Five reasons why Wakefield’s food scene is set to be the next big thing

Many flock to Wakefield for our outstanding cultural offering, including Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pontefract Castle and The Hepworth Wakefield.

However, while we’re famed for our liquorice, rhubarb and real ale, we’ve also got a fantastic up-and-coming food and drink scene. From quirky pop-up bars to unmissable food festivals, we’ve pulled together the top five reasons why any would-be foodies should have Wakefield at the top of their bucket list.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival

Blacker Hall Farm Shop ©Tatiana Hepplewhite

1. Food festival galore

If you’re looking for a food festival that’s just a little outside of the mainstream, then look no further. Wakefield’s annual rhubarb festival perfectly combines the city’s art and foodie heritage featuring live music and comedy, cookery demonstrations and artisanal markets.

As well as being the home of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, the district is also credited for the popularisation of liquorice. The sweet root is celebrated in Pontefract each July through the town’s, unique liquorice festival, providing an unmissable opportunity to learn more about the history of this unusual plant and sample liquorice infused bread, cake, tiffin, and even beer!

2. Award-winning farm shops

The Wakefield district has no shortage of thriving farm shops offering fresh local produce, from organic fruit and vegetables to cheeses and charcuterie.

Farmer Copleys in Pontefract, which the Guild of Fine Food deemed Best Farm Shop of the year in 2019, offers a great day out for all ages. Depending on the season, enjoy picking your own strawberries or take part in the UK’s largest pumpkin festival. The farm also boasts 1,000 bees which you can see making honey before your eyes!

Or take a trip to Blacker Hall Farm Shop in Wakefield, offering stellar quality vegetables and award-winning beef products. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Barn Café, where nearly all of the produce used is sourced directly from the family farm.

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RBT Video

The Weston at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Courtesy Feilden Fowles and YSP. Photo © Peter Cook

3. Quirky cocktail bars

The Golden Pineapple, described as a tiki bar with a Victorian twist, offers a unique drinking experience, with stunning cocktails, relaxed vibes and tasty bao buns. Alternatively, check out RBT Video, one of Wakefield’s best kept secrets. A speakeasy disguised as an 80s video store, guess the password (or just look on the website!) to enjoy revamped 80s and classic cocktails, pizza by the slice and one-of-a-kind neon artwork.

If you’re a fan of a pop-up, LOT Wakefield is the perfect place to enjoy creative cocktails, lagers, beers, ciders and a rotating selection of food from some of the area’s finest restaurants and cafes – all served from a converted ice cream van!

4. Feasts for the eyes

We know that the Wakefield district is renowned for its cultural institutions, but did you know that many of our most loved attractions also have their own unusual eateries? The Weston restaurant at Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers locally and sustainably sourced dishes and stunning views of the 500 acre Bretton estate.

Looking for something more metropolitan? Enjoy an all-day brunch or a tasty treat at The Hepworth Café, the perfect accompaniment to its handcrafted coffees and loose-leaf teas.

5. Good old-fashioned Yorkshire grub

A visit to the Wakefield district wouldn’t be complete without sampling the delights of the Wakefield Pie Shop, accompanied by chips, peas and gravy. You’re guaranteed to receive a warm Yorkshire welcome at Mr & Mrs C’s, a relaxed family-run café, deli and bakery in the heart of the city centre.

If you’re looking to make your visit extra special, opt for a sparkling afternoon tea at the Waterton Park Hotel, a luxury four-star hotel surrounded by its own lake.

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