fancy a warm-up…

3rd-25th: Romeo and Juliet at WYP

I’m keen to go and see this new version of Romeo & Juliet, reimagined by West Yorkshire Playhouse as a modern-day romance set in a gritty northern city where two communities live divided by hate and suspicion. One of the reasons I love Shakespeare is that so many of the stories are universal and applicable to any time period, so I really enjoy adaptations where his plays are used as a means to put our society under the microscope. This adaptation will focus on the way we live together despite superficial differences; a subject that is particularly pertinent in the time of Brexit and Trump’s travel ban.

10th: The Argie Bhaji

In 2016 we had Battle of the Burger; this year a new food fight is coming to Canal Mills. 8 Indian food vendors will compete over two days in the Argie Bhaji, to be crowned king of the curry. As with Battle of the Burgers, there’ll be a £3 price point that vendors must adhere to, which means attendees have a fighting chance of sampling every mini portion going. The Cat’s Pyjamas is the only confirmed vendor so far, but if all the competitors are of that calibre it will be a tasty weekend.

16th: Tanqueray Gin Masterclass at The Maven

Tanqueray is one of my favourite gins (No 10 if we’re being specific), and The Maven is one of my favourite Leeds cocktail bars, so this event is right up my street. The evening costs £10 and includes a rundown of the history and production of Tanqueray and a tasting session of some delicious cocktails whipped up exclusively by the Maven bartenders.

16th-18th: St Patrick’s Irish Restaurant

Looking for something a bit different to do on St Paddy’s Day? Enter Sheaf Street Cafeteria. While the bars are full of crowds getting drunk on Guinness in leprechaun costumes, Grub & Grog Shop are hosting a pop-up dinner event inspired by traditional Irish cuisine. There’s very little information available yet and not menu has been released, so keep your eyes on Sheaf Street’s Facebook page for updates.

20th: Open Letters

I went to my first Open Letters open mic event at Hyde Park Book Club near the end of last year and had such a good time; attendees are invited to bring along letters to read aloud, whether they be personal letters, letters you never sent, or published correspondences between famous people. The last one was soon after the US election and the thoughts that several people chose to share made it quite an intense evening, but amazing for a creative boost. A few people even grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled something down in the moment.

How was your February, and what will you be getting up to in March? Tell me in the comments!

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