My life is going to drastically change later this year as I’m expecting my first baby in October. Although I’m determined to still be sociable and attempt to leave the house, I know that long gone are the days where I’ll be able to accept a last minute invitation to a new bar opening, or go to a gig without first having to book a babysitter.
That’s why I’ve created this list of all the things I’ve been meaning to do in Leeds (some for years!) in an attempt to encourage me to do them all within the next few months – while I still can!
- Cinema club at Crowd of Favours: This pub is near Kirkgate Market and I can’t believe I’ve still never been. As well as serving food, the Crowd of Favours has live music, pub quizzes and a weekly movie night. Hosted on a Tuesday, the free cinema club is often themed, with the most recent films all being Roald Dahl picks (another reason why I’m annoyed I haven’t yet been!)
- A meal at Teppenyaki: I’ve arranged to go for a meal at Teppenyaki with my friends Emma and Jake numerous times, and then for some reason or another (normally because I end up being ill!) we always have to cancel. This Japanese restaurant, located on Belgrave street, gets excellent reviews. The chefs cook in front of you on hot plates, making a show of it, so you get a bit of theatre as well as (hopefully!) tasty food.
- Salsa classes: I always talk about going to a salsa night in Leeds and then never do it. There seem to be plenty of places offering both beginner and advanced lessons with a club night afterwards (I think both Distrikt and Revolucion de Cuba do them), so I’ve got no excuse not to find one! I fancy just going to an informal class in a bar, but there are plenty of salsa classes in dance studios in Leeds too. Anyone brave enough to go with me??
- Anything at Seven: Seven is an arts venue in Chapel Allerton and I often hear of it when looking at local jazz listings. This is another place that’s been on my list to visit for ages and I’ve just never got round to it. Looking at their events page, there are loads of interesting events coming up – live music, film festival, comedy, story telling, discussion, spoken word… plenty to go at!
- Comedy club: The Wardrobe is the only venue I can remember going to for a comedy gig in Leeds over the last few years. There are some bigger acts on at the arena and also theatres such as City Varieties, but I’d like to go to a regular comedy night. I might be able to tick this off my bucket list sooner than expected as I’m hoping to go to one of the Comedy Sessions at the HiFi club. The Comedy Sessions is apparently “Yorkshire’s longest running independent comedy night” with three stand-up comedians from around the globe every Saturday. This is on my radar as I’ve been told Jessica Fostekew is playing there soon. I saw her recently whilst going to a live filming of The Guilty Feminist with Kirsty and she was hilarious. (If you’ve not listened to The Guilty Feminist podcast then you are denying your ears – and your brain and your soul – something amazing.)
- Spoken word / poetry: Poetry should be spoken or heard, not just read. At least that’s what someone told me. I used to love poetry as a kid and kind of fell out of love with it as a teenager. My passion for it was rekindled however after reading (and seeing live) Hollie McNish’s “Nobody Told Me.” I really want to go listen to some poetry but don’t know where to go in Leeds. Does anyone have any suggestions?
- Going for a drink / eating at The Mustard Pot: The Mustard Pot is somewhere that a lot of my friends in North Leeds seem to visit often. As well as doing the usual food and drink, I think it’s known for good Sunday roasts and also for outside events. They also have “Mustardstock” in July – a weekend of live music, BBQ and beer.
- Chevin Forest Park: Located north-west of Leeds city centre, this park overlooks Otley and apparently has impressive views of the Wharfe Valley. I have been here once before but didn’t do it justice, doing just a short walk and not exploring much of the area. It has plenty of car parks and apparently there’s a shuttle bus that runs from Otley bus station. I’ve been told that the Cheerful Chilli is an excellent cafe nearby, serving fresh, vegetarian dishes.
- Leeds City Museum: I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to the City Museum. I’ve been to the Discovery Centre and to the Royal Armouries – both excellent – but not actually the one I walk by nearly every week! They’ve got an exhibition on at the moment – “For all seasons” – until the end of August, which explores how the seasons have been represented in art and culture and how the natural world responds to the changing seasons, so I’m going to make an effort to go see that.
I think that’s a pretty manageable list if I get myself organised! What have you been meaning to do in Leeds for ages but just never got round to?