The Perfect Combo @ Dreambakes

Dreambakes hosts the perfect combo of food, art and music.

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Dreambakes & Helen C.Stark’s Instagram

This is the third in a series of blogs exploring events happening as part of Doncopolitan Crawl, an amazing night of culture in Doncaster on Tuesday, 23rd July.

The Dreambakes cafe on Priory walk opened last year and quickly established itself as a top venue for the Doncopolitan Crawl. The cafe is taking part once again on the 23rd of July, this time hosting an exhibition of work by Helen C Stark and a gig by folk musician Katy Carr. While Dreambakes will be on hand to provide cakes and coffee, they’ve also invited Sheffield’s Pinch and Pull to cook up fabulous wraps and tacos.

I know the food is fabulous because I gorged on it last year. I spoke to Danny from Pinch and Pull who explained ‘We serve toasted tortilla wraps and corn tortilla tacos using a fusion of flavours. We try to give our food vibrant colours, rich flavours using spices, pickles and cooking methods from around the world. We were involved with the Winter event last year and got asked to return by Dreambakes for a second year. We think it is great for people to immerse themselves in culture and art so fully support the project and are really happy to be involved with it.’

Frankly, it would be easy for me to just be excited about food but the Crawl’s purpose is to celebrate Doncaster culture so once again I’ve been on YouTube to have a listen to the event’s musical option. Katy Carr is coming up from London to play her music, having been drawn to Doncaster by our strong Eastern European community and her own Polish/English Heritage. She plays Polish folk music songs that she writes herself in a mixture of English and Polish. Katy is well worth seeing perform as all her work has a vintage tinge and she often wears outfits inspired by the 1930s and 1940s.

Katy told me that although she was born in England, she lived in Poland for the first five years of her life. Her album Paszport (Youtube Link HERE), a tribute to those who fought in World War II, won Best Concept Album from the Independent Music Awards in 2014. In 2016 she was given Poland’s Pro Patria Medal. She went on ‘it’s exciting to be performing for the first time in Doncaster and I’d like to extend a big thank you for the performance invite friend and colleague Rachel Horne. I hope to learn more about Doncaster’s rich historical and cultural heritage with a view to creating future projects in Doncaster with Rachel.’ You can read a review of Katy’s songs in The Guardian, who said he new album Polonia ‘shows her strength as a writer of grand, upbeat melodies.’

One person who ‘can’t wait to listen to Katy Carr’ is illustrator Helen C. Stark. Her artwork takes two forms, brush calligraphy, and landscape sketchers. Helen says ‘I’ll be running a drop-in workshop on how to draw buildings at Dreambakes. I’m inspired by what makes every day a little bit sweeter. Architecture, botanicals and wise words inspire me lots. I love to soak up atmosphere in coffee shops. I wanted to get involved because I love Doncaster and I love culture.’ 

Her love for her former place of residence, Edinburgh, resulted in a delightful colouring book and I am launching a private campaign for a Doncaster version to be sketched. Perhaps if we all attend the workshop on the 23rd we’ll be so good at drawing buildings that we can have a Doncopolitan collaboration?

Keep checking the Doncopolitan blog for more on the many events that make up the Doncopolitan Crawl, 23rd July, 5 till 9pm.

There’s a Block Party happening in Broxholme Lane, and you’re invited

Words: Vicky Prior

Images: Warren Draper

If you go down to Broxholme Lane today you’ll see a futuristic vision of Doncaster complete with tigers, stags, and ladies on motorbikes. This incredible mural was painted by spZero76 as part of the last Doncopolitan Crawl and he’s returning on the 23rd of July for more.

To celebrate, Doncopolitan is hosting a Broxholme Lane Block Party with music and art from some of Doncaster’s finest creatives. The lovely Breaking Beats, responsible for the series of murals around the side of Waterdale, will be on-site alongside FiveFiveDesignz. Breaking Beats have been creating work with young people since 2014 and will be hosting a street art workshop for the evening. 

FiveFiveDesignz, aka Craig, started out playing hip hop records at school and in 2007 started playing drum and bass and UK garage. Having worked out from Donny to clubs around the country he then decided to concentrate on his artwork and FiveFiveDesignz was born. Craig still does the occasional gig and will be playing at the Doncaster Caribbean Fun Day this summer. He told me he’s excited to be involved in this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl, where he’ll be spraying brand new artwork, because ‘it’s another part of the cultural shift that’s happening on Doncaster’s timeline right now…It always feels a bit more grim in Donny, especially when I’m painting, maybe that shows through with my surrealistic animal/character type stuff, but I kinda like it like that anyway.’

Kannan and MistaKay – Round Ere

Providing the music is local grime duo Kannan featuring Mista Kay. Alongside making extremely catchy songs (I know the bare minimum about grime, but I got quite into their stuff when doing a bit of research on YouTube!) Kannan features Doncaster locations prominently in his videos. He says ‘I’m inspired by all sorts of things, mostly music – listening to and creating. Watching videos or filming them. We want to be legends in Doncaster for our music. We wanted to be involved because we really like everything about the Doncopolitan & they have shown us a lot of love and support.’ 

