RECOMMENDED ROUTE: 1
A celebration of art, drink and food
Route recommended by Carmel Harrison, Carmel Harrison PR
I’ve always loved art, particularly modern art, and to have access to so much variety, regularly and so close to work as I do in Wakefield city centre is a dream come true. Even better when there’s a drink and nibble involved.
Lazy by nature I love to amble out of our city centre offices in Margaret Street, behind Wakefield College and head to the Theatre Royal. One of the UK’s oldest theatres, it smells of vaudeville. The building is a great combination of heritage and the new with their Centre For Creativity being built to encourage more young people to get involved in the arts. In March the Theatre Royal has a series of landscapes by Jan Parsons on display in their café. An opportunity to be swept away from the city without going anywhere.
A musical interlude at Brews, Bites and Books will make a welcome change between locations and is as much art to me as the visual. This café serves delicious cakes and warm drinks and goes out of its way to be family friendly. As a mum, despite him being 18 now, that really appeals. Get them young is my motto because then you keep them for life. I can’t wait to see and hear Wakefield College School of Popular Music and their Acoustic Performances.
I love art in the ordinary and in Bairstow Square there is a stunning piece worth taking a detour to see outside the old town hall. If it’s warm enough and you’re early you can even sit and relax a while.
Along Westgate in central Wakefield is one of my favourite places to have a drink. Wakefield Beer Exchange is a relative newcomer but has really embraced the artistic vibrancy that the city offers no matter what your taste in culture or beer. Regularly changing cask ales (I love anything with grapefruit) manager Dave Owens and his team go all out to invite in artists across the spectrum from performers, such as poets and musicians, through to painters and photographers to ensure that the walls and the space is never empty. March sees them welcome local artist Jennawennabobenna who will be exhibiting a range of work guaranteed to lift the last of the winter gloom and get us ready for spring and summer seriously. Part of their Art & Ale series, it will be followed by collaborative music event, Hang the DJ.
Having worked up a hunger we’ll head over to Jose’s, our little piece of Spain in Wakey on Cross Street. If they don’t have an official Artwalk installation there’ll definitely be colour and some delicious food!