Triathlon Dinner Table


As Leeds geared up to host the World Series Triathlon, at which University of Leeds alumnus Alistair Brownlee scooped Gold, the MEETinLEEDS team hosted the British Triathlon organisers for the welcome dinner on Friday 10th June 2016 at University House.

Guests included the International Triathlon Union, Leeds City Council, Ironman Wander, UK sport, and our Sponsors Columbia Threadneedle and JLL amongst other guests from the BBC and the University.

They enjoyed a Triathlon of courses that included a sumptuous starter of Pan Fried Queenie Scallops with Black Pudding & Caramelised Apples, a mouth-watering main of Loin of Spring Lamb with Heritage Carrots, Gratin Potato a Redcurrant Jus and a delicious dessert of Strawberries and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Honeycomb & Sweet Basil.

Sir Alan Langlands at the Triathlon Dinner

Sir Alan Langlands at the Triathlon Dinner

Linda Haywood, Portfolio Manager for British Triathlon, said:

This is the first time a World Series Triathlon event has been hosted in Leeds and the dinner was hugely important to us in order to welcome our partners.

In organising the event, you and your staff were extremely responsive and accommodating of our needs and your professionalism gave me confidence and assurance that all would go well on the evening, which indeed it did!

Staff gave us a warm welcome and the drinks reception was presented warmly by your team. The dinner itself was delicious, presented beautifully and number of our international guests commented on this. Service was both efficient and discreet, I could not have hoped for better.

It is our hope that the partnership between The University of Leeds and British Triathlon continues to develop and grow both in terms of sport and business development.”

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Nat Blog

So the day has finally arrived.

Friday 21st March 2014 is the final day I shall spend with Richard Handscombe as my Head of Sales and Marketing or, in my words, The Boss.

I have been working for Richard and the MEETinLEEDS team for over 4 years now but I can remember my interview like it was only yesterday.

Trotting to the University of Leeds campus in my Sales Executive 4 inch heels, I took my seat in the interview waiting area in University House and calmed my nerves by remembering the interview advice granddad had given me earlier: “Stay calm sweetheart, and crack a few clean jokes if you can”.

Walking into the Cloberry room (where the interview took place), I remember taking one look at Mr Handscombe and thinking: “This guy is way too suave; I’ve got no chance here!”

However, somehow (probably down to granddads advice) Richard decided to give the girl from Castleford a chance and hired me!

Nat-Blog-for-28-03-2014Over the past 4 years Richard has not only put up with my strange childhood stories; my numerous house moves; my constant demands for a cup of tea; but he has also been my personal mentor and role model. To me, Richard displays all the qualities of not only a great manager but a great leader. The way in which he empowers and trusts each member of our small team is what pushes Matt, Lisa, Ryan, Harriet and I to perform the way we do – fantastically! He has created the MEETinLEEDS brand, a brand that sets itself apart from the rest by not being frightened to try new things or to think outside of the box. More importantly, Richard has developed a working culture where I do not only see my team members as colleagues but as great friends. To say the team will miss Richard is an understatement!

Just a few of the things I will miss about Mr Handscombe:

  1. Our in depth chats regarding Henry and Anne – the fact we share a mutual love of all things Tudor and spend at least 10 minutes every Monday morning discussing this
  2. The way he accepts that I make him cups of tea with suspicious looking floaters in
  3. The way he subtly lets me know when I have applied too much fake tan


To be honest, there’s nothing I won’t miss about Richard and I hope he’s ready for the home visits and numerous emails he will be receiving from me after today. He might be retiring but I still have course work that needs checking over! (I’m currently studying towards a degree in Business Management, something again that Richard encourages and supports me with!)

So there’s nothing much left to say apart from on behalf of me and the team, thank you Richard Handscombe, mainly just for being you.

Marc and Bev

A Masterclass with Our Top Chef

Missing Masterchef? Bored of Fish and Chips? Want to impress your friends with an unctuous dessert but don’t know your mille-feuille from your macaroons? Don’t despair; we have the head chef Marc Mottershead on hand to guide you through two simple yet delicious recipes from his extensive repertoire.


