Highlights of the Week – Friday 24 February

The Friday Countdown

A look at the announcements, our favourite events, things we have learned and general stuff we like in the past week. Let us know what we missed!

  1. Latest Competition Winner Announced

We love the hampers from Keelham Farm Shop – so much so that we have given them away in our last 2 competitions.

The latest winner got the chance to chai down an a Yorkshire Tea Hamper, so if you want to be in the pot to win our next competition (clue: Easter is just around the corner) then keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and by subscribing to our newsletter to hear about them thirst (sorry for the tea puns).

We also have regular offers on our accommodation and room hire – we have a couple running at the moment – so don’t miss out!

  1. Score on the Doors

Ever since our Food Safety Training Manager (and regular feature in the Friday Countdown), Geoff Tooley, introduced us to the Scores on the Doors website we can’t stop checking out our local haunts to see how they fare in their Food Hygiene inspections.

Recently the Yorkshire Evening Post published the names of the places that have got one point on their inspections and even the places that managed to get zero points for their poor standards.

Places that do not adhere to the Food Standards Agency advice and UK legislation can leave you at risk to a whole host of nasty bugs and viruses, such as the little fellow pictured right, Campylobacter.

If you are eating at one of the Great Food at Leeds outlets around the University of Leeds you don’t have to worry – our delivered catering services, the Refectory and all of the 13 cafés have a 5* Food Hygiene certificate. This is down to the excellent training from Geoff (we are trying to make him blush) and the diligence and strict adherence to government standards from all of our staff.

We are sure you will be seeing how your favourite restaurant and takeaway did on their last inspection…

Close Up Of Bacteria
  1. Charity Clothes Sale

We are holding another Pre-loved Clothing Sale in support of our charities, so come along and grab a bargain.

  • Where: The Refectory
  • When: Monday  27th February 2017, 11:30 – 14:30

Following the success of our event before Christmas, the teams around the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds, under which your very own MEETinLEEDS operate, have pulled together and donated even more clothing, shoes, hats and other accessories to sell. All donations go to Yorkshire Air Ambulance & Cancer Research UK, and all we ask is a nominal donation for each item, so you will be guaranteed to get bang for your buck.

Emma, our Conference Sales Executive and resident Gok Wan, has chosen her highlights from the donations so take a peek then get yourself over to the Refectory on Monday!

  1. Afternoon Tea at University House

University House is our fine dining and VIP venue – the jewel in our crown, so to speak. The dedicated team are always on the ball and available to cater to every whim of our guests.

So when we ran a competition for Afternoon Tea, we knew that the team would pull something spectacular from up their collective sleeves – and they did not disappoint!

Take a look at the snaps, as the winners got to tuck into tea & scones, a multitude of cakey goodness, the obligatory smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, all of which was washed down with and nice cold glass of Prosecco!

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feed for our latest competition – or you can subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest from us straight to your inbox.

If you don’t want to put it down to chance you can always get in touch with us and book Afternoon Tea as part of your next event!

  1. Fairtrade Fortnight Craft Fair

It’s back again, so come along and grab something to eat, drink, wear, smell and plant!

  • Where: Parkinson Court
  • When: Tuesday  7th March 2017, 11:00 – 15:30

The University of Leeds has held Fairtrade University status since 2005.  Awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, this reflects the Universities commitment to promoting and supporting Fairtrade.

As part of this commitment The University of Leeds hold a bi-annual Fairtrade & Craft Fair.

The stallholders attending the Fair will be offering a wide spectrum of Fairtrade and Homemade Crafts. Great Food at Leeds will also be there offering raffle tickets, delicious fruit punch and cakes made from the finest ingredients by our expert chefs, as well as information on how the University contributes to Fairtrade and our commitment to ethically sourced ingredients.

Who’s here?

Below is a short biography from four of the companies that will be attending this year, but there are many more, so come to Parkinson Court on 7th March and get your loved ones – and yourself – something fantastic!

