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Summer events in the city

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A weekend break is great, and provides plenty of time for relaxing and taking in the culture of your city of choice. If you’re heading to Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle this July, here is our guide to summer events in the city.

Newcastle

Cats

If you’re in Newcastle for a weekend city break over the coming month and need an evening event to help fill your time, then the Theatre Royal in the heart of the city is playing host to two big name performances this month. First up, with a two week stint running from 1st July to the 12th,  Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s extraordinary record-breaking, smash-hit musical Cats returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal.

Originally adapted from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Lloyd-Webber’s famed dramatisation of the story offers an enjoyable blend of fantasy, drama and romance set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse. With an amazing musical score that includes the timeless Memory, spectacular set designs, stunning costumes and breathtaking choreography, this show is one not to be missed if you’re visiting throughout the show’s two week run. One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, Cats has enchanted audiences in over 300 cities around the world. With such a successful and famed history, the show is sure to prove popular in the Toon, so plan early to enjoy this feline focused phenomenon of the stage.

Grease

If you’re after another well known and highly popular tale to enjoy on the stage, then between the 22nd and 26th of July the Newcastle upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company don their Pink Lady and T-Bird Leather jackets for their 2014 production of Grease.

In the well known tale of teen love, it’s 1959 and Rydell High is filled with rebellious, thrill-loving students. In the midst of this scene, Sandy Dumbrowski enters as the new girl in school and, well…we all know how it plays out.

Manchester

Star Wars Festival

It’s one of the biggest film franchises of all time, and with a diehard following and a reputation of producing one of the greatest ever films, Star Wars is heading to Manchester on Sunday 6th July as The Printworks will play host to Greater Manchester’s only Star Wars themed day. If you’re a fan of the film, then this free event is a great place to head for an hour if you’re in the area for a weekend break. With film star signings, numerous exhibitions, cosplay competitions, live music, merchandise stalls and much more, it’s a more diverse way to spend an hour whilst visiting the city.

Beer ‘n’ Blues Weekend

After something musical this month but not a fan of the mud and camping culture that comes with a traditional festival. The Beer ‘n’ Blues Weekend hits Manchester on the 12th and 13th of July in what is a perfect way to spend an evening whilst enjoying the luxury of the city. This year, Band on the Wall present the finest artists the UK’s blues scene has to offer together with a 20 pump bar featuring brews from local breweries Green Mill, Hornbeam, Brightside, First Chop and many more. With a great line-up, it’s well worth heading to if you’re planning to spend some time in the city.

Leeds

The biggest event of July for Leeds is undoubtedly the huge sporting event that is the Tour de France Grand Depart, which launches over the weekend of the 5th July. For a full rundown of the weekend events, check here. Other than this, Leeds has a number of other events worth checking out.

Waterfront Festival

What better way to enjoy the summer sun than to bask in the warm weather on the Leeds waterfront. It might not be the landmark event that the Tour launch is, but if you’re enjoying a sun soaked weekend in the city, it’s an idyllic way to spend the day. With the festival boasting a fantastic eclectic mix of music, performance and art, you’re free to trawl up and down the Leeds waterfront and enjoy creative workshops including knitting, jewellery making and fun family activities from crazy golf to face painting and boat trips stretching across 4 miles of Leeds waterfront.

If you’re heading to Leeds, Manchester of Newcastle to sample some big city culture this July, make sure you check in to Roomzzz, to allow you to truly enjoy your weekend break in comfort.

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Heading for the Tour de France in Leeds

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With just over a week left until the world’s best cyclists head to Leeds for the commencement of the biggest event in the cycling calendar, the UK and the streets of Yorkshire in particular have been whipped into a Tour frenzy. With spectators expected to travel from all corners of the UK to see the 2014 Grand Depart, it’s time to start planning your trip, if you want to see British yellow jersey contender Chris Froome launch his bid for back to back successes in the French sportive.

The Tour de France in Leeds

It might seem confusing that the Tour de France is commencing its 2014 run outside of the host country, however it’s a standard practice with the competition that every two years ‘Le Tour’ launches in a nearby European location. After hard work from Welcome to Yorkshire, and all the relevant authorities within the Yorkshire area, the big launch takes place on Thursday 3rd July at Leeds Arena, with racing commencing on Saturday 5th . Racing between Leeds and Harrogate on day one, the 190km ride will see the peloton leave from The Headrow stating line, before heading along city streets and heading out of the centre and through to other areas of West Yorkshire. The vast open countryside of ‘gods own country’ will host the first two days of cycling’s flagship event, with day two boasting a 201km route from York to Sheffield. Day three sees the event head down south to Cambridge and London on day three, before then shifting back across the Channel for the rest of the 23 day race.

