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!

5. Stay With Us for £40!

Leeds is definitely the place to be this spring and summer. We have tonnes of fantastic live music at the First Direct Arena, Live at Leeds and the Leeds Festival. For food, drink and culture vultures there is the Leeds Indie Food Fest, Leeds International Beer Festival and the 50th Leeds West Indian Carnival. Sports lovers can see if the Brownlee Brother repeat last year’s success as the ITU World Triathlon returns and the England cricket team take on South Africa and the West Indies at Headingley.

But the best news is that you can stay on the University of Leeds campus at Storm Jameson Court for just £40 per night! Simply add and apply the promo code UOLFRIENDS (because we are friendly people) when you make a booking.

We have accommodation available up until 6th September and will soon be taking bookings for the August Bank Holiday weekend – subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when we do – so book now and stay right in the centre of the action!

4. Eye on Asia Photography Exhibition

We have a fantastic free photography exhibition running in our most iconic venue!

A lens-eye view of Asia is presented at an exhibition of photography, which was launched on Monday in Parkinson Court at the University of Leeds.

Now in its 25th year, the Eye on Asia competition runs from Monday 13 to Thursday 23 March, when prizes will be presented to the winning photographers as part of a closing ceremony.

More than 250 submissions were received, from members of the public as well as staff and students across many disciplines at the University. These were whittled down to 40 images by more than 30 keen photographers for the show, which is free and open to all.

Money raised from the sale of images will go to Rose Charities International, specifically an eye unit at a rehabilitation centre in Cambodia and a Vietnamese orphanage. The competition is supported by our friends at the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.

The exhibition is in Parkinson Court North at the University of Leeds, from 13-23 March. On the final evening (6-7.30pm), which is open to the public, there will be cultural and musical performances as well as prize giving for the top three entries and an opportunity to buy prints.

3. Rock the Refectory – Save the Date

Apart from the Godfather, Back to the Future and Aliens, sequels have rarely been a good thing (looking at you in particular, Batman & Robin).

However, we are going to buck the trend as we announce that Rock the Refectory will return on 27th October 2017, so get the date in your diary.

We are keeping tight lipped with the finer details for now, but we guarantee a night of great music, fantastic competitions and good old-fashioned fun. Most importantly it will be even bigger and better than last year!

The previous Rock the Refectory, which featured some of the best up and coming bands live in our legendary concert venue, took place on 25th November 2016. The gig raised a whopping £2,274 – nearly 10% of the total charity donation target we have set for the year – and was a brilliant night for music enthusiasts. Take a look at the video!

The event was organised for the benefit our charities, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK, to which all proceeds from the event were donated. This year we are supporting the Alzheimer’s Society and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, so keep your eyes peeled for more news. You can subscribe to our newsletter to get updates straight to your inbox!

2. New Deli(very) Menus

Our friends Great Food at Leeds, who provide the catering for our conferences and events, have been listening to your comments and made some changes we think you’ll like!

The team recognises the importance of listening to customers and the feedback has been invaluable in developing our latest menu. Read on to find out how they’ve brought your feedback to life… or just view the new menu now!

More options

The requirements of our guests is of paramount importance, so the range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options has been extended.

Refreshed menu

Bistro Sandwiches, Light Bites and Salad Boxes – the entire menu has been refreshed to reflect value for money, without compromising on quality.

Seasonal choices

There are two new seasonal menus; Summer Celebration and Taste of Yorkshire, both available for delivery after the 27th March.

1. It’s Quackers on Campus…

Every morning on the way to the MEETinLEEDS office we pass the pond that stands outside the brutalist monolith that is the Roger Stevens Buildingwhich has 25 lecture theatres available to book for conferences and events – and grab a coffee from the Waterside Café to warm our winter cockles. The best indicator for the emergence of spring is the return of the resident ducks, who are clearly loving the mild weather.

Donella Fernyhough, Coffee Bar Retail Manager for Great Food at Leeds and our local ornithology expert gives us the lowdown on our feathered friends.

“They are wild mallard ducks, the brown ones are the females and the colourful green velvet looking ones with dark heads are the males the drakes. They have been around for years, as ducks usually return to the same place every year to raise their young.

They don’t have any names, they vary in numbers: sometimes there are 2, sometimes 4, we have even had 6 on the very odd occasion.

If you see the males on the pond by themselves it means the female has laid the eggs and is sitting on them incubating them, she will not start to sit and incubate them until she has a full clutch. If they get disturbed when nesting, they have been known to just get up and go and leave the nest behind.

The males will mate with as many females as possible and sometimes there can be more than one male around that is when you will see them chasing each other.

The male will also act as a decoy if predators get too near the nest and will try and draw the predator away.

Looking after them is a group effort, our Sustainability team provided the duck house and the Waterside Café staff keep a very close eye on them.  

Food gets brought in from various people and  this year sustainability has agreed to buy some, and we will top that up as necessary and we  will also try to get some cauliflower and broccoli trimmings from the kitchen – they love their greens!”

So get down to the Waterside Café and meet our new residents before they fly the nest!

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.