Feature Leeds' Best Blogs
We run down the best wine, beer, music, film, food, art, culture and fashion blogs in Leeds
Stumbling across a new blog can be one of the most satisfying experiences the internet has to offer. A great source of expert local knowledge, up-to-the-minute news, and a focal point for small communities of people with niche hobbies and interests to rally around, blogs can be a brilliant way to delve deeper into Leeds and help you make the most of your city. What better way to uncover the city’s best kept secrets: the quirky cultural events, the hottest unsigned bands, the best places to eat, those perfect hidden-away bars. The only problem is the sheer number of people out there tapping away. The blogosphere has now expanded to the point where it can be hard to know where to start, with the number of English language blogs recently estimated at over 150 million. Happily dear reader, Leeds Guide is on hand to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here then, without further ado, is our Best of Leeds Blogs:
Wine and Beer
Simon Says – Leeds Guide Deputy Editor Simon’s funny, unpretentious yet authoritative take on all things vino. Says Simon: “With wine tasting notes, you can often find that the points of reference are the kinds of things you’ve never actually tasted. Rose petals, violets, sweaty saddles, petrol, pithy citrus fruits from the rolling Tuscan hills. Well, this garnacha reminded me of black jacks.”
Are You Tasting The Pith? – Beer-writer Zak Avery, owner of beer-drinker’s paradise Beer-Ritz in Headingley and former British Guild of Beer Writers’ Writer of the Year, shares his wealth of knowledge on the subject: http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/
The Good Stuff – Leeds’ longest-running beer blog, this comprehensive site contains news and reviews of beers and breweries, pubs and bars, all with a Yorkshire twang.
New Briggate Beer Blog – Matt from North Bar’s personal take on the wonderful world of beer, offering sage advice such as: “the general opinion of keeping a well stocked larder is that you need enough in it so that when you hit it hard you’ll have a job to get through the lot.”
Music and Film
A Negative Narrative – An innovative photo music blog which asks ten questions to a band and gets them to answer with photographs or drawings. The site, which has already featured big names like The Flaming Lips, also includes gig and album reviews, as well as amusing features like a recent critique of funeral music.
Bad Fotography – created as an online gallery for Leeds-based Trent Rampage’s self-shot snaps (hence the name), Bad Fotography has evolved over time into a brilliant music review blog with plenty of mp3s to download.
Musical Mathematics – The three man team, in their own words, “review, feature, expose, listen, buy, share, steal, promote, experience, play, dislike and love” music. Includes site-exclusive videos, interviews and up-to-the-minute band news.
Matt and Adam’s Jumbo Singles Club – Matt and Adam from Jumbo Records obsess over singles old and new on this recently-launched blog. Their enthusiasm shines through brightly as they rhapsodize over everything from obscure Hyperdub 12"s to British Sea Power and The Clash.
Anthologies – Anthologies is a blog documenting unique performances in Leeds by top musicians. From Frank Turner in Santiagos to Three Blind Wolves playing on top of a building on New York Street, the performances have an immediacy and zest you don’t get from grainy Youtube footage.
Hope Lies – This brilliant film blog (full title Hope Lies At 24 Frames Per Second) attempts to cover every corner of the cinematic spectrum from Godard’s A Bout de Souffle to the 35th anniversary of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Includes everything from reviews of the latest theatrical releases to in-depth analysis of both familiar classics and overlooked gems.
Art and Culture
The Culture Vulture – Curated by Emma Bearman, the former Lady Mayoress of Armley, The Culture Vulture is a hugely successful multi-author blog. Featuring an impressive roster of contributors, it manages to offer a comprehensive round-up of culture in Leeds and beyond.
The Zine Queen – Plush editor Ali Schofield displays her beautiful hand-made collages assembled from the pages of fashion mags, perfume ads, vintages chocolate bar wrappers and whatever else is around. Born from a pair of over-sized dress-making scissors, a tube of Pritt Stick and what she calls ” an unhealthy fascination with sticking subjects’ extremities in nooks and crannies”, they really do belong in a gallery.
Lord Whitney – Combining photography, prop making and set design with buckets of imagination, bloggers Amy Lord and Rebekah Whitney create life-sized illustrations and installations.
Bettakultcha – The official blog of the extremely successful Leeds-based slide-show lecture format, this blog features the pick of the presentations so far.
Dark Satanic Mills – Writer Adelle Stripe, co-founder of renegade poetry movement The Brutalists, waxes lyrical on writing. A beautifully-written blog with some reading lists to whet your literary appetite.
Leeds Daily Photo – Does exactly what it says on the tin. A new photo of Leeds life every day, plus an archive of hundreds of images, spanning everything from buskers to buildings.
Eating Leeds – In-depth restaurant news and reviews from a Leeds foodie, with mouth-watering photographs. There’s also plenty of wine and beer reviews, and the occasional recipe thrown in for good measure.
Them Apples – Based in Saltaire, this nicely-designed food blog includes book reviews, recipes and quirky digressions such as whether the “five second rule” about eating dropped food is a myth. Warning, this blog will make you hungry.
Bakelady’s Blog – The shadowy figure behind the Clandestine Cake Club (motto: “It’s all about cake”), Bakelady’s Blog offers mouthwatering recipes, book reviews and more information about her Secret Tea Room events, which have become a word-of-mouth sensation.
Leeds Grub – Blogger Katie describes herself as being on “a personal quest to seek out some of the best eateries in Leeds, focusing on small, local businesses that serve truly tasty food that is also value for money.”
Megabites – A lovely Leeds blog catering for everything veggie and vegan, with recipes and reviews. Fresh from running a pop-up vegan café at the I Love West Leeds festival in January, bloggers Dicko and Claire will be visiting 26 vegetarian or veggie-friendly restaurants and cafes around Leeds throughout 2011, and creating an A to Z guide with reviews, links and pictures along the way.
Eating Isn’t Cheating – Written by a self-proclaimed “food and beer geek”, Eating Isn’t Cheating features some seriously tasty-sounding recipes (hot and sour Thai duck with coconut lime rice and bok choi, anyone?) and a connoisseur’s knowledge of craft beer/real ale.
Come Dine With Rach – This blog, with its delicious-sounding recipes, is sure to do damage to your waist-line.
Bangs and a Bun – Leeds-based shoe-lover and professional glamour-puss Muireann Carey-Campbell is often to be found hanging out in the world’s most expensive cities. Never one to mince her words, Bangs holds forth on subjects including the politics of pornography and overweight aerobics instructors. Her site also features a giggle-inducing selection of gangster rap lyrics delivered in her plummy, cut-glass tones.
The Modern Girl’s Guide - Bethanie Lunn is the eponymous self-styled “modern girl’s guide”. Author of The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fabulousness, she offers tips from everything from positive thinking to surviving a bikini wax.
A Little Bird Told Me – The personal lifestyle blog of Jen Holmes, Style Editor for style and beauty site Behind The Looking Glass. Jen posts a new outfit each day, as well as her contributions to Project Take 10, a campaign where 10 fashion bloggers take one key item and style it in their own way to showcase the versatility of a single piece.
The Magic Square Foundation – Freelance writer and Renaissance woman Elly writes about fashion, feminism, art and culture.
The Queer Sphere – A fantastically-written gay news blog, with an emphasis on film, television and literature, covering everything from gay stereotypes on TV to the sexual politics of Katy Perry.
Posted on Saturday 1st January 2000
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