I have a bit of a tick list of places I’d like to go out in Leeds and Belgrave Music Hall was one of them, until that is I took my children with me to their monthly food, arts and crafts extravaganza last weekend.
Belgrave Feast is held on the second Saturday of every month, showcasing different street food sellers each time, an arts and crafts market, music and art activities for kids.
All this is over three floors – the top one being a roof garden – and it goes on from 11 until 8, meaning it’s a great little drop in for lunch or dinner if you’re in town.
Now I’m not in town with Sam and Flo very often, in fact I think this is probably the third or fourth trip we’ve had into the city centre since we moved last year. We always loved a trip to Liverpool though, they love a look round the shops (ahem, if there’s something in it for them) and the whole getting the train experience, and it’s fun for us to go and explore new places together.
I’ve started to get to know Leeds a bit more since we moved; a few weeks ago marked a year since I moved back to Yorkshire, buying a house in my hometown in the Dales and transferring my job to Leeds.
There are still loads of places that I’ve walked past or read about and really want to visit.
On the walk to and from the station after work I often see a bar or restaurant that looks cool and fancy going in, but am usually dashing for the train and don’t fancy sitting solo with a glass of Sauvignon.
Belgrave Feast did not disappoint. With a selection of different street food pop-ups every month there is so much choice and it’s a bit of an education if you have kids with you. Sam went for the corn dogs from The Blue Caribou Canteen. This Manchester-based outfit specialises in something called poutine – a Canadian dish of cheese curd crumbled on top of fries.
Flo and I went for something from The Street Cleaver, an Asian-inspired seller from York. They were serving up a few dishes and we tried different ones to share. I went for the pickled Japanese mushroom tacos, made with kimchi, a kind of Japanese picked cabbage, and Flo went for the Asian beef and soy croquette. She’s pretty keen to try new things and had a go at both dishes, preferring I think the tacos before making a play for her brother’s chips.
We couldn’t resist a visit to the Porterhouse Cake Co stall afterwards, a one-woman setup with the most amazing cakes. I tried my best to take a photo of the work of art that was a berry and chocolate cake, but the light and my iPhone just didn’t cut it sadly! The kids went for the chocolate doughnuts and I got a tahini brownie and a coffee from the bar. I am not a baker but if I were, I’d want to make this brownie, it was amazing!
There was a really good atmosphere at Belgrave Feast; it’s a cool place which is still laid back enough to be welcoming to kids. There was a really great creative vibe going on on Saturday. There was an arts market upstairs organised by the local I Am Collective, with lots of independent sellers from vintage clothes and records (or as Sam called them, the big CDs) to jewellery, cards and enamel pin badges.
To the side of the market was an area set up for arts and crafts for kids, which my two absolutely loved. There was a table of homemade play-doh, a craft table where you could paint and create your own hat, and the floor was covered in paper ready to be painted or drawn on.
I got chatting to some of the organisers while Sam and Flo got busy with the paints, before we moved on to a workshop where you could decorate your own bag to take home. Sam and Flo used felt pens to design theirs, but I had a go at screen printing the I Am Collective logo onto a black bag. It was pretty cool to try something new and come away with a new bag!
Despite only popping in for some lunch we spent just over three hours at Belgrave Feast and I know we will be back again soon. If you’re looking for a way of hanging out in Leeds and keeping your little ones happy, you’ve come to the right place.