It’s worth watching because

The Tour de France is one of professional cycling’s three Grand Tour events, and is arguably the one held in the highest regard within the world of cycling. The highly competitive field includes the biggest names in the sport. With previous winners Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador and Chris Froome all expected to compete.

When is it?

The tour itself runs from 5 to the 27 of July, with the first day being a 190km mile flat stage between Leeds and Harrogate, and the second day stepping up the challenge with a 201km hill stage between York and Sheffield. After the brief fling with Yorkshire, riders head down to Cambridge for a 155km run through to London before returning home to French soil. With the remainder of the tour passing through landmark French cities such as Lille, Ypres, Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne, beautiful French architecture and countryside will take centre stage on our television screens, as we’re reduced to watching the remainder of the event from the living room.

Head to Leeds

With the eyes of the cycling world focusing squarely in on Yorkshire, and Leeds in particular, now is the time to really get your plans for the weekend set in stone.  Whether you’re a local to the area, or plan to visit from another UK location, Welcome to Yorkshire and other Yorkshire authorities are really pushing the boat out for you. Five impressive grandstands are to be erected on The Headrow, allowing huge audiences to gather and enjoy the peloton cycle out to start the world’s most famed bike race. Spectator hubs are also expected to be in place, allowing you to line the streets and await the cyclists arrival whilst not missing a minute of the race action as it is shown live on big screens. Spectator hubs outside the city are expected to be located Scott Hall playing fields, Harewood House and in Otley, along with a number of other locations.

 

If you’re a fan of cycling or just want to head to Leeds for a feel of the atmosphere surrounding the huge event in the city, head to Roomzzz Leeds for a place to stay over the landmark weekend.

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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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Weekend preview: Our guide to city events

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Manchester

Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club – Band on the Wall

In visiting Manchester, you’re in the city that birthed Oasis,  The Smiths, New Order and Joy Division, so it seems only fitting that whilst in the city of great musical heritage, you should take in one of the best musical offerings of the weekend. Known throughout the industry for his eclectic musical taste that has seen him broadcast on the likes of BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music, Craig Charles takes to the decks this weekend for a Saturday night fuelled with Funk and Soul classics. Taking place at Manchester’s Band on the Wall in the city’s Northern Quarter, from just £15 per person you can spend the night enjoying the biggest names in funk and soul, from James Brown to Stevie Wonder and many more.

 

Newcastle

Boxe Boxe – Theatre Royal

If you don’t want to spend your weekend in Newcastle doing the same old things, then we’ve got a great option for you to broaden your horizons and take in a performance that you might not ordinarily consider. France’s Companie Kafig return to the UK with Boxe Boxe, a breath-taking show offering the likes of which you won’t see anywhere else, which fuses the noble art of Boxing with dance. Eight industry renowned dancers mix the ancient practices of martial arts,  with street and contemporary dance to create a spirited and stunning fusion of hip-hop and fighting. Incorporating contemporary live music from an onstage string quartet, the dancers move in perfect unison on stage. The choice and meticulous timing of the music is said to “inject a further dash of romanticism and melancholy into scenes.” Taking place in the heart of the city, at the famed Theatre Royal, the performance takes place at 7:30 and lasts just over an hour, meaning that once you’ve taken in the latest offering from renowned choreographer Mourad Merzouki, you still have the whole evening to sample some of the finest bars and restaurants in the north of England.

 

Leeds

Derren Brown – The Grand Theatre and Opera House

One of the nation’s leading illusionists and performers, Derren Brown, heads to Leeds for the last weekend of March, as he performs his Infamous tour at the Grand Theatre and Opera House up until 29th March. For Infamous, a more ‘personal’ show, Derren has re-united with his close collaborator and friend, Andy Nyman, with whom he completed some of his most popular works. The Infamous show is Brown’s  sixth show since 2002, and he’s toured every year since then. With over an estimated audience of over 2 million people his shows have won two prestigious Olivier Awards, for Something Wicked This Way Comes (2006) and Svengali (2012), so it’s no surprise that Brown still carries a passion for performing live shows. Tickets range between £20 and £38 and performances are taking place on both Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March.

 

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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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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St Patrick’s Day weekend events

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This year, St Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday, opening up the whole prior weekend for city breaks to enjoy Ireland’s biggest national celebration. From city centre paradestaking place throughout England, to bar and food promotions, there’s plenty happening to celebrate the Irish patron saint. We might not originate from the Emerald Isle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of these great events as part of your weekend city break.

