Eating Harbecue & drinking ‘tea’ with YAYA at Gonzos Tea Room

Saturday was a blur of amazing food and amazing music, which left me so head spun and exhausted from all the fun and frolics that I spent 15 hours of Sunday, curled up in bed with a box set.  Just how a Saturday should be if you ask me! 🙂

We left Lynn at about 5pm under a barrage of rain and headed over to Lee and Heathers house, so that we could all meet in one place before trotting over to the city and a pre-gig meal at The Ten Bells hidden gem restaurant, Harbecue Smoke House.  From the outside, The Ten Bells doesn’t look big enough to accommodate a restaurant as well, but it is deceiving, and once you squeeze through the busy bar area, you take some steps down and find yourself in the cosy atmosphere of Harbecue.  Wooden tables, quaint little seats and low lighting make you feel at home immediately and the friendly staff were so down to earth you felt like you had been there before and were meeting old friends.10703607_535756733221556_1488303096931173268_n 10440652_535756676554895_2481827025294966841_n

10678539_535756246554938_8581458772829570435_nThe restaurant and bar are two separate businesses, so drinks have to be gotten yourself from the bar, however it is so beautifully presented, you don’t really mind, plus it gives you something to do whilst you wait for your food, which wasn’t long at all.  The menu is meat based, so probably not one for the vegetarians amongst you, with pulled pork and smoked beef headlining nearly every dish.  I chose the mixed tray; a delicious combo of the pork and the beef, served with triple fried chips and coleslaw and as a little treat I added a side of battered gherkins which were delicious and didn’t last long at all.

Mark went for the special; a southern fried chicken breast in a bun with all the trimmings, served with chips and coleslaw like mine, and he added battered jalapenos to his for that extra kick. Washed down with a mojito and a grapefruit juice, the meal was tasty with a deep, smoky flavour due to them smoking and slow cooking their meat over 12 hours. I’ve had pulled pork at other places before and was a little disappointed after watching the American programme ‘Man vs Food’, as it always looked so much juicier and tastier than what I had had….that is until I tried Harbecue’s offering. The meat fell apart, juices running all over my plate, just as it should be and I thoroughly recommend anyone that likes their meat to go along 10678687_535756549888241_6345318226899535834_nand give it a try. All 12 of us were fed and watered for just £90 which considering the size of the portions and the quality of the food was an absolute bargain.

We left, stuffed and content and headed over to Gonzo’s Tea Room, ready to watch Waifs & Strays do his thing on behalf of my friend’s house night, YAYA. This is their fourth and by far the biggest night that Dale, Lee, Stu and Alex have put on and it was extra special for me as I had helped with the social media campaign and Mark had a set as well.

1010488_1524449157771737_6874821923476025806_nDoors opened at 9pm and by 10:30, Gonzo’s was at capacity, with Scott George and Ian Vale taking their turns to warm up the crowd and get the place stomping. Funky mixes and deep beats got my foot tapping as I stood at the bar and as I looked over the room, it was hard to spot one person that wasn’t moving to the music in some way. The atmosphere was chilled and electric all at the same time; chilled because the music and the décor in Gonzo’s is relaxed and laid back and electric because you could tell the crowd were waiting for something big to happen.

10175038_535751223222107_6973554675966392209_nMark started his set just before Waifs & Strays and he did a fantastic job of getting people’s hands in the air and pulling the crowd back in from the bar or the smoking area, ready for the main act of the night.

Waifs and Strays took to the decks in front of a crowded room that was ready for more. That’s one thing about YAYA, every event I have been to, it’s the people in the audience that really help make it what it is. No pushing or shoving like in other clubs, everyone is respectful and there for the same reason; their love of decent, underground house music and the YAYA crew really do work hard to make sure that they deliver exactly what the people want.

Waifs set was a heady mix of deep house tracks, most of which I had never heard of but have Shazammed ready to download this week, and it was hard to know when to leave the dance floor for the toilet or to get a drink as every track he spun was an absolute belter. I think I stopped dancing for about twenty minutes total, and I am usually a girl that likes a seat!

10653566_1524737187742934_6018644394781486529_nThe music and the crowd kept on going right up until lights on at 3:30am and as usual, we all shouted for ‘ONE MORE TUNE’ before we were respectfully asked to leave and made our way into the cool night air.

As we left, every one outside was smiling and talking about how great the night had been, and I agree whole heartedly. Not just because its my friends gig, but because there really is nowhere else in Norwich that has the mix right like YAYA does. I can’t explain it, everything they do just works, and the whole event has cool dripping off of it. They work on the basis that everyone that comes to YAYA is part of the family, and are treated more like guests at a house party than punters in a bar which gives the whole thing an air of togetherness. Norwich is well known lately for trouble; however, trouble is one thing that you will NOT find at YAYA. Its well organised, well run and has exactly the right attitude to make people think very hard about being the one to ruin the party. More events need to take on the YAYA ethos, and I see this becoming a big thing both here and abroad over the next few years so keep an eye out and come join the family.

10356758_1525444921005494_1019394293891911456_n

You can find out more about YAYA and their event over on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/YAYAofficialevents?fref=ts and can follow the guys on Twitter https://twitter.com/YAYAnights

And don’t forget to check out Harbecue whilst you’re in the city too, more info and directions can be found at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Harbercue

For more info on Waifs and Strays:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreWaifsAndStrays?fref=ts

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/waifs_strays

YAYA photography by Jessica Elisze: http://www.jessicaelisze.co.uk/   or    www.facebook.com/jessicaeliszephotography

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