I have yet to come across a night as fun as the ones we had in Bradford and Leeds. It might have been cold, but every bar we went to during the holidays was warm and inviting.
It’s common for English people to hang out at the same pub after work, either with friends or coworkers. This doesn’t really happen in Lisbon, most of us choose to go home during the week and get together on weekends.
“The guys are coming over again” – Nick announced a few weeks ago. It was their third time in Lisbon and fortunately a lot of new places had opened up in the city. A few of them have more of an English vibe to it, but sadly not the Portuguese cheap prices.
Some things are hard to find in Lisbon, a nice warm bar, tasty kebabs (so far nothing beats the ones we had in Kraków) and no queue for the women’s bathroom. That’s right, out of all the bars we went to in Yorkshire, I never had to wait for an empty cubicle like we do here. Emphasis on the “never”. Maybe I was just lucky and I’m giving off the wrong impression about English toilets, so I’ll just focus on the bars for now.
Where to party & drink in Bradford?
- The Beer House – There was so much variety of beers and ciders at The Beer House that I struggled to decide what to order. For the first round I went for something that I was familiar with, a Strongbow. Later on I tried another fruity cider called Rekorderlig, which I recommend if you like sugary drinks. The place is huge and it’s a great spot to meet up if you’re coming with a large group of friends!
- Sunbridge Wells – A maze of bars, shops and cafés that looks straight out of a Harry Potter film, Sunbridge Wells is unlike anything I have ever seen!
It opened a few weeks before we arrived in Bradford, so not many people knew where it was yet. Luckily, we spotted a group of guys who were heading there and were kind enough to lead the way.
Set inside old city tunnels, this place is definitely worth the visit! My favorite spot was the Gin Bar which served a great selection of gins. Honestly, I’ve never had a gin as delicious as the ones here. They’re also quite affordable at 5 pounds each, so there’s really no excuse not to try at least one…
- Al Dime’s Bar – This is Nick’s favorite bar in Bradford! Al Dime’s Bar could totally be a bar in Bairro Alto, but there are a few things that make it stand out – quality beer and great tracks. Definitely the best spot to end the night 🙂
- Fanny’s – Okay…so this one isn’t really in the centre of Bradford, but since Nick didn’t let me mention Fanny’s on the Saltaire post (seeing that it’s technically located in Shipley), I figured I would add it to this list.
After my first taste of a Bradford curry we headed to Fanny’s with Nick’s parents. The moment I walked in, I finally understood what an English pub is supposed to look like. Wooden tables, craft beer on tap, bottles of old ale, jukeboxes and most importantly, a fireplace. How else can you stay here for hours on end? After seeing Fanny’s it’s hard to appreciate the inside of a Lisbon bar, though we do have spectacular views!
Where to party & drink in Leeds?
- Friends of Ham – The taps never stop running at Friends of Ham! Basically, every time they finish a beer, they place a new one on tap, so you either have to wait for your favorite one or settled for the ones available. We only stayed here for two rounds so we never made it to that second tap. Apparently they also do some really nice charcuterie platters (I guess you can tell by the name of the place), unfortunately I didn’t get to try these, maybe next time?
- Thor’s – This tipi tent only rises in the winter, so we were lucky enough to see it while we were visiting Leeds. If you want to get warm and cozy, this place serves the most delicious mulled wine I’ve tried, and I don’t even like red wine that much! You can also order hot chocolate and enjoy the warmth of the log fires spreaded around the tent, that is, if you manage to get there first…
- Belgrave Social Club – This is probably one of the coolest bars in Leeds! After endless beer rounds, I was starting to feel peckish. Normally, I would expect a quick stop at a restaurant or even some late night street food, but all I needed to do at Belgrave was order at the pizza counter! Just like the The Hop in York, pizza and beer seemed to be the best combination a bar could ever offer.
When the cold days are gone, Belgrave becomes even more busy thanks to its beautiful rooftop terrace.
And there you have it, some of the best spots I discovered on my night wanderings through Bradford and Leeds. I wish I could have taken a few shots of these places but I was having so much fun the camera never came out, hopefully these words will be enough to make you visit these fantastic places, if not, this will be in memory of those fun nights!