Oktoberfest is an iconic German festival, running since the 1800’s, and has been spreading contagiously from its origins in Munich to cities across the globe ever since. It’s unsurprising that Leeds welcomes this festival (and all its beer) with open arms, with themed events popping up all over the city.
This year, running hand in hand with the Munich festivities, Headrow House set up their own Oktoberfest weekend; Oktoberfeast. The four-floor alternative venue, situated right in the heart of Leeds city centre, was decked out head to toe in Oktoberfest themed decoration, transporting all their guests, including myself, from the traffic-ridden Headrow into a hidden corner of Munich itself.
The front courtyard was adorned with gingham garlands, beneath which the odd Lederhosen wearer made an appearance. The bunting continued into the Beerhall, where it was teamed with Oktoberfest signs and suitably hung German flags. In seek of warmth and escape from the chilly Northern wind, I sat myself along the wooden benches, stein in hand. The dim lighting and candles, as well as the wall made of logs, created a cosy cabin atmosphere, making me feel like I was in an actual German setting.
It’s safe to say that Headrow House really pulled out all the stops for Oktoberfest, as on Sunday evening a Bavarian Oom-pah band graced our eyes and ears in the Beerhall, playing sets of wonderfully German inspired music and authentically kitted out in Lederhosen.
As the event name ‘Oktoberfeast’ suggests, this weekend celebration of all things German certainly provided a real feast. The entrance courtyard was home to Smak sausages for the weekend, a Yorkshire based sausage street food company offering up plates of grilled sausages, in keeping with the German theme. Likewise, at the far end of the Beerhall was food by Headrow House’s very own Ox Club restaurant, providing the likes of smoked pork shoulders, German sausages and crispy pig’s ears.
Delicious food wasn’t the only thing on the cards, as Headrow House also equipped itself with over 20 different German beers in honour of the event. Ranging from specialised Oktoberfest draught beers to multiple German bottled options, there was something on offer for all tastes. In keeping with festival tradition, one litre steins were also available; the popularity of which was apparent when simply looking around the room.
Thanks to the array of beers, delicious selection of food and hearty music, it goes without saying that Headrow House managed to bring a glimmer of the renowned festival to Leeds with their successful Oktoberfeast this weekend. It has certainly sparked my excitement for the continuation of the German themed celebrations over the next week, and if you haven’t experienced any Oktoberfest festivities as of yet, make sure to pay them a visit soon!
Image: Leeds List