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Lucy’s Ode To Kelham Island

When I picked the cheapest Uni accommodation I saw, I lucked out and found myself living in Kelham Island. It’s a 15-minute walk to town, is right next to the river and is teeming with fun things to do and see. After a year, and one stone later, I think I have drunk and eaten my way around the entire place; and now consider myself a little bit of an expert. What I didn’t realise until recently was how little other students know about it, not me being an arse its just three different girls at work asked me for recommendations. Whilst it definitely not the cheapest, or the best for a wild night out, I strongly believe everyone should keep it in mind for a date or a special occasion. So, I’m going to give you a little tour. Yet, as I have enough to say to write a dissertation, I’m going to make this a two-part article with this one focusing solely on places that are best enjoyed in the daytime.

Starting strong we have Steel Yard Kelham. This is the perfect sunny date day because most of the seating is outdoor. This is such a great place because its like a self-contained little village, it has loads of places to eat alongside a barbershop, tattoo studio and a spa. Its set up as a courtyard with all the shops and restaurants made out of shipping containers, that you can just make your way around. Personally, I think the best way to go about it is to have a nosy in the shops, then get starters at The Fat Mex, get Pizza for your main at Urban Pizza Co, then have dessert at Whip. Finally, finishing strong with drinks and a boogie at Indie Go Bar. Whilst all the places are great and well worth a visit if you can only go for one it should be Whip. This honestly deserves its own shout out as it’s a pink paradise, complete with swing seats, and serves the best ice cream both my flatmate and I have ever had. If you’re planning a visit have a quick look on Steel Yard’s Instagram because they advertise special days where they have a live band on which makes the whole vibe even better.

Another cracking date place is Cutlery Works. This is the north’s largest food hall and has 13 different vendors, including ones selling Sushi, massive burgers, and a chocolate bar. Its great because you can have loads of different things at once which means you don’t have to compromise if you don’t really like the same things. It also offers bottomless brunch, but I can’t vouch for that because I’ve never done it. I think the best time to go is like late lunch/early tea because its not rammed so you won’t wait ages for food but its still acceptable to make full use of the bar.

Next up is Church Temple of Fun. This is owned by Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes and has such a weird mix of things to do. Somehow it manages to be both a place to get ridiculously good vegan junk food and play video and arcade games, all whilst maintaining a semi classy adult vibe. The theme is so good as well because they have stained glass windows and a million decorations to look at so if the date gets a little awkward you have talking points. I have made full advantage of this to be completely honest.

If you’re a coffee shop lover, you need to make a trip to both The Grind and Guard Coffee. The Grind has amazing pancake specials, were talking black forest and Lemon Meringue, which are big enough to feed a small army and are well worth the hefty £9, alongside a huge and ever-changing salad bar. They also offer a million types of coffee but in all honesty, I’m a tea drinker so they could be complete crap I wouldn’t know. However, the Chai Latte is tried and tested and is really good. Whereas Guard Coffee is amazing for lunch as it serves the best bagels and savoury croissants alongside a full menu. The entire place is really good, and the staff are super friendly as well.

A more random day option is Kelham Island Museum. This is actually way more fun than you think its going to be and makes you feel low key accomplished because its educational. 

Stay tuned for part two…

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