My cousin whisked me away for an extended weekend in her adopted home of Bradford, UK. An interesting little town in the north of London, not far from Leeds. A curious little place, which had previously been the “wool capital of the world”, Bradford is now faced with the challenges of economic deprivation and social unrest that many small towns have faced. But within this unsettled environment, my cuz has found some gems and has built a caring, wonderful community of friends.
One of the most spectacular bookstores I have ever been to:
One of the places that immediately stole my heart was Forks cafe. Yes, the coffee was excellent, and the food (a full vegetarian breakfast) was delicious, but that is not what makes this place so special. This unique place is a social enterprise that gives people a chance to gain employable skills after facing drug and alcohol abuse – “helping people make a positive choice when they reach a fork in the road.” It is such a positive space – beautifully decorated, comfortable, with wingback armchairs and a lending library.
We also spend a night on the town, hitting up a few great spots, one of which was Record, or the source of “vinyl, ale, and ham.” The ambiance is terrific, and it has pretty much all of my favourite things. As the super-cool ladies we are, we spent an evening “learning about our future” through an elaborate card-based version of MASH. It was pretty much perfect.
3 thoughts on “Coffee, community, family, and the future: Bradford, UK”
Great take on this struggling gem. I have some family living there and when visiting them I have a mixture of dread and anticipation when going into Bradford. But I keep going back!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I absolutely understand those mixed emotions. I am sure it has been really interesting to see Bradford transform over the past couple of years, and I am sure it will continue to evolve.