Edward Park - My Yorkshire Weekend

PUBLISHED: 00:16 30 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:29 20 February 2013

Edward Park - My Yorkshire Weekend

Edward Park - My Yorkshire Weekend

Architect Edward Park explains why his weekends are built around football and family

The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

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I recently settled in a country village on the outskirts of Bradford with my partner Michelle after spending a year refurbishing our small cottage.
We are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful views of Yorkshire and dont really need to go any further than our own garden at the weekend, but the temptation of great food, wine and company usually proves too strong.

The weekend begins with Friday drinks in the Midnight Bell in Water Lane, Leeds, where my colleagues and I enjoy proper Yorkshire ale and put the world to rights. The evening inevitably ends with a takeaway from our local Indian restaurant, Akhbars, and re-runs of Grand Designs.

For me, Saturday is the day for my two long term interests, building and football. The inside of our house is now finished, but theres still work to do in the garden, which means DIY takes precedence over a lie-in. I put on my work clothes, take out my trusty tool box and get cracking. My helpful father ensures I dont have too many disasters. Although Im not sure how my pink garden shed has been received by the neighbours.

My perfect Saturday afternoon is spent supporting Leeds United at Elland Road with my brother and father, a tradition we have enjoyed for 20 years. We recently upgraded our season tickets so we get a better view of the pitch and can stay behind for a post-match analysis session. Its then off home to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal with vegetables from the garden, where we definitely have the beginnings of the Good Life.

We often spend Saturday evenings with friends listening to live music in Leeds. One of our favourite destinations is the Cockpit, where we enjoy up-and-coming bands and singers. If we dont fancy the band, we venture instead to a nearby village hostelry, like the Calverley Arms, and discuss everyday happenings with friends over a bottle or two of red wine. It is here that the spirit weakens and we indulge in the delicious chocolate brownies they serve (having already eaten at home).

Sunday is a time for relaxing. Michelle and I like nothing more than to enjoy a late breakfast with the papers. If we are not working in the garden or doing DIY, we enjoy a trip to a local gallery. The Damien Hirst exhibition at Leeds City Art Gallery was my highlight of 2011, proving that Yorkshire can attract major names in the art world.

The art scene is really growing in Leeds, aided by bloggers like The Culture Vulture and Exploring Leeds, who help keep arts in the public domain. I also try and do my bit as chairman of Leeds Society of Architects by organising site visits to recently built or refurbished buildings in Yorkshire.

Finally, we come to Sunday afternoon with the family at my parents house the best bit of the whole weekend. Mum does roast lamb with all the trimmings, accompanied by a bottle of red from our favourite wine merchant, Latitude in Leeds, and we talk. Edward is chairman of Leeds Society of Architects. He is also managing director of Park Designed, specialising in bespoke housing, both new build and alteration.

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