May in Pictures

Another month down – I can’t believe how fast 2015 is disappearing! I just looked back at my last monthly round up and was struck by the similarities; again I’m watching the rain pour down outside my window after a few lovely days of sunshine and wondering when the weather will get the memo that it’s now June and therefore officially summer.

May has been an exciting month – between my trip to the awesome TBEX conference in Costa Brava, Leeds Indie Food 2015 and a busy work schedule I’ve barely had time to stop! I’ve helped launch my company’s first ever blogger outreach campaign, booked a trip to Dublin that is now less than a fortnight away, and I’m deeply immersed in We Need To Talk About Kevin, which I’ve finally got around to reading. I also think I might be starting to like beer, an intriguing development.

And that’s been May! June is set to be pretty awesome; Leeds Food and Drink Festival is coming to a close this weekend in Millenium Square, as already mentioned I’m escaping the country for a long weekend to visit some friends in Dublin, plus my little brother is returning from his four-month trip through South East Asia and New Zealand next week and I’m more than a little excited to see him! But before we get onto that, let’s recap a pretty marvellous May…

Edible Art ShowAway From The Flock at Edible Art ShowTutti Frutti at The GalleryBundobust Leeds curryTBEX opening partyTBEX tomato bread tutorialMe at TBEX boat partyLaynes Espresso coffeeBeer and ice cream pop up partyPatty Smith's burgerClaw Hide Surf n TurfLeeds Feast

‘Til next time! How did May treat you?

Eating Art at the Great Edible Art Show

Leeds Indie Food has been a blast, but there were few events I was looking forward to as much as the Great Edible Art Show at The Gallery at Munro House. As soon as I saw the event listing I knew I had to be there – famous works of contemporary art recreated in cake, biscuit and icing by the Tattooed Bakers for our viewing pleasure and then offered up for our eating pleasure; what could be better? I don’t pretend to be any kind of art expert, but in a world where even touching artwork is generally frowned upon if not forbidden, this was clearly something special.

Tutti Frutti at The Gallery

I got off to a bad start when the first eating event, Feed Me Art, sold out ridiculously fast and I missed out on a ticket – a regular occurrence in my life due to a dangerous mix of an unwillingness to commit and just general forgetfulness. You can’t even imagine my relief when I found out the organisers had decided to respond to the event’s obvious popularity by expanding the evening into two separate sessions, allowing twice the people to come and stuff their face with cakey goodness. I immediately bought a ticket to the later session, The Second Slice, and started mentally saving room in my belly…

Edible Art Show menu

Aware that the artworks would be half-eaten by the time I arrived, I ran down to The Gallery on my lunch hour to check out the pieces in all their untouched glory. The line-up was impressive, featuring some of the most well-known pieces from the world of contemporary art. Damien Hirst’s ‘Away From The Flock’ was the most attention-grabbing piece in the room, a real sheep corpse preserved in formaldehyde that had been recreated as a rainbow sponge cake covered in white icing.

Nud Cycladic 14 at Edible Art Show

Sharing the room were Sarah Lucas’ ‘Nud Cycladic 14’ as a vegan lemon sponge cake and Tracey Ermin’s applique blanket ‘No Chance’ reimagined as a huge slab of shortcake with the piece’s patchwork of colours and quotes copied in colourful icing. Grayson Perry’s ‘Mr S*** Sex’ was my personal highlight, an intricately decorated vase made from chocolate and prune fruitcake and covered in printed rice paper. This was my favourite piece just for the detail of the vase; I’d already seen the original and the cake version matched up almost perfectly.

No Chance at Edible Art Show

I headed back to work wondering if the taste of the cakes would match up to the impressive appearances, and I was not disappointed. On arriving at the Gallery in the evening I accepted my free glass of punch and headed straight for ‘Away From The Flock’, which looked even better now that it had been sliced open to reveal the brightly coloured sponge cake on the inside. The cake was served with a side of raspberry jelly, and I felt like I was revisiting my childhood as I tucked in, feeling the E numbers coursing through me even as I swallowed.

