Yorkshire city set to be the next food and drink capital of the north

Wakefield might not be the first place you think of when it comes to food and drink.

But this small town with a thriving restaurant, cafe, and beverage scene may be on its way to becoming the next food capital of the North.

Wakefield goes out of its way when it comes to a cultural offering with national (and international) destinations such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pontefract Castle and the Hepworth Art Gallery.

It’s also known for its licorice, rhubarb and real ale, but it’s also the perfect place for quirky pop-up bars and quirky food festivals.

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Here are five reasons why it might be time for Wakefield to shine, and why foodies looking for the next foodie epicenter might do well to check it out.

1. Gastronomic festivals

Most towns above a certain size have an annual food festival, but the one in Wakefield is more unusual.

The city has a annual rhubarb festival combining the city’s artistic and gastronomic heritage with live music and comedy, cooking demonstrations and craft markets.

The district, more precisely Pontefract, is known for its licorice and the city has a festival where you can taste bread, cakes, tiffin and beer as well as sweets infused with this weird but popular tasting plant extract.

2. Farm businesses

Some of the best in the district include Farmer Copley’s (winner of the Guild of Fine Food Best Farmer’s Shop of the Year 2019) and Blacker Hall Farm Shop which sells top-notch vegetables and award-winning beef.

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3. Cocktail bars

RBT Video – a cocktail bar hidden behind a 1980s-style video rental store

For a different experience, try The Golden Pineapple, a tiki bar with a Victorian twist on Wood Street, or RBT Video, a cocktail bar hidden behind a 1980s-style video rental store on Northgate.

Or for some pop-up action, try the LOT Wakefield Urban Cocktail Garden, at the back of the RBT video.

4. A visual feast

Dining Room with a View - The Weston Restaurant at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Dining Room with a View – The Weston Restaurant at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Food and drink is a matter of taste, but a good view is a big bonus. Then try The Weston Restaurant at Yorkshire Sculpture Park where you can consume sustainably sourced food while admiring the beautifully landscaped Bretton Estate.

The Hepworth Cafe also offers great views of the Calder River.

5. Traditional Yorkshire

A visit to Wakey would be incomplete without a visit to Wakefield Pie Shop, Cheapside, for pie and peas. Or there’s the family-owned Mr & Mrs C’s bakery, Bull Ring.

And if you’re in the mood for something special, book afternoon tea at the four-star Waterton Park hotel, where you can enjoy delicious cakes and lakefront tea at this elegant Georgian mansion.

For more food, drink, recreation and sightseeing ideas, visit Experience Wakefield.

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