Arch by the Great Hall

Who knew that when we left the office on 20th March that we would still be relying on our laptops and home Wi-Fi connections? Our business development Manager, Emma, has had a lot of time to think about what we miss about our everyday pre-Covid lives that we once took for granted. Our wonderful campus has certainly made Emma’s list of things to miss, and there are lots of reasons why.

Frothy Coffee & Hibiscus Tea

Meetings are always better with a cappuccino or a fancy tea! The chances are if you’ve met me about bidding for a conference or for a tour of our venues then we will have stopped for a coffee along the way. Making a cup of instant and sitting in front of your webcam just isn’t the same. We are spoilt for choice at the University. With 16 cafes across campus, it’s hard to pick a favourite. On a rainy day you can get cosy in the Edit Room, Loma or Affine, and when the sun is out I love sitting in the University precinct with a coffee from Hugo, our camionnette café, or for somewhere a little less lively the courtyard at Baines Wing café with views of the beautiful Great Hall building is a good choice. If you are having a meeting on campus, a delegate attending a conference on campus, or just passing through, there are plenty of options for coffee, tea or a bite to eat!

The never ending student experience

Okay, so it may have been a few years since I was mistaken for a student but I do still love that student atmosphere that you can only get on a University campus. Every Monday the University precinct is home to a farmers market selling fresh and local produce. We also get to enjoy brass bands, free pizza and pop up plant stalls throughout the year. Carol singers and Santa and his snow gun make an appearance in December too. There always seems to be something taking place and it makes for a fantastic atmosphere!

conference delegates outside building

Hitting my step count

I can’t be the only one that has noticed how hard it is to hit 10,000 steps a day whilst working remotely? We are so lucky to have our beautiful campus, Woodhouse Moor on the doorstep and even a public art trail to take advantage of on lunch breaks – or walking meetings! Giving regular tours of our conference venues usually makes for an impressive step count too – if you’ve been on a tour of multiple venues with me you will know why I always recommend ditching the heels and coming in flats!

Read more about the University event app. Photography of Clothworkers Court

Getting my nails done and spontaneous after work pints

Now it just sounds like I’m showing off. We have so many facilities and services on campus which are amazing for staff, students and visitors. Many of which can be incorporated or used as part of the conferences we host on campus too. It’s a long list and includes: bike rental, libraries, visitor accommodation, event management services, fitness centre, swimming pool, climbing wall, child care, bars, nightclubs, cafes, hairdresser and beauticians, Amazon lockers and Click and Collect points, a bank, opticians, printing and design facilities, museums and galleries including my favourite – The Marks and Spencer’s Archive!

Shop till you drop lunch breaks

We are lucky to have so much on campus, but we can’t forget that we are within walking distance of Leeds city centre too. It’s almost too convenient to run into town and back at lunch time to buy that dress you’ve been eyeing up. I’m a massive fan of our city and I’m very proud to call it home – take a look at the Visit Leeds website and you will see why. It’s hard to describe Leeds in one paragraph but our friends at Visit Leeds have given it a good shot:

The unofficial capital of Yorkshire. A city at the heart of the action, bursting with life and cultural energy. A vibrant creative community, with award-winning national theatre and dance companies, a world-class arena, and a thriving independent food scene you won’t find anywhere else. A renowned retail destination, where big brands meet Victorian arcades. And a welcoming host for international sporting events, colourful carnivals, and a packed calendar of festivals and events. A skyline filled with breathtaking architecture, and a destination easily reached by road, rail and air. We are many things. We are Leeds.

My work family

It’s a bit unfair that this one is at the bottom of the list as it is probably what I miss the most! I miss our daily debates about whose turn it is to make coffee, debriefs of the latest Netflix show and full details of what everyone is having for dinner – every day of the week. I’m sat writing this from my freshly decorated “lock down project” home office, which is great – but anyone that knows me knows that sitting in silence isn’t really my thing, and I cannot wait for some more human interaction! I’ve always known how lucky we are to have such a great team, we’ve supported each other through bad times and celebrated the good (any excuse for cake!) and we have laughed together – a lot. Not to mention the extensive shared experience and knowledge that we have when we are all together under one roof.