Away From The Flock at Edible Art Show

The cake was delicious but super sweet, and even after just one slice I was already aware I’d probably only be able to handle one more. I had to choose carefully. After some back and forth I went for ‘Nud Cycladic 14’, a lemon sponge cake with lemon buttercream. I was more than happy with my choice, although I had to fight the impulse to get some chocolate fruitcake to take away!

Mr S*** Sex at Edible Art Show

The Edible Art Show was originally conceived as a way to promote the real British Art Show being held in Leeds later this year, but I believe the success of Feed Me Art has gone beyond that. I think events like this are invaluable in drawing new enthusiasts to the art world; an art novice myself, I was nonetheless attracted to this event by the novelty value of it and as a result gained tons of new knowledge about a subject that I was previously hazy on at best. It is fun, sociable events like this that make a sometimes intimidating subject accessible, and ensure that our art galleries and museums will be full for generations to come.

Leeds Indie Food Wishlist

Leeds Indie Food, Leeds’ first independent food festival, is just around the corner, and I am beyond excited! I’ve lived in Leeds most of my life and the city has developed so much in the past few years, particularly in terms of the awesome food and drink on offer from indie companies. LIF has organised some fantastic events, and these are the ones that are topping my to-do list. It’s a great time to be a Loiner…

Brandon Street Night Market

8th May, 6pm-11pm, Canal Mills, free

I have yet to sample the Brandon Street market, but have heard plenty of good stuff from my Leeds friends who are not such chronic procrastinators as myself. I’m looking forward to getting down here to seek out my favourite street food vendors, discovering some new ones, and dancing off my food baby after a few cocktails.

The GINstival: Lazy Gin Fair

9th May, 4pm-9pm, Lazy Lounge, £10

Fun fact: I bloody love gin. With the Ginposium at Smokestack already sold out, thank god for Lazy Lounge and their GINstival! I’m looking forward to sampling some top shelf stuff that I could never afford and picking some brains for new cocktail recipes. There’s also going to be cake – gin-based cake!

The Decanter Presents: Wine Tasting With Yorkshire Wine School and Graze

12th May, 7-9pm, The Decanter, £30

I have an eternal love affair with wine, not just because it tastes amazing but because it still makes me feel a little bit fancy and sophisticated every time I drink it. Especially now that I’m older and wiser and refuse to drink Blossom Hill. Wine tastings always feel extra fancy, and with contributions from the Decanter and Yorkshire Wine School this session is sure to be a good one.

Thinking About Food: British Barbecue Culture

13th May, 5.30-7.30pm, Tall Boys Beer Market, free

As an ex-English Literature student, this one piqued my interest immediately. I wasn’t aware that there was a strong literary tradition associated with the British barbecue, but apparently I’m about to be enlightened. Books and food; what a combination…

The Great Edible Art Show

14th May, 10am-6pm, The Gallery at Munro House, free

To my eternal grief, the eating part of this entirely cake-based exhibition by the Tattooed Bakers is already sold out, but I’ll still be rushing down here after work to catch the end of the show. The Gallery have been kind enough to share a couple of sneak previews on their Twitter account, and I can’t wait!

The East Village and the Tipple Taxi Present: The American Fairground

16th May, 2pm-6pm, The East Village, free

Now this is the American Dream! Arcade games, popcorn, photo booths, cocktails…what’s not to love? I’m going to grab a big group of friends for this one, I literally can’t think of a single better way to spend my Saturday.

Beer and Ice Cream Pop Up Party

17th May/24th May, 12 noon-6pm, Black Swan, free

Beer is my Everest; despite all my best efforts I’ve never quite managed to love it. It’s embarrassing – I’m from Yorkshire for christ’s sake! Ice cream, on the other hand, has never been an issue, and I’ve already made several trips to Northern Bloc over the past few weeks in a bid to taste every delicious flavour on their menu. Maybe this will be the day I finally crack beer…

Leeds Feast

22nd May 5-11.30pm/23rd May 11am-11.30pm, The Tetley, £2

The guys at the Belgrave are helping out on this one, and if it’s anything like their monthly Street Feast we’re in for a treat! Food, drink, music and Q&A sessions are all on the agenda, and if that wasn’t enough, Laynes are launching their Northern Coffee Guide. Leeds is going to do us proud…

What are your LIF unmissables?