September 9th, 2011

Fishy Circumstances


Technically, I have been to Bradford once before, but I was not a tourist that time. This time, I allowed a little extra time for seeing some of the sights and making use of the bus network.

It's British Wool Week, and I misunderstood the Industrial Museum's website to promise me daily alpacas. There were none. Instead, I saw the enormous carding, spinning, and weaving machines upstairs, the long, shiny collection of somewhat eccentric cars downstairs, printworks, trams, engines, and a potted history of Bradford. The mill supervisor's house was my disorienting introduction to the site, since I had not yet then found the main entrance. Fascinating back-to-back houses preserved. Biggest revelation: a spare Victorian maid's room looks pleasantly comfortable to modern eyes.

The apse of the cathedral is under renovation, so no William Morris window for me. Still, not a bad overgrown parish church. The city is a bit hit-and-miss in its way: lots of good things, lots of long-abandoned, often burnt-out churches and mills, ripe for renovation when the money and/or population justifies it; and yet the whole place looks so solid, build as it is out of grey stone, layered into the hills of Bradford Dale.

Dinner was at Prashad. Brief version: very good overall, ordered too much because it's hard to predict portions at new places, beautiful masala dosa. The best two foods for me were the kalva, banana and fenugreek bhajis with coriander sauce; and one of the dips brought before the pappadoms, made from fermented thick-skinned mangoes. Dahi puri were refreshing, but less exciting; the puri didn't seem quite right, even if they may have been exactly as intended. Fantastic, friendly service.