With a slightly miserable but not too rainy weekend behind us, here at Leeds-List we’re all about enjoying the weekend while it lasts, something we clearly did as we give you our personal round up of what we got up to this weekend…
This weekend, my former housemate, who I lived with in Hyde Park 10 years ago, paid a visit to Leeds for the first time in a few years, from her new hometown of Marseilles with her little two-year-old son. After having a shop in Trinity Leeds, particularly enjoying the Lego shop, we explored the Waterfront Festival. It was great just wandering around these beautiful parts of the city centre that I rarely venture out to, with a bit of sunshine and a lot of great food and gift stalls out this weekend.
We sampled some excellent fish and chips, falafel and halloumi and very much enjoyed the brass band at New Dock playing some Green Day and Jackson 5. Back in the city centre, we had a little rest at the great new independent coffee shop on Central Road (behind House of Fraser), Mrs Atha’s. Their cakes went down especially well and a peek at the all day breakfast menu has left me very keen to return soon. A great choice of weekend for my friend to visit.
A quiet weekend so I managed to find time to head to my local cinema on Saturday with a couple of friends and catch new comedy ‘This Is The End’, the apocalyptic offering from chuckle merchant Seth Rogen and his regular collaborator buddies as they struggle to survive in a Hollywood at the end of the world.
While I’m really not one for seeing comedies in the cinema and even less for the generic man-child school of comedy, ‘This Is The End’ looked fantastic and was a solid, genuinely funny and interesting film. With the lead cast playing exaggerated versions of themselves, it was anchored by a sweet and warm rapport between Rogen’s well-meaning good guy and Jay Baruchel’s awkward and always likeable outsider and bolstered by some truly fantastic cameos (some of which I won’t mention for fear of spoiling).
The best of these cameos? Easily Emma Watson, playing a kick-ass survivor version of herself, besting the boys with a fire axe and going some way to redeem some of the truly gross portrayals of women in recent comedies by being smart, independent and someone who steals the film in her ten minute role. I was punching the air by the time the credits rolled around and felt like I had been pleasantly surprised by the film which, while not perfect, was a cut above a lot of recent comedies.
This weekend was a bit nuts for an old fogey like me. On Saturday I took my eight year old to Manchester’s Legoland which is as the name suggests is a tribute to brightly coloured, Scandinavian plastic bricks. It’s a pretty good attraction for the under 10’s including 4D films — don’t ask me what that means — and some funky electric cop cars.
After dropping her off I went to Hebden Bridge’s famous Trades Club for a special viewing of Carol Morley’s brilliant documentary The Alcohol Years that chronicles her drunken escapades in 1980s Manchester through the eyes of those who knew the teenage nightmare, Carol is a real sweetheart now, as well as a talented filmmaker, and she gamely took part in a very funny Q&A afterwards. She also showed some rare Tony Wilson footage, including a brilliant sequence where the Factory Records boss vainly tried to put his dog into a car.
Half an hour later in the same room I was grooving along to superstar DJ Andrew Weatherall which was brilliant, as you might except in a small club, and despite being 48 I staggered back into the house at 3am. Hardcore, me. A few hours kip and I was up to get John Cooper Clarke’s rider for his sold out Hebden Bridge Arts Festival gig at the Picture House that night. My weekend was completed with a stewarding stint at the Street Sundaes event across four sites in Hebden Bridge. The highlight was an extraordinary display of acrobatics from Brazilian quartet, Deromas – amazing skills as the sun shone for once.
On Sunday we decided to kick start our wedding plans and found ourselves visiting the fabulous Wood Hall of Wetherby for their Wedding Fayre. The venue was stunning, a grand hall with beautiful gardens and after admiring the view we soon found ourselves inside greeted with a glass of bucks fizz.
Slightly overwhelmed but excited, we made our way to the stalls where we were met with photographers, florists, jewellers and many more. We got our fill of leaflets, business cards and chatted away to a few experts until we left the stalls and had a walk around the grounds to get a better feel for the place. Not sure yet if we came away feeling less prepared than when we went in, but it was a fun afternoon regardless.
This Sunday I got to go to Malmaison‘s restaurant right in Leeds City Centre and from the off with their big newspaper-style menus, I could tell I was in for a great dining experience. Malmaison is a fun and classy place to eat with more than enough food to satisfy any hungry patron – from their big and bold set menus to the fun and unlimited omelette and hors d’oeuvres bar, I got to experience a lot of great grub for a tasty brunch in the city.
My personal favourites amongst the expansive menu were the steak frites — with a Bernaise sauce to die for — and a Creme Brulee that made me want seconds (and even thirds). With a delicious and fun take on cuisine, Malmaison was easily one of the best brunches I’ve been to and one I’ll very happily plan to repeat in the near future.