I've got 'The Feeling' I'm in Leeds!
An overnight stay in The Jury's Inn, Leeds
Date of stay: Saturday 8th October 2011

The Feeling are quite possibly my all time favourite 'live' band, they really do put on a fantastic show & I'd already seen them live 3 times before I found out they were playing again in Leeds. Of course we could of booked for Newcastle which was easier for us, but since my daughter 'The Evil Genius' has started university down in Hull it seemed like a good excuse to see her, the band and have a lovely weekend away.
And there was the start to what was probably the most stressful weekend away arrangements I've ever encountered! The first problem being now The Evil Genius is 'over 18' she's an adult & lots of hotels don't cater for 3 adults sharing the same room! I don't think they can quite grasp the idea that people still have 'children' that are of adult age, I want to see my daughter, I don't want to put her in a single room down the hallway! Anyway finally after about 3 weeks of trawling the internet looking for a room that would accommodate 3 people and not cost an absurd amount of money I settled on The Jury's Inn on Brewery Wharf. Booking the room was even problematic. I don't have a credit card & I couldn't use a debit card to book via the internet so I had to ring up and speak to an actual person! Shock horror! However I spoke to a lovely lady who was very helpful & not at all scary! And so on to the next problem of how are we travelling to Leeds. I would normally go by car but since I'm having some 'engine warning light' issues I prefer not to go too far if it can be avoided so we would book a train. I know to book early & get a good deal, so I did that.... or so I thought... EEEK!!! Three days before we were due to arrive in Leeds I realised I'd made a sickening error with the train tickets! After much self-loathing & 3 frantic phone calls to EastCoast I eventually forked out for new tickets & sent the other ones back in the hope I may qualify for a small refund...fingers crossed on that score...
And so on a rainy Saturday two excited people boarded the train from Darlington to Leeds for a weekend of musical entertainment! On board the train I got the phone call I'd been waiting for from the estate agents saying I would be moving house soon! Hurrah! Brilliant news, an excellent start to the weekend!  We arrived in Leeds met up with my daughter who was sporting a very fetching
 Hull University hoodie (so she could be picked out from the crowd, just incase I'd forgotten what she looked like!) & headed off to the hotel....
The Jury's Inn looks like a lovely hotel. A very swanky lobby & bar/restaurant area.... but...
now bearing in mind it was 'rather rainy' outside & we didnt have an umbrella between us,
 I suppose we may have looked a bit bedraggled, even so I thought the guy behind reception was more than slightly stuck up & snooty. I booked on a room only basis however I fully intended to add breakfasts when we got there but he didnt even offer us the option. I was stood there with £65 in my hand & he asked me how I would like to pay & I resisted the urge to say
 'green-shield stamps ok for you?!'
The room was nice but totally unremarkable. I've stayed at 'lots' of hotels this year & to be quite honest it could of been any of them! It was no better than any other budget hotel really & the view was pants-a-rama & there's never enough towels or enough of those mini milks for your coffees....
So off into Leeds we went on the hunt to find a nice pub for some food before the concert started...and there was our next problem... I stumbled across a good 'Real Ale pub-chain' on my holiday to London earlier this year & I had intended on going to 'The Scarborough Hotel' for our meal but forgot about the fact it was a Saturday night & of course the place was jam packed when we arrived there & it was standing room only! Shame indeed...no warm halloumi salad for me tonight then, hey-ho another time.. after about half an hour trudging along in the rain increasingly loosing the will to live, we stumbled into
The Horse&Trumpet (which was Mr Ploughs' local as a youngster, as he indeed hails from Leeds) We had some satisfying pub grub in there & a couple of pints of lovely real ale 'Doom Bar'  & headed off to the O2 academy to see The Feeling....
Support bands can be very hit&miss and the first offering was definitely a miss. The Evil Genius remarked they were missing from somebodys garage...they were that good or bad I suppose! However the second support act was a definite hit!! Mads Langer was brilliant and I even bought his CD, which he kindly signed for me too. Such a good voice, he had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand! I predict he will be a big name one day in the not too distant future & good luck to him!