So please come along to Doncopolitan Crawl on 23rd July, from 5pm, and show Kannan and all our other artists even more love and support.

Doncopolitan pops up in Frenchgate

Words: Vicky Prior

Images: Unbloq, Lucina Hall and Al Heighton

From the 23rd of July Doncopolitan will be taking over the former Garage Shoes unit near Debenhams and transforming it into a pop-up shop. See Doncopolitan magazine come to life with original artworks, prints and cards available to buy from your favourite artists. New work will be on display from Al Heighton, Luciana Hall, Callum Fox, Imogen Carline, and more.

I spoke to Lucina Hall and Al Heighton to find out what inspired them and why they were keen to get involved in this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl. Here’s what they had to say:

Lucina Hall

I’ve literally always been a doodler, I’ve never seen myself as a particularly good drawer but I draw things that are interesting to look at. I like characterisation in art and usually draw things with a narrative or character.

Lucina’s iconic eyeball

I like Doncaster’s efforts to showcase local talent whether it be a pub supporting small local bands or for example, the Doncopolitan giving creatives a platform to share work or words. I think the Crawl is a really interesting project that has brought a lot of artists that I knew never really showcased their work, an opportunity to do so – me included.

Al Heighton 

I’m inspired by lots of things, fashion, books, magazines, tweets, overheard conversations etc and of course topics that involve Doncaster. When I first saw Doncopolitan I just wanted to be involved and contribute to that publication which for my money Doncaster needs.

The Crawl just felt something natural to contribute to off the back of the magazine. If you visit Doncaster and want to tap into ‘cool’ then Doncopolitan is a good start…

The Doncopolitan takeover runs from 23rd till 25th July. The Doncopolitan Crawl is on from 5pm on the 23rd July.

Culture Crawl Reflection

Rachel Horne has a chat about Culture Crawl with Dreambakes

Words: Rachel Horne

Photography: Rod Jackson

Firstly, as a local business, why did you want to get behind Culture Crawl?

We wanted to get behind it because Doncaster has an amazing arts and culture scene that doesn’t get enough recognition.

People always say things like ‘oh I wish we had events like xxxx in Doncaster’ but never do anything to help plan them or talk about them. THIS is the sort of event Doncaster needs in order to change perceptions and show we are a flourishing town.

Wowsa, thank you for getting our vision. It is frustrating when I read comments online, people want Doncaster to be like Leeds or Sheffield, then don’t offer support. Putting on Culture Crawl was a massive risk, we were scared people wouldn’t get it or turn out, but we created a solid marketing campaign, largely in print (YES, PRINT’S NOT DEAD). This included 10,000 flyers, 1000 Maps, and people came out in droves. Can I ask what the vibe was like at Dreambakes on the night?

Doncopolitan and other independent entrepreneurs are really trying hard to introduce new and alternative events to Doncaster which I think a) is a big risk for those involved and b) will hopefully help people believe in the town and start buying and investing in it.

The vibe was amazing. We had a big queue at the Vamanos truck that we hosted outside, and people were coming in to enjoy their food and then have dessert. There was a real buzz and vibrancy in the air. People were chatting, laughing, just generally enjoying themselves and being incredibly positive.

Also, it’s nice to celebrate Doncaster as a place, rather than just doing a copycat event that’s worked in, say, Leeds or Sheffield. Honestly, you guys did an amazing job.

Thanks mate, I’ll pay ya bribe laters.

The thing I liked about the Culture Crawl was that it wasn’t focused on drinking; that wasn’t a motivation for people to come out. So, people were out for it because of the event in itself, because they were genuinely interested in the arts. I dare say some people just had tacos and left, but the majority I asked were out to look at the event. Just shows you what can happen if people actually take action with their ideas.


I just wanted to bring more people into town than the Coca Cola truck did in Christmas 2016. It’s been bugging me, that. Did you guys sell out of cake?

We did yes, we sold all the cake I had made just for the event and almost all the cake for the following day.

It was also a goal to do this event on a night when no-one would be in town to prove that we can get people out.

Yeah, I wasn’t 100% sure about it being on a Tuesday but it totally makes sense if you wanted it to be proven that it was just for the event.

I thought the route was really good and had a great mix of things to look at and do as well.

Like there wasn’t an overlap so there was a reason to come to each venue. 

Did you manage to check-out the venues?

No, I was working until half nine. From what people have said they were great! There didn’t seem to be a ‘favourite’, but it was great to see other businesses getting behind the event. It felt like a real breath of fresh air.

I could practically see the blood, sweat and tears you guys had all put in!

It was hard graft but certainly worth it.


Follow up dates on Culture Crawl on our website:


Get the date for the next Culture Crawl in your diary:

Tuesday 30th October, 5pm.