With the curtain having closed on Chow Down‘s summer programme for another year, there’s no reason to be too despondent as the winter plans for the Leeds-based food and drink extravaganza have now been revealed! From 11th November, the Winter Village is set to bring a wonderland of fun and food to life, with a heady mixture of activities, entertainment and dining options to illuminate the darkening days and warm up the chillier nights.
Guests will discover a new vibe down at Temple Arches, which now boasts a two-storey bar and games room. Upstairs will play host to the Rooftop Curling Club, offering the chance to try out the iconic winter sport in competition with friends and family. And downstairs, there’ll be headline DJs, live bands, booths and bar service – perfect for getting into the festival spirit.
When it comes to keeping warm, there’ll be fire pits, heaters and winter snugs, with mulled wine and cider on tap to ward off the chill. Christmas Tipis are set to host atmospheric Santa Breakfasts and a range of family activities on Sundays, all against the backdrop of ultimate cosiness.
Other options for festive joy include the Chow Down Ski Lodge, where winter snugs will offer comfy seating in a fully heated environment, and a transformed Winter Garden themed pergola featuring windbreakers, plants and additional heaters.
If that wasn’t enough, Chow Down’s Winter Villages promises a full programme of stand-out entertainment, with après ski nights, drag and disco brunches, winter cocktails, boozy hot chocolates and a packed line-up of amazing live music.
Over the eight weeks, Chow Down will welcome headline DJs Norman Jay, Friendly Fires, Horse Meat Disco, Graeme Park, Raw Silk and DJ Paulette. And for fans of live music, the line-up will include a triumphant return from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners with Back Chat, as well as New York Brass, New Freedom Gospel and the very special Chow Down House Band.
On the menu, guests can expect some exclusive new long term kitchen residencies from top street food traders, as well as a rotating selection of old favourites and new faces alike over the winter weeks.
Leeds’ first proper taco restaurant comes in the form of Tortio, which is set to offer a range of classic dishes and more innovative flavours, including Carne Asada Tacos and Smoked and braised Ox cheek Birria quesadillas, to Masa fried Chicken. Mostly cooked over open flames.
Founder and owner, Lucy Rhodes says, We’re so excited to be moving into one of the permanent containers for our residency at Chow Down’s Winter Village. It’s been an absolute joy to be involved with these lovely events from the very beginning during the first throws of the pandemic last year. They’ve been a source of absolute joy and got us through some pretty tough times to be honest. I can’t wait to see what they do next, it just seems to get better and better. We’re going to be concentrating on smoked and BBQ food and can’t wait to see what people think of our new menus.
Jimmy Macks’ incredible cheffing career might have seen him travel the world and work in some of the most acclaimed kitchens around – but now he’s back in the UK with an exciting new offer, applying his restaurant skills to the craft of street food.
He said: “We’re super excited to be trading at the Chow Down Winter Village this year. What the team has done to the site looks epic, and we can’t wait to be part of the action with our festive menu!”
More winter food will come from British Street Food Kitchen’s Posh Street Food and Archchis, as well as returning favourites Summer Sticky Beaks, Bento Box, OnaRoll, Pizza Bus, Nasi Lemak and Luigi Street Food. All that plus a range of new foodie faces, including Korean Grub Club and plenty more to be announced.
This is the start of an exciting new season for Chow Down. If you’ve bagged yourself priority access, bookings are now open – otherwise you can grab a ticket in the general sale tomorrow (Friday 15th of October). Follow this link to sign up or make bookings.
Lucy Renshaw, Strategic Marketing Manager at CEG says: “After a fun-packed summer schedule, we can’t wait to see what Chow Down has in store for its first winter line up at Temple Arches. CEG is delighted to partner with New Citizens at Temple, and we look forward to them bringing some festive cheer to the local community and helping to put Temple Arches in Holbeck on the map as a place to visit and enjoy.”
One of the Founders of Chow Down, Stu Butterworth, says: “We are incredibly proud of the programme for Winter, the whole team has worked around the clock to bring something for everyone, whether a corporate Christmas Party booking, a couple on date night to a night out with friends, we also have a new area which you can just pop in for a drink. The entertainment has been stepped up with some incredible DJ slots and a mix of house bands and returning live bands. The food element has also been raised with our new residency kitchens which we hope to take into next year. Leeds hasn’t seen a taco restaurant like this and our festive menu by Jimmy Macks will include some exciting warming staples (and yes bone marrow dumplings with pigs in blankets?). Who needs the Leeds German market when you can put something like this on?”
Chow Down Night Themes:
Thursday Night – Apres Night
Friday Night – DJ nights
Saturday – Brunches and local DJs
Sunday – Santa Breakfast 12:00 – 15:00 + live music + more to be announced
13th November – Disco Brunch 12:00 – 15:00
19th November – Friendly Fires DJ – 19:00 – 22:00
20th November – Garage Brunch 12:00 – 15:00
27th November – Drag Brunch 12:00 – 15:00
28th November – Mr Wilson Second Liners – 15:00 – 19:00
10th December – Norman Jay (MBE) – 19:00 – 22:00
18th December – Xmas Drag Brunch 12:00 – 15:00