A winning team for years to come- Marc and Bev in 1995 (left) and today (right)

Marc has worked as head chef at University House since 1995, preparing and serving the finest locally sourced ingredients to an array of stars and celebrated alumni: Judi Dench, Alan Bennett, Melvyn Bragg and the Olympic-winning Brownlee brothers to name but a few. Our Head of Catering and Conferences, Bev Kenny, can still remember the menu that Marc served up in the Invention Test” of his interview (his Lemon Tart was to die for”). His longevity is a testament to his skill and ability to create menus that are classic yet contemporary, catering to any delegates’ dietary requirements.

The seven rooms at University House have recently been refurbished with a contemporary decor and are extremely flexible; ideal for VIP meetings, formal sit down meals and receptions.

The standard of the rooms and high level of customer service, linked to superb catering, have given the venue a first-class reputation.

Marc may be a Manchester United fan (not so much these days”, he says, and you can see why), but we won’t hold that against him when he gifts us recipes like the two below on a regular basis. So when your parents/in-laws/friends/spouses/colleagues/guests on Come Dine with Me run out of superlatives for your culinary creations, you will know who to thank. But don’t be afraid to take the accolades and credit, after all, you did the leg work.

Grilled Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

Perfect for the Indian Spring” we are having at the moment, enjoy with a good Sauvignon Blanc and good company. Serves 4.

Cooking time: 30 mins


50g melted Butter
4 Sustainably Sourced Sea Bass Fillets
100g seeded and finely chopped Cherry Tomatoes
2 tsp Capers
Juice of ½ Fairtrade Lemon
1 finely chopped Shallot (Red Onion can be used as alternative)
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Good handful torn Basil and chopped Chives to garnish

  1. Line a grill pan with foil and brush lightly with butter. Brush the Sea Bass with butter and season. Lay on the foil skin-side up.
  2. Put the tomatoes and shallot (or onion) in a pan with the capers, lemon juice and oil. Season.
  3. Grill the Sea Bass for 5-7 minutes (depending on thickness of the fillets) under a hot grill until just cooked and the skin is starting to brown. Meanwhile, warm the sauce through for 2 minutes then stir in half of the torn basil leaves. Lift the Bass onto warmed plates using a fish slice and spoon over the sauce. Serve with steamed new potatoes, dressed with a little butter and the remaining basil and chives. Season and serve.

Chef’s top tip: when you have chopped onions, garlic or hot peppers, wash your hands with cold water, rather than hot. This will stop the flavour cooking” onto your hands and intensifying the smell.

Super Gooey Chocolate Brownie

Everybody claims to have the perfect Brownie recipe; well we have the best of the best. This is perfect for birthday parties or as a dessert to the Sea Bass (serve with mascarpone ice-cream). But its best kept for a lazy weekend with nothing to do but make coffee and watch box sets. Serves 12 greedy people with healthy appetites and a sweet tooth.

Cooking time: 50 mins


350g Caster Sugar
6 Eggs
350g melted Butter
125g best Cocoa Powder, sieved
125g sieved Flour
350g dark Fairtrade Chocolate
100g chopped Hazelnuts (or any nut that tickles your fancy)
100g White Chocolate, broken into chunks

  1. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Gradually add the caster sugar and whisk until combined. Then add the melted butter and again whisk until combined.
  2. Continuing to whisk the mixture, steadily add the flour and cocoa. Ensure that you do not add too much at once or the mixture will become lumpy.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate, either in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave (check regularly if using the microwave as you do not want the chocolate to burn). Stir this into the mixture.
  4. Add the nuts and white chocolate and stir through for an even distribution. Transfer to a large baking tray (around 40x25x4cm) or several smaller trays which have been lined with greaseproof paper, smoothing the mixture into the corners of the tray with a spatula.
  5. Cook at gas mark 5 (180-190 Celsius) for 30 minutes. Pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tray. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in. You want the centre to bee moist and gooey but not wet, so there will be a glossy crust”. If it is not fully cooked allow up to 10 more minutes, checking after 5.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tray. Slice while still in the tray, remove and transfer to an airtight container.

Chef’s top tip: If you want to make some to hide away for a special occasion, it’s useful to know that they’ll keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

To make a booking at University House you can contact one of our event organisers:

We will be happy to help you with your enquiry.