Leeds

On Sunday 16th March, Leeds celebrates St Patrick’s day with the city’s annual parade, taking place in the iconic Millenium Square. Now in its fifteenth year of running, the event which is free to attend, provides fantastic entertainment for families and friends of all ages who are all welcomed to come down and join in the fun.

If you’re after something a little less rowdy, and are looking to sample Irish food and drinks options over the St Patrick’s Day weekend, there are plenty of options in Leeds, however if you’re wanting to extend the weekend into Monday, we recommend heading to New Station Street and enjoying an evening of top quality charcuterie and cheese, all washed down with craft beer and great wine at Friends Of Ham. The ‘Paddy’s Day’ event, which kicks off at 19:30pm gives you the opportunity to sample special edition beers from Eight Degrees Brewing in Cork, accompanied by delicious Irish cheeses and delicacies.

Manchester

Not satisfied with simply one day of celebrations, Manchester’s annual Irish Festival has turned Albert Square green from Friday 7th March all the way through to the big day itself on Monday 17th.

The square, which is an iconic Manchester location is the place to head if you want to sample some of the country’s finest offerings, with an assortment of products from both local traders and ones travelling over from their Irish homeland. Irish treats like Tayto Crisps will be available in abundance, and you can stock up on the likes of Clonakilty Black Pudding and Galtee Cheese.

If you’re in the city for the weekend and want to sample the traditional Irish pub feel, you have plenty of potential evening destinations. Manchester’s renowned Printworks area is packed with bars and restaurants, and with many offering Paddy’s Day themes over the course of the weekend, you can head in to enjoy ta full weekend celebration at Waxy O’Connors which includes live music, sport and drinks. Elsewhere, The Living Room are celebrating St Patricks Day this year in serious style. Offering a fantastic 3 course set menu for just £14.95pp served all day and night, the Head Chef at the restaurant will be cooking up some Irish Style Specials to give you a genuine taste of Ireland.

 

Newcastle

If it’s a traditional Irish feel you’re searching for in Newcastle this weekend, then head to O’Neills pub for a huge celebration on their biggest day of the year. Complete with Irish drinks and patriotic dancing with live music, O’Neills is an option for a quick drink, or a full evening of St Paddy’s traditions.
It might not immediately spring to mind as being synonymously Irish, however heading to Newcastle Racecourse is a great option this St Patrick’s Day weekend. Get your friends and family together and join in the craic at this very popular event, which incorporates live racing all afternoon, coupled with entertainment in Grandstand Hall and a selection of food options. Taking place on Saturday 15th, tickets start from £15 per person.

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

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Trendy bars in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester

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If you prefer your evening locations to be at the plush end of the market, and fancy a drink in a trendy locations with modern décor and a hint of background music, allowing you to enjoy a conversation without shouting, then try out these city centre spots.

Newcastle

Barluga

A swanky bar that offers an award winning interior to the population of Newcastle, Barluga compliments the grand façade that is Grey Street. One of the city’s most recognisable locations, Grey Street is right in the heart of central Newcastle, and whether you’re wanting to kick off your evening in style, or sit back for the evening with a drink in hand, Barluga is an ideal destination.

If you’ve got a weekend planned in Newcastle, make sure this award winning and hugely popular bar is one of your stops.

Popolo

Self-described as falling between a New York bar and an Italian coffee shop, Popolo provides a stylish environment for a drink, as well as offering a selection of food. Offering a range of great drinks and comforting food this bar is an equally amazing experience for a first date or an early drink to start a night out. Head to Popolo to enjoy a drink in the unique interior, which sets it apart from many other places in Newcastle.

Leeds

Angelica

Situated in the somewhat secluded highest floor of Trinity Leeds, Angelica is a Restaurant that transforms into a classy cocktail destination when the evening hits. Accessible only by elevator, and exuding an exclusive feel, Angelica boasts a stunning cocktail bar, which takes centre stage as night time hits. The penthouse feel of Angelica allows customers to see the stunning Leeds skyline over sunset cocktails, and the outside terrace is buzzing with atmosphere on a Friday and Saturday evening.

The Botanist

After getting the night underway at Angelica, we suggest you head all the way down to the lowest floor of Trinity for something a little different. The Botanist places emphasis on quirky design, rather than the plush feel provided by Angelica. The underground bar, which perches on the outer realm of Trinity shopping centre themes itself of natural elements. Incorporating herbs and vegetation in many of their drinks, the bar continues this theme in its décor, which includes earthy plants and wooden display shelving. If you’re a fan of an experimental cocktail then this trendy bar is the place for you, and has become one of Leeds’ favourite night time locations since its recent opening.

