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Summer City Festivals

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As the year progresses, and summer begins to roll around festival season commences. To many, festivals immediately provoke an image of mud, music and beer, however that’s no longer the case. Here are our favourite alternative festival offerings over the next month, if you’re more partial to a bit of city living, than a weekend in a field.

Newcastle

Jesterval

From the 6th to the 14th of June, Jesterval, The North East’s Premier Comedy Festival, returns to the city. Being held for the second consecutive year at one of the North’s most iconic locations, Baltic Square at Gateshead Quays, the festival offers a range of comedy performances to entertain many tastes. Playing host to some of the finest comedians touring the UK today, the festival boasts a strong line-up for its 2014 run, including the likes of Jason Manford, Tony Law, Marcus Brigstocke, Sara Pascoe, Paul Zerdin, Simon Munnery, and Terry Alderton. From household names and hotly-tipped national ‘up and comers’  to the very best local talent, theres a huge variety in comedic styles.

With over 30 comedic performances running over the week, the festival will aim to capture the diverse, cultural and spiritual zeitgeist of the day, and, because of that, Jesterval can guarantee there will be an act for everyone – even those with the most delicate of tastes.

For further information on all the line ups, start times or to buy tickets please visit the website. Tickets are all very affordably priced, and the festival provides the opportunity to see nationally renowned comic Jason Manford for under £25 per ticket.

 

Manchester

Parklife Weekender

Parklife Weekender, held at Heaton Park in Manchester is a music festival with a difference. The June offering, which is a weekend festival without the camping element, comes courtesy of the people that brought you Warehouse Project. If it’s anything like last year, it’s sure to be a thriving weekend for the city. With the likes of Snoop Dogg, Disclosure and Bastille headlining the line-up over the strong weekend, it is an event not to be missed. The line-up is jam packed with some of the most current acts and DJ’s, set to be spread across the two day affair. Unlike many of the top festivals in the UK, there is no camping at Parklife, and although this might seem like an inconvenience, the close proximity of the location to the city of Manchester means you can enjoy the best of both worlds, by heading into the vibrant city of Manchester once the  evening music comes to a close.

Leeds

Food and Drink Festival

Running from Friday 23rd May until Sunday 8th June 2014, the Leeds Food and Drink Festival is a two week celebration of the amazing food and drink available in the city. With events running daily throughout the festival, it’s the perfect time to head to one of the country’s most exciting and vibrant cities to sample what the area has to offer.

With events that are of interest to all ages, the festival offers everything from a kid’s festival at The Tetley to an exciting pop-up dining experience in Trinity Kitchen through to cocktail classes and cake making in a range of exciting and interesting venues around the city.

 

The Leeds Food and Drink Festival grand finale will be the annual three day Yorkshire Food and Drink Show in Millennium Square between the 6th – 8th June. If you’re passionate about good, well grown Yorkshire produce there’ll be a plenty of tasty food combinations to stimulate the taste senses. There’ll be live cookery demonstrations from local chefs, artisan food specialists exhibiting delicious produce, traditional real ales, Pimms and cocktail bars and some of Yorkshire’s finest restaurants serving their signature dishes. In addition there’ll be the sizzle of delicious street food dishes from around the world being cooked right in front of you.
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What’s on this spring?

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This month an array of worldwide megastars from the music industry head to Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. With events in plentiful supply, and the spring weather now warming up our weekends, it’s the perfect time to head for a city break. So if you’re planning a trip to one of the UK’s major cities, coincide it with one of these concerts to make the most of your break.

Katy Perry

The Prismatic World Tour which is the third of Katy Perry’s career sees the pop megastar promise to ‘take it to the next level’. The world-renowned superstar will be gracing Newcastle with her presence for one night only on the 10th May at the Metro Radio Arena, followed by two nights in Manchester at the Phones4U arena on the 20th and 24th May.  Current rumours suggest that Katy will be getting up close and personal with members of the audience so whatever ticket you manage to get your hands on its going to be a fantastic atmosphere; definitely not one to miss!