Ready Planted

“Flowers to delight and beautify, working with you to offer exactly what you need to suit the occasion and meet your budget for weddings, christenings, parties and corporate events..”


“Having always been a fan of all things deliciously scented I started researching home fragrances as I love walking into a room and it smells amazing. Natural soy wax provides a medium that is both a pleasure to work with and provides a beautiful end product. My natural wax candles and scented melts are made mostly from soy wax, which has many benefits over paraffin wax including the sustainability of the source, the reduction in soot, no carcinogenic fumes and a longer burn time and greater fragrance hold.”

Fairtrade Fair 2017 Poster

Oxfam (Moortown Store)

“Oxfam is a global movement of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. It’s an injustice which can, and must, be overcome. When we give one person a lift so they can help themselves, they will lift others in their families and communities. We call this chain reaction lifting lives for good. To spread that change and make it last, political solutions are also needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and create societies where empowered individuals can thrive.”


“Our founders – contract caterers James Roberts and Peter Goodey – set out to change this when they created Peros. With a promise to always supply caterers with Fairtrade products if possible, we grew to become the largest independent distributor of Fairtrade to the foodservice sector in the UK. And, along the way, we like to think we helped Fairtrade become mainstream for foodservice.”

Come and join us at Parkinson Court on Tuesday 7th March 2017. 

  1. Dumpling Making Workshop

We love any kind of dumpling – from the suet bombs in our mum’s stew to the delicate Pierogi (a traditional Polish dumpling) – but our favourite has to be the Chinese dumplings. We especially love the fried then steamed version known as pot stickers, so when the chance arose to join the Business Confucius Institute in their “Dumpling Workshop” we knew we had to get involved as we heard that the places go quickly (they could have had 3 workshops with the number of people interested).

This workshop costs just £5, which is the same price as a single portion of dumplings in most places in Leeds, and we definitely ate more than a single portion when the time came to test our chopstick skills and tuck in! Massive thanks to the Confucius institute and Great Food at Leeds for organising a fantastic event.

Over to the Confucius team for a bit of info as to the importance of dumpling in Chinese culture:

 “Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. It begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar and ends on the 15th day with Lantern Festival. It’s a time of reunion and thanksgiving for Chinese people, and families gather together from far and wide to eat dinner together on New Year’s Eve.

Most families in Mainland China sit around the dinner table and wrap dumplings while watching the CCTV New Year’s Gala – a New Year’s Eve countdown variety show. Everyone in the family helps out. Dumplings with a variety of fillings, including meat, fish, and vegetables, are wrapped into the shape of ancient Chinese silver and gold ingots, which symbolize wealth. In some cities, people hide a coin in one of the dumplings. The person who finds the coin is thought to have good fortune in the New Year.”

Unfortunately there are no more workshops planned this year, but keep up with the latest from the Confucius team as the popularity of the evening may sway them to hold another!

  1. Not Mushroom for Error

We like to think of ourselves as good home cooks. We would never be so full of ourselves to think we can lord it in the Masterchef kitchen, but our Spaghetti Carbonara is to die for and our Sunday Roasts are better than any pub carvery. We are also a very modest lot, honestly.

Anyway, we were passing by the kitchen at University House the other day and noticed the Head Chef, Marc Mottershead, doing something peculiar with the mushrooms. When we checked closer he had made fancy shapes in the top of them (the chef term is turning), so when it came time to make our garlic mushroom starter for our Valentine’s Day meal we obviously had to give it a go… and failed miserably.

So we thought we would grab a minute with Marc and film it, so we could get the turning technique down for our next date night. Then we thought, why not share it with our readers, so enjoy!

We will definitely be filming some more tips with Marc and our other top chefs (we need his baked cheesecake recipe), so if there is anything you want to know how to do just tweet us and we will get on the case!

Just so you know, we do not have any association with any of the news outlets, film and podcast recommendations. The views expressed in these do not represent the views of the University of Leeds.