Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Leedslovesfood Festival Review

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It was so good, they went there twice!.

 The Leeds Loves Food Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd July and included a diverse mix of food and drink  from homemade cupcakes, old fashioned tea and scones and ostrich burgers to Whitby seafood.  Other food and drink events were taking place at assorted venues  around the centre of Leeds too (there were  stalls in Victoria Quarter), but  Millenium Square was the main attraction.  It was packed out during a very hot two days, the clement weather possibly contributed to the crowds that gathered. My friends attended both days.
 There was a gorgeous waft of so many smells fused together on the approach to the area.  On arrival there were plenty of stalls where cooking took place there and then so the food was freshly made and there was an opportunity to watch how it was cooked.  A large seating area in the middle of all the stalls, meant people could buy food and sit and watch the live cooking challenges  shown on the big screen.  There was interaction too with the presenter coming into the crowd asking people what they were eating and what they thought about it , this was beamed onto the large screen behind as well. 
It was such a popular event, that it was difficult to find anywhere to sit and people spilled over into Mandela Gardens to sit and eat what they'd bought.  The atmosphere was very lively  with the sausage tasting  appearing to be very popular, as were the Pudsey Pickles stall and the Bedazzled Cupcakes outlet (http://www.bedazzledcupcakes.co.uk)
My friends ate at the Mango Vegetarian stall (www.mangovegetarianltd.co.uk) , an Indian vegetarian eatery, specialising in gluten free and vegan food, based in Wetherby.  You could choose three things from the menu for £2.50.  They both went for two samosas and one Indian Spicy Roll . The Spicy Roll consisted of shredded cabbage, onions and carrots rolled into a thin pastry, flavoured with red and green chillis.  The chutney that accompanied them was delicious and plentiful too.  The samosas were nice, but not the best they had ever tasted. However in their defence, this was the first time my friends had eaten gluten free samosas and it could just be an acquired taste. The Indian Spicy Rolls were described as “very moreish”.  A large glass of ice cold mango lassi  accompanied the food (£1.50) which was considered a bargain.
The Festival was free to get in. Last year it was a ticket policy, with people paying just to enter and then purchasing food as well, so the fact there was no entrance fee this year was a good thing.  More "free taster" stalls would have been appreciated as this is a good way for businesses to advertise their food and drink and acquire customers after the event.  This is a must attend activity for next year, just a pity it’s only once every twelve months.

The Crowds

Amazing Pies

More Delicious Treats

Photos by Jennie Cole

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I have always enjoyed problem solving for friends and family and as a teacher for the last 18 years this is part of what I do every day. During the last year I have been rediscovering a passion for writing and I have recently produced a short story and several reviews for my blog www.doctorfinkel.blogspot.com - Places to visit and eat/drink in Leeds, Yorkshire UK. I am also offering my services as a freelance writer.