Kings of Leon

American rockers Kings of Leon head to Newcastle’s St James’ Park  to perform to the crowds in open air surroundings as part of their Mechanical Bull Tour on the 31st May, before heading to Manchester on the 18th June to play the Phones4U Arena. The first leg of their tour started in February and, as is always the case with the popular Americans, it has received a massive response from fans to date. The Kings tour comes after their sixth album release ‘Mechanical Bull’, the group’s fourth UK number one album. Supporting the tour are up and coming indie rock band ‘Young the Giant’ and alternative South African rock band ‘Kongos’.

Prince

Yesterday saw some huge news on the concert front for the UK; as rumours circled for a while and fans whipped themselves into a frenzy, Prince lovers can now relax, as it’s now finally been confirmed that Prince will be performing his first tour in the UK since 1995 this May. The exclusive tour will only be stopping at four cities across the country; which makes it especially exciting that Prince will be performing in Leeds for the first time ever on 23rd May at the newly opened First Direct Arena. The musical superstar will also be performing at Manchester on 16th May at the Phones4U arena.

So, if you’re looking to enjoy a weekend of entertainment this month in Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle, make sure you book in at Roomzzz to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.
 

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Our guide to a refined evening in Leeds

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As one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, it’s hardly surprising that visitors travel from all around to spend time in Leeds and enjoy a weekend break. Whether you’re heading to the city for a weekend with friends or your partner, you’re likely to have plenty of entertainment on offer for the duration of your stay. However, the popularity of the city also means that, on a weekend, bars can get rowdy and restaurants will inevitably get busy. With rambunctious groups of friends, stag and hen parties and large numbers of students about, it might be the case that whilst wanting to go out, you’d rather keep your evening more refined. If this is what you’re opting for during your evening in Leeds, then we’ve got you covered.

360 Champagne and Cocktails

Start your night off in one of the city’s newest and most trendy locations – Trinity Kitchen. Part of the year old Trinity Shopping Centre, Trinity Kitchen brings together a wide range of cuisines, from permanent residents to street food style vendors. Located in the heart of the kitchen area sits 360 which, as you can probably guess from the name, is a circular bar offering some of the best quality champagne and cocktail options in the city. The popular nature of the area means that you can enjoy your favourite drinks in a buzzing but not overly loud environment.

Restaurant Bar and Grill

Restaurant Bar and Grill, situated on Leeds’ City Square is a good old fashioned grill, and whilst it isn’t exclusively meats on the menu, the quality of the steak cuts on offer along with the overall ambiance of the place makes it a prime Leeds destination. Restaurant Bar and Grill offers customers classic seasonal dishes, with amazing steaks and an assortment of exquisite sides. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to the drinks menu, but we recommend one of their brilliant cocktails. Serving only the very best, natural, British beef reared on farms selected farms, the restaurant takes great pride in putting out a top quality product.

Epernay

Whilst many head to Leeds for a loud and energetic night, it isn’t to the taste of everyone.  If you’d rather relax and enjoy a more elegant evening, then there are plenty of refined bar areas available to enjoy. Epernay, located just a short walk from Millennium Square in Leeds’ Electric Press is a high end champagne bar frequented by those wishing for a quieter and more laid back environment.  Offering a selection of high end wines, spirits, champagnes and cocktails, as well as artisan beer and cider options, heading to Epernay is a classy way to end your evening.

If you’re looking to enjoy a weekend of entertainment this month in Leeds, make sure you book in at Roomzzz, to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.

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Our guide to a refined evening in Newcastle

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Newcastle is known as a great location for a big night out. Whether you’re heading there with friends, family or your partner, it’s likely you’ll have plenty to do for the duration of your visit. However, the popularity of the city also means that, on a weekend, bars can get rowdy and restaurants will inevitably get busy. With rambunctious groups of friends, stag and hen parties and large numbers of students about, it might be the case that whilst wanting to go out, you’d rather keep your evening more refined. If this is what you’re opting for during your Saturday in the Toon, then we’ve got you covered.