The Feeling were awesome, as ever, absolutely fantastic. I unashamedly love them so much. They give such a great show, this is the fourth time I've seen them & I  honestly can't wait to see them again! They sang all my old favourites, the best bits from the new album & a brilliant rendition of Paul Simons 'You can call me Al', which I found very amusing! I was very impressed with the evenings performance & still adore Dan Gillespie! The O2 academy was a very nice venue too, smaller than the one at Newcastle but I would definitely go there again.
After a comfortable nights sleep & a rare lay in, (I suppose the bonus to not having breakfast in the hotel is you dont have to get up early to go down to breakfast!) we checked out of the hotel in a similar manner to our arrival & headed out for a visit to The Royal Armouries.
The Armouries is a brilliant place to visit & I can't recommend it enough. Its a must see for any visit to Leeds & infact I would say its worth taking a day trip to Leeds purely to visit the armouries.
Its massive, its fun & its free! ( although you can pay for 'extra' bits & jousting shows but only if you want to see those!) This was my second visit here & I still found the oriental section the most interesting, don't miss the elephant armour, amazing. We watched a samurai display which was fascinating & Mr Ploughs 'family jewels' were threatened ha-ha! We had a very nice meal in the cafe too, Steak&Mushroom pie which was actually home made with melt in the mouth steak & whole mushrooms truly yummy & a bargain at only £6.95.
Finally it was time to put The Evil Genius onto the train bound for Hull. Bittersweet. It was lovely to see her, I miss her so much, but I'm so proud she's making something of her life by going to university. I'll see her soon when we go on our next concert/overnight stay to Bridlington in a few weeks time.
With an hour to kill before our train was due, we headed off into the city centre, although my heart wasn't in it really & I didn't fancy going round the many interesting looking shops so we opted to sit on a bench & do some people watching which Mr Plough narrated in his usual hilarious style! We watched a bit of F1 on the giant TV in Millennium Square (it appears to be on 24/7, I suppose its entertainment for the hobos on an evening) & then it was time for our train home which turned out to be yet another stress-fest! Even though we had seats booked from Leeds to Darlington, Transpennine thought that when we got to York it would be fun to condense an already over crowded train into just 3 carriages, which resulted in us being stood squashed into the corner of 'first class' carriage with a load of other disgruntled passengers & a strange letchy man who used the ordeal as a way to grope all the ladies boobs&bottoms! I did wonder at why people bothered to say 'excused me' & then just literally crawl over the top of you 'coz quite clearly there was nowhere to excuse yourself too! Nightmare!
Leeds is a great city & a great place to visit. Its vibrant and full of life & theres lots to see & do.
We had a 'kid free' stay here in August 2010 too. On this occasion we stayed at the Vicar Lane Travelodge & we only paid £20 for the night. I found it to be a very pleasant hotel. We had a large double room with a good view over the city. Its in the china town area & it was very interesting to see the authentic oriental shops nearby. On this stay we visited the armouries for the first time & enjoyed it so much to have a return visit this time around. We also went into the Leeds City Museum (free entry) which was a gem & definately worth a visit. Leeds is a city full of sculptures which is a thing I enjoy seeing. There's loads of them, all over the city making the place a giant art gallery for the public to enjoy. Theres a nice walk by the canal too & the large amount of canal boats makes it very pretty.
I would definatley stay in Leeds again and theres still lots of things left unexplored there.

All content& photos copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.

10/12/2011 15:32

Thanks. You are a very good blogger. Just reading your words I can picture myself there as if I were traveling with you. Thanks again Ange!

10/25/2011 05:28

Great blog...somewhat unusual ..unique..keep going..

Ange Graham
10/31/2011 09:44

Thankyou for your very kind feedback, its much appreciated :)


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