84 Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, HD1 5BB


Venue@ Bradley’s Restaurant

Tel@ 01484 516773


Opening hours@Lunch 12noon-2pm (Mon to Fri); Evenings 6pm-10pm (Monday to Thursday) and 5.30pm-10pm (Friday and Saturday)

Children@ Yes

Disabled access@ Yes

The bill@ £33.90

OK, so it’s a windswept autumnal Monday night and you’ve sorted out a babysitter at the last moment.

We need to eat and the paper needs a restaurant review so where do you go? Surely everywhere will be pretty empty.

It’s at times like this you go back to basics and one of Huddersfield’s longest- established restaurants – Bradley’s.

We thought it would be quiet. We were wrong.

The place was full. More than that, it was buzzing. It turned out we’d booked one of the last two available tables.

So what is Bradley’s secret? How can it thrive on a Monday during a recession?

Three reasons we quickly found out for ourselves – value for money, quality of food and excellence of service. The other, I suspect, is why any business survives long-term. Customer loyalty. Money can never buy that – it comes only with reputation.

You could tell just by the atmosphere and looking around that everyone dining there was relaxed. You got the feeling most had been there before – many times.

So why should so many be there on a Monday? Is Monday the new Saturday but no-one has told us?

No way. The menu revealed all – three course meals including a bottle of wine for two at under £30.

With 10 starters and 10 mains to go at – plus a specials list – it gives a choice way beyond expectations. Some of the mains had small supplements, but only one was more than £3.

For starters it had to be mussels with white wine and cream for me. You don’t get them at home. Oh yes, perfection in a bowl. Never was a sauce more made for bread.

Ruth went for the gnocchi with butternut squash, pine nuts and goat’s cheese. Heaven for our vegetarian friends, no doubt – and Ruth’s no vegetarian.

Mains were breast of duck, dauphinoise potatoes, red cabbage and cherry jus (£2.50 supplement). Beautifully-cooked duck – a real meat-lover’s treat – and the red cabbage is an acquired taste which, thankfully, I acquired many years ago.

Vegetables were full-flavoured miniature carrots, new potatoes and broccoli. The chefs sure know how to get veg just right.

Ruth’s fillet of sea bass with wild mushroom and parmesan risotto (£1.50 supplement) gave everything a totally different yet complementary dimension. A filling, fully-rounded combination.

Others we shunned this time but would go for next included (starters) smoked trout salad with caper and lemon dressing, ham hock and chicken terrine with caramelised baby onions, spinach and potato soup, roast belly pork with Chinese noodles and spring onion dressing.

The mains included chicken breast with creamed leeks and smoked bacon, fillet of hake with buttered spinach, asparagus and pepper hollandaise, 7oz rib-eye steak with a blue cheese glaze, pommes frites and roasting juices.

It was a three-course meal so it would have been rude not to have the sweet. The crème brulée – I can never think of that without smirking about the fictional 80s band from the League Of Gentlemen – was a gooey delight while the ginