Thursday, 30 January 2014


Last night I attended the launch for the Leeds Creative Family Tree for Mabgate & Sheepscar and Quarry Hill.

The Leeds Creative Family Tree is a not-for-profit project which is continually ongoing to raise awareness and showcase the huge range of culture and creativity in Leeds and to help the community flourish.

Inititated from a Kickstarter fund in Winter 2012, the project blossomed from the ideas of Photographer Sara Teresa and Designer Oli Bentley who were looking to raise the profile of the huge range of creativity on offer in Leeds. Their main vision was to visualise the huge network of Leeds’ creative and cultural organisations and individuals.

With a grand total of £1756 raised, the pair have been able to create, print and distribute their family tree's with the aspiration to be used for networking, collaboration and research and to find like-minded creatives in the area and show off the variety of creativity and culture within the wider Leeds community.

On offer at the launch night was also a few creative independent businesses included in the Creative Family Tree. Namely, two of my favourites... Vegan cake and catering conisseurs That Old Chestnut and Leeds pop up favourites The Grog and Grub Shop.

That Old Chestnut are stern favourites of mine. Run by the visionaries Elly and Chris they have landed themselves in the unique area of offering exceptionally good vegan cakes and catering.

Stocked by every single respectable independent cafe in Leeds these guys are on a no-returning-back mission to success and there's a reason why.

Vegan cake might not sound appealing to the average ear, but one taste and I promise you will be hooked. Favourites of mine include their stem ginger cake, peanut butter tiffin and cranberry and macadamia slice.

As well as That Old Chestnut on offer was Leeds independent pop up The Grub and Grog Shop offering the finest in local produce in their own creative form. Never to fail me, they had an extremely impressive menu featuring three 'tidbits' encased in Leeds Bread Co-op nigella seed flatbread with mouth watering varieties, as well as a vegan and gluten-free stew.

 Attending with my friend Diane we first both opted for the beef flatbread (beer braised beef brisket, beetroot, mooli, pearl barley, watercress and horseradish). This was a real delight and lovely in texture and flavour, although lacked the horseradish hit we both craved. Albeit, still a lovely flavour and texture in the mouth which was new and enlightening to me.

For seconds (of course!) we enjoyed the vegetarian option on offer. The flavours were spot on and I could not fault this in any way. Beautiful arrangements on Leeds Bread Co-op flatbread of charred cauliflower (my favourite vegetable), roasted hazelnuts, spring onion, lentils with parsley, scotch bonnet pepper and natural yoghurt were seriously mind-blowing.

A great evening showcasing the creative and cultural independent talent that Leeds has to offer. 

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