Manchester

Cinnabar

If you’re after something a little different, try out this self-described ‘oasis of seduction’ in Manchester. Vermillion Cinnabar is a restaurant and bar rolled into one stunning location, and provides the perfect start to your evening if you’re looking for a quality meal before retiring to somewhere swanky for a few drinks. Designed by Miguel Canico Martins, the guy behind Paris’ infamous Buddha Bar, the interior of this one of a kind location is something you won’t find anywhere else in Manchester. Decked out with Asian themed décor and offering stylish cocoon seating, Cinnabar’s buzzing atmosphere is a hidden gem of Manchester, and can be found just minutes from Piccadilly Station.

Apotheca

From the name to the style of the website, you can immediately gauge that Manchester’s Apotheca bar is aiming to provide customers with a flashy and trendy destination for drinks. Since opening in the Northern Quarter in 2008, the bar has grown a reputation as one of the première hotspots in the city. Drinks choices are in abundance, and you certainly won’t be short on choice with Apotheca’s online drinks menu spilling over ten pages. With imported lagers, creative cocktails and an extensive wine list, all situated within a comfortable and stylish environment, it’s no surprise Apotheca has a portfolio of awards and quality reviews to boast.

Christmas shopping in the North

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It only comes once a year, but once is enough for those looking to switch Cliff Richard off the radio and actively avoid the Mistletoe. The biggest stress of all though can come from the never-ending traipsing from shop to shop in a bid to avert any last minute panic buying. To help the cause, here is our guide to Christmas shopping in some of the UK’s leading consumer havens to help you rediscover that festive feeling.

Leeds 

Trinity Leeds

When it comes to retail in Leeds this Christmas, it’s hard to look past the recently developed Trinity shopping centre in the heart of the city. After opening in spring of this year, Trinity will be hosting its first Christmas and is sure to attract shoppers, with its Christmas light switch on already being a resounding success. It is home to over 100 shops and restaurants with the majority of the country’s biggest brands housed under this bespoke glass dome. The recently launched Trinity kitchen has also proved somewhat of a phenomenon, as the concept of bringing street food vendors indoors has really caught the imagination of locals.

Victoria Quarter

For those with more expensive taste, the glamorous and elegant Victoria Quarter arcade is the hub for premium fashion and lifestyle brands. The likes of Vivienne Westwood, Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols all sit in this beautiful, marble adorned building which boasts all the history of an ITV period drama. Certainly not a place for those stringent with money, but regardless, it is still worth visiting just to marvel at the exquisite design.

Manchester

Afflecks

An absolutely must-visit in Manchester, Afflecks is home to the weird and the wonderful, and undoubtedly offers something a bit different on your Christmas run this year. Found in Manchester’s Northern quarter, Afflecks is made up of a range of little boutiques and indie merchants with this eccentric emporium being a real magnet for vintage and the unorthodox. Based over four floors, be prepared to lose all track of time as you immerse yourself in tattoos, retro clothing and homemade accessories.

Arndale Centre

For the more conventional amongst you, the Arndale shopping centre offers everything you need from the major high street brands to those a little less known. Perfect for Christmas shopping, if not a little predictable, the Arndale is Europe’s third biggest city centre shopping facility and annually attracts more customers than the Trafford Centre.  It is also known for its seasonal events with Santa’s grotto always proving popular. Its extensive food court and fantastic location make the Arndale centre perfect for all your Christmas shopping needs.

 

Newcastle

Fenwick Department Store

Fenwick’s in Newcastle is the UK’s largest department store and is spread over five floors of a historic and character-filled building. Originally launched in 1882, Fenwick’s has expanded and specialises in a range of luxury goods with its vast food hall and enchanting toy department particularly highly thought of. It has also become famous for its Christmas window displays which is now in its 42nd year and also has a ‘Christmas village’ on the second floor for everything festive as well as top quality food and wine. Fenwick’s is a little pricey but really is a prime retail centre in the North-East.

intu Eldon Square

After much redevelopment in recent years, intu Eldon Square is home to many of the Britain’s top chains with Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams all tenants. In all, there are 150 shops spread across two floors and it regularly competes with the Arndale in Manchester to be the country’s largest city centre shopping facility. It offers plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and the continuing refurbishments promise to add some exciting dimensions to this already popular retail destination.

So wherever you are this festive season, the North’s leading cities offer a fantastic selection of shops and retailers who and can provide everything to suit your needs this Christmas.

 

 

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