Drinks

Start your evening off with a classy tipple of champagne in one of Newcastle’s most exclusive bars. Silk Room, located between the vibrant Newcastle city centre and the stylish quayside is one of the city’s more elegant evening destinations. Far enough away from the city centre to retain an air of relaxed atmosphere, you’ll avoid the rowdy beginnings of a Newcastle night out by selecting this bar to commence your night out. Both a restaurant and champagne bar, you could enjoy your full evening of drinks and food in this trendy location, however we’d advise enjoying some of Newcastle’s finest cocktails and champagnes here before moving on to further your night with food in the city.

Dinner

Marco Polo is one of Newcastle’s prime dining locations, so if you’re looking to sample the very best food offerings available, book a table at this quality Italian located on Dean Street. A hugely popular restaurant, you’ll undoubtedly have to book your table in advance. Having been recently renovated, and with an elegant split level seating arrangement and great ambience, it’s no surprise that Marco Polo is such a popular restaurant. Priding itself on using locally sourced ingredients, the team behind the restaurant aim to offer a creative menu, quality ingredients and consistency’. Near enough to the city centre to still be bustling with a busy vibe, Marco Polo is a great spot to enjoy a meal before moving on to your nights entertainment.

Entertainment

Entertainment in any major city is rife, and in Newcastle it’s no different. There are many options depending on how you want to spend time after your evening meal. If you want to continue with a classy drink, then Newcastle has plenty to offer. Bars like Babucho and Popolo exude an air of elegance when you sit down to enjoy a relaxed drink. Offering extensive cocktails, spirits and more continental lagers on tap, these two locations are more refined bars, and the ban on large parties of stag and hen do’s means you won’t be interrupted by rowdy groups. Pleased To Meet You is another elegant bar that specialises in Gin drinks, and whilst it gets busy on a weekend, the selection of exotic drinks on offer more than makes up for the somewhat bustling atmosphere on a Saturday night.

If a relaxed evening drink simply doesn’t cut it for you during your weekend break, there are more lively options available. The Livello cocktail bar and club on Lower Dean Street is an exclusive nightlife spot frequented by many of the areas celebrities, and if you want to enjoy drinks in contemporary and busy surroundings, Livello is the place to head.

Alternatively, if you’d rather enjoy an evening performance, the Metro Radio Arena and Theatre Royal both offer performances most nights of the week.

If you’re looking to enjoy a weekend of entertainment this month in Newcastle, make sure you book in at Roomzzz, to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.

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The best city entertainment

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Newcastle

Chris Ramsey
If you’re spending the weekend in the area, what better way to enjoy your Friday night than laughing along to one of Newcastle’s favourite sons, Chris Ramsey. The Geordie stand up heads back to his hometown for this intimate concert at the city hall on 21 March.

Franz Ferdinand
After seeming to disappear for a number of years after initially bursting onto the scene with their 2005 album You Could Have It So Much Better, Franz Ferdinand have made somewhat of a resurgence of late, and on 27th March, head to the Newcastle O2 Academy.

Elbow
Over a decade since their Mercury-nominated debut album Asleep in the Back was released, the Manchester band are still receiving critical acclaim, and head to Newcastle on their latest chart topping The Take Off and Landing of Everything tour. Playing at the O2 Academy in an intimate warm up concert, the five piece play the small venue on 31 March, and tickets are likely to be limited.

Leeds

Miranda Hart
Another comedic offering to line up for your weekend city break, arguably the biggest name in female comedy heads to Leeds’ prime venue this month. The set of dates at the First Direct Arena still have tickets available, and with showings on both Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd March, you can easily plan your weekend around the performance timings.

Johnny Marr
It’s not often that rock royalty heads to Leeds, so when someone of Johnny Marr’s musical calibre heads to the city, it’s tough not to snap up tickets. The former Smith is playing one of Leeds’ smaller and newest venues, playing at the popular Belgrave Music Hall on the 24th March.

Manic Street Preachers
The renowned Welsh rockers have enjoyed just short of 30 years of success career in the industry, and with hit after hit still rolling into the charts, the three piece band from the South Wales Valley play First Direct Arena on Friday 28th March.

Manchester

OneRepublic
Arguably the American pop band of the year, OneRepublic have received masses of airtime since releasing their newest album, Native last year. With hits ‘If I Lose Myself’ and ‘Counting Stars’ receiving many plaudits, their catchy style of alternative pop heads to Manchester on Friday 21st March.

