Night time events always seem to have a magical feel to them during Autumn and Winter, and Light Night Leeds was certainly no exception. Music, laughter and lights filled the streets of Leeds, I could have wandered around all night perfectly happy to soak up the ambience, as it were. The various musicians and dance troupes which seemed to come from nowhere gave the city a festive feel and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
There were plenty of arty events taking place across the city, and my advice for you all if you plan on attending next year is this: Make A Plan. There's plenty of information on the website prior to the day, as well as a handy app for your phone (which sadly didn't seem to work on the night!) so you can timetable what you want to see. I sadly missed out on the Clock Tower Tours because of my own poor planning, so don't make the same mistake I did! Our aimless wandering meant I didn't get to see all of the things I would have liked to, but the atmosphere was, for me, the best part.
A zombie aerobics class outside the Town Hall
Although the theme was 'In The Dead of Night' it did seem there were plenty of child-friendly options and we didn't stumble across anything too scary (which I was grateful for!). I particularly enjoyed The Devil's Jukebox in the Howard Assembly Rooms, with live music in that absolutely gorgeous room - semi-dark and light mostly by spotlights and a glowing jukebox right in the centre of the room. Classical music isn't something I go in for much, but in such a dramatic setting it was certainly fitting!
An art piece in the depths of the Town Hall (I believe it was called The Raptor?)
The main highlight for me was, as always, however, the food! There were street food stalls set up in Millennium Square with something for everyone - I had a gorgeous pizza from The Pizza Pod (pecorino, truffle oil and rocket - made right in front of my eyes in their little fire) but there were plenty of options: fish and chips, paella, tea and cakes, and Punjabi street food from the award-winning Manjit's Kitchen which was certainly had the longest queues! I am so enjoying this 'street food revolution' that seems to be going on in Leeds and across the UK right now - the freshest and tastiest food made by people who really love it, what could be better? And as far as fast(ish) food goes, it's certainly better for your body and soul than a KFC, and not often more expensive.
Feeling pretty smug about my pizza! And a little chilly...
I can't recommend Light Night Leeds enough. It really encapsulated what I am learning to love about this city - the culture and art, the community, the food and the very streets themselves - lit up in weird and wonderful ways and teaming with plenty of people who were smiling just as much as me!