Review: Food and drink at Leeds’ own The Garden Party

There’s something very refreshing about a festival involving no wellies, no mud and not one badly assembled tent in sight. Even more so when it provides the atmosphere and party essence that usually causes us to dig out the sleeping bags and slum it all summer long. The Garden Party, set in the grounds of the historic Tetley, didn’t disappoint on one of the biggest weekends in the calendar, the August bank holiday. No thoughts were of London’s Notting Hill Carnival or neighbouring Leeds Festival as the sun set across a pleasant pink skyline when the festivities drew to a close on Sunday night.


Leeds Indie Food took charge of the food and drink served over the weekend, curating a menu perfectly encapsulating not just the variety of music on offer but also the variety of its urban surroundings. Although on the pricier side of street food (but when has festival food ever been cheap?), every outlet was well worth the money to help soak up the boozy cocktails on offer. The Hedonist Project created a leafy haven in the concrete jungle at their cocktail bar, pulling out all the stops with the deco, uniforms, and the perfectly formed bottles of Alice in Wonderland inspired concoctions.


The clear favourite of the weekend was Chicken Chicken Bang Bang; their slogan of ‘worth crossing the road for’ proved true as flocks of people were scattered across the arenas, all tucking into their fiery burgers. Taking the heat off, in a twist on the average ice cream van, was Northern Bloc. Their homemade dairy treats came with a twist on the classics, such as the delicious chocolate and sea salt ice cream completely worth indulging in. My recommendation from the weekend would be a wrap from Röla Wala; usually housed in Trinity Kitchen, their traditional Indian street food didn’t lack in flavour and kept us all going as the days turned into night.


The success of the 10th birthday celebrations speaks for itself. Delivering the atmosphere of larger festivals, which usually spew across fields and meadows, in the centre of Leeds is an accomplishment everyone involved should be proud of. The sheer choice of food and drink provided over the weekend proves that sometimes, it isn’t just about the music.



Emma Bowden 


Featured images from Ticket Arena.

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