Bombay Bicycle Club
Since establishing back in 2005, Bombay Bicycle Club have seen a rapid rise through the music industry. Having progressed from smaller venues throughout their inaugural ‘I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ tour, the band have rapidly risen between 2008 and the present day, to the extent that their recent tour was performed on a global scale. Heading to Manchester on Friday 21st, make sure you grab a ticket for their Albert Hall date.

Tinie Tempah
This rescheduled concert was due to take place back towards the back end of 2013 finally arrives in Manchester on the 28th of March. With hits including ‘Pass Out’, ‘Wonderman‘ and ‘Written In The Stars‘, this is one concert you won’t want to miss.

If you’re looking to enjoy an evening of city entertainment this month, make sure you book in at Roomzzz, to enjoy a full weekend of comfort.

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One night in Newcastle

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Dinner

Fat Buddha

With an incredible menu and possessing a clear sense of modern style, Fat Buddha is one of Newcastle’s most popular restaurants. Occupying two floors under the Metro FM studios, Fat Buddha offers a dominant and eye catching presence as you approach down either Mosley or Pilgrim Street. Upon entering, you are greeted with a modern bar and two floors of restaurant seating. The Oriental restaurant doesn’t follow the rules of a typical eatery, offering foods from across Asia, rather than focusing on one cuisine. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Malaysian and even dishes from Hong Kong feature prominently in the menu, so don’t be scared to expand your horizons and try something new. A brilliant dining experience, make sure you check out this little taste of the Orient, but keep your eye out for the extra hot chilli dishes!


Marco Polo

Independent, locally owned Italian restaurant Marco Polo provides a truly enjoyable dining experience if you’re spending the night in Newcastle.  Endeavouring to use only the highest quality ingredients imported from Italy, Marco Polo combines these with locally sourced meat and fish. Situated in the busy hub that is Dean Street, make sure you book well in advance, as the restaurant’s location makes it a prime option for city centre drop in bookings. With a diverse Italian menu, food options range from standard pasta dishes to creamy risotto, pizza and meat based dishes.

 

Drinks

BrewDog

Another Dean Street location, BrewDog is a bar with a difference. Operating on the mission of educating the British population with regards to craft brews rather than mainstream mass produced global beers, BrewDog offers a range of ales and IPA’s that have the population of Newcastle flocking in for a taste. It might not be ideal if you love the dance scene, but this bar is a perfect location to relax with friends and enjoy the best of British punk over from the past four decades.


Pleased To Meet You

Occupying one of Newcastle’s most historic buildings, with a Grade II listing, Pleased to Meet You offers ambiance in abundance to go alongside an impressive selection of the world’s finest gins, and some of Newcastle’s most flavoursome draft beers. Not your standard drinking haunt, Pleased to Meet You is a must visit for the gin lovers amongst us, offering over 50 contemporary options for your palate. Head to High Bridge Street if a tipple on the gin takes your fancy.


Entertainment

Livello

Strictly speaking, Livello could slot into the drinks section of this guide, rather than entertainment; however since a £1 million revamp in 2012, Livello has been a destination that provides a truly entertaining experience rather than simply your standard weekend drink. Upmarket, trendy and stylish, this cocktail bar and club boasts a list of expertly crafted, exclusive cocktails, whilst also providing guests with more classic options and an impressive vintage wine list. Open until 3am on weekends Livello provides an eclectic backdrop of music created by resident DJs. Don’t be surprised to see a Ferrari or two parked up outside the entrance, this is the go to nightlife spot when searching for entertainment in Newcastle.


Metro Arena

If you fancy taking a different approach to your evening in Newcastle, and love a high profile concert, then check out listings plenty in advance for Newcastle’s Metro Arena. Hosting arena tours from the world’s biggest acts, performers over the arena’s 16 year existence have included the likes of Tom Jones, Elton John, Coldplay, Oasis, AC/DC and Kiss. Check listings for the latest concerts to see if anything takes your fancy in the world of live music this month.

If you’re planning a night in Newcastle, make sure you check out our website for a more luxurious end to your evening.

Image used under creative commons courtesy of Peter PZ.