Not a new pub, but a photographic opportunity too good to miss as I spent an evening in one of Bradford’s iconic pubs. Even with a £5.40 train fare to Leeds, staying in Bradford was still the cheapest option.
With the Milton Keynes Dons massif in town ahead of their crucial fixture at Valley Parade, I feared a lively atmosphere in the town’s pubs. Luckily, they’re saving themselves for their friendly in Kingstonian in 11 days time.
Plenty of real ale loving Bantams in the New Beehive, always a favoured pre-match pub. I’d forgotten how gorgeous this place is, particularly the room below, though there’s gas lights in all rooms. On a par with Fanny’s, easier to get a seat, and with a refreshingly tight but interesting beer range these days. No idea what they were talking about.
The bedrooms are clean and very well-priced, though as you’ll have seen there’s a lot of budget competition. The Ibis and Premier Inn don’t have the Beehive’s views from the back door though. It’s an experience, and you should have experiences when you’re alive, rather than when you’re dead (I read that on an Aussie’s T-Shirt once, probably).
And in the morning, after Eggs Benedict and a Flat White in Fork, I was even closer to the city’s other gem. The Bargain Den sells big bag of sweets at prices to make Mr Simms look like a crook. No signage, no indication of weight, just £1 for a vast bag of mints, candy and “stuff”. “We are here to Treat You, not to Cheat You“. A motto for life there.
This is a cheap city, and scruffy in patches. In fact, the new shopping centre to the east and Sunbridge Wells in the centre only highlight just how scruffy the west side is.
But when the sun shines on it (and it was snowing on Manchester) the Alhambra looks splendid as ever, even if you’re not heading for a breakfast curry.
And can there be any better place to work a hangover than feeding 10ps into one of these games machines in the National Media Museum while groups of schoolchildren look on enviously.
No, there can’t.