5 October 2015

The Great British High Street Awards - Bradford's North Parade

 I was really proud this week on discovering that Bradford's own North Parade had made the shortlist for the Great British High Street awards, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you around!

North Parade has been transformed over the last few years - from an admittedly run-down and pretty empty stretch of road, to the city's coolest place to hang out. A bundle of bold entrepreneurs working hand in hand with the local council have really breathed new life into this end of town and it would be amazing to see them rewarded for their efforts!

I don't think it's too bold a statement to suggest that the opening of The Sparrow four or so years ago marked a real turning point in the fortunes of North Parade, and quickly built a strong reputation for it's friendly atmosphere and fine selection of beers. Those more familiar with our neighbouring city of Leeds may be familiar with it's input via the much loved Bundobust.

The Sparrow is by no means the only place to get a decent drink on North Parade these days, even if it remains my favourite. At the Record Café you can use your ale to wash down a nice meat-and-cheese plate, and pick up vinyl records at the same time. I'm pretty sure they have a very decent gin menu too, if that's more your cup of tea (glass of booze?)

The Beer House always looks plenty busy on a weekend evening but most of my visits have been through the week when it's a little quieter and I can sit down and eat their great food - my favourite Roast Beef in Bradford (don't tell my dad!)

Al's Dime Bar is the opposite - I've never popped in through the week despite promising myself I would, but this place is party central on a Friday or Saturday night and well loved for their amazing cocktails!

Plonk is a relative newcomer to the street and as such I've not actually made it in at all yet, oops! As their name suggests, there's a big wine focus here but I've also heard great things about a Turkish delight cocktail they do, and the meat and cheese boards look divine!

The street's not only for boozing of course! You know I'm more of a tea and cake girl at heart! Forks is pretty special in that it's a non-profit café owned by The Bridge Project (a charity supporting people affected by drug/alcohol dependence), but more importantly it does great baked goods and a mean breakfast!

Feroni's Coffee Shop and Le Café Bleu round out the café options nicely so you are never short of somewhere to eat!

I love Sing Kee's Chinese Supermarket anyway for stocking up on yummy Asian snacks (a nice international addition to the street, along with Latvian and Polish food stores!), but I'm extra excited about it now the sign has gone up for an upcoming bubble tea café in there!

I've never been to Blues Hair Workshop, but a girl I used to work with went here all the time for her hair cutting and styling and she always had the best hair so I imagine it's pretty good! There's a couple of other hair/beauty option on North Parade too, like Halo who also do waxing, facials and make up as well as hair! The street is also where you'll now find Rob's Tattoo Studio.

There's shopping to be done here too - Threads takes care of all your fancy-pants designer menswear, and there's a great camera shop up there too. I like Boyes for craft supplies and random bits and bobs too!  

You can find out more about the Great British High Street Awards here and vote for who you think you should win (no pressure, but Bradford's entry can be found in the 'City Location' category!), then as a reward for your social activism you should head up to North Parade (ok, ok, your own local high street will do if it's too far!) and treat yourself to a drink/cake/pair of shoes or two! 

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