Pizza and giggles in the City of Culture

There are just some days, weeks or times in your life when you lose sight of what is important. With deadlines, commitments or other pressures, you can find that life just gets a little too serious. 

I’m a big kid at heart and believe laughter is the best medicine for most things but opportunities to play seem to become fewer and farther between the older you get. When you eventually do see your friends for some girlie time or have a good night out with your other half, it’s like a pressure valve has been opened and you realise how much you needed the release.  

With that in mind, one night after work I met up with my man and went in search of fun and an opportunity to switch off and be entertained in Hull, the City of Culture 2017.

We parked in the city centre as the people in suits were leaving the grand buildings with dark windows, that leave you wondering what actually goes on in them.  
Kardomah94 was not all that obvious from the outside, being slightly off the beaten path of the other eating and drinking haunts, but once we found it, we were pleasantly surprised to walk into an open and friendly bistro cafe with a vibe that wouldn’t be out of place in downtown Budapest.  
Vintage style wooden beer barrels act as tables to prop yourself up against or you can vacate to the comfy sofas in the corner for whispered conversations with your beau.
We were seated on a cute table for two with a view of the kitchens, which are entirely open. I absolutely love this kind of feature, as it adds an element of theatre to the experience. Plus you can see exactly what is going on with your food and it’s a real conversation starter if you get an awkward silence on a date!
We ordered drinks and were given a menu but I already knew what I was looking for. I dove straight into the pizza menu, as I’d heard that these were quite the attraction.
The carnivore (him) ordered the Sir Alfred Gelder, named after a notable figure connected to Hull. It promised the unusual combination of bacon, blue cheese and honey, and my word it was yummy. The salty cheese and sweet honey were a great combination. I obviously abstained from trying the bacon bits but I was informed that they also added a lovely salty twist to the pizza.
The herbivore (me) had The Hulloumi Yorkshire, which again was a nice play on the quirky sub-culture of the city. It had lovely thinly sliced strips of halloumi cheese, peppers and caramelised onions, which is a flavour combination that wins for me every time. The meatiness of halloumi cheese usually leaves even the most steadfast carnivore feeling satisfied. Just look at the melty-ness of the cheese and those sweet, juicy peppers....

We also ordered a tomato pesto garlic bread to share but when it all arrived at once, we were stunned by how enormous they all were. I would definitely say you could get away with one pizza and one garlic bread as a party of two but we were in for a penny and bravely got to work on tackling the feast before us. 
The tomato bread was absolutely gorgeous and practically a pizza in its own right. The carnivore said with hindsight that he’d have ordered the plain garlic bread as a contrast to our flavoursome pizzas, as they were a little overwhelming together.
Before long we were stuffed to the gills and rubbed our tummies appreciatively. A glance around the walls highlighted all of the various events hosted here, from live music to indie cinema nights but we were here to sample the comedy.
Hull is known for its major comedy festival that runs for a week every November, which attracts some big names but there’s also an underground scene that flies the flag for the funnies throughout the year, hosted by GigglesLive.

At that, the doors opened to reveal a secret corridor behind the restaurant and we tootled off feeling excited about what was to come.
We took up our places in the darkened room on leather tub chairs, which created a comfortable, intimate vibe. The stage was almost within touching distance and it felt like being sat in someone’s living room in the very best way.
The compere took up residence on the stage and broke the ice straight away with a few jokes. I tell ya, he was a real pizz-a work (Boom boom!)

Far from heckling the audience, which has to be one of the greatest fears people have when they see live comedy, he actually had a conversation with us, instantly putting us at ease and making us feel part of the show.
During the interval we accessed the special compartment reserved for sweets, no matter how full you are, and gave into the gigantic and yummy looking ice creams.
Five comedians in total had slots, all showcasing acts that they were taking to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer, so straight away we knew they were all going to be quality. Comedy is so subjective but I felt the range of comedians played to most senses of humour.

One by one they each took their turn, each with slightly different styles, with jokes ranging from mildly amusing to downright hilarious.
By the end my cheeks hurt from too much smiling and my ribs ached from laughing. For a fiver a ticket it seemed ridiculously good value and different to the usual date night option of dinner and a movie.

We left Kardomah94 full of yummy food and high from all the laughter, feeling better than when we arrived.
I love that the ability to laugh has the power to get people through all manner of tough times, if we just remind ourselves to be more childlike sometimes, whether it's with your friends or by finding your nearest comedy night. 
The next GigglesLive comedy fixture is in aid of the mental health charity MIND, so not only will you be rip roaringly entertained but you'll be doing some good too. But if you can't get there, you might enjoy this blog post about tapping into your inner child. Go forth and be silly!

*This is a collaborative post with Kardomah94 and GigglesLive but all views are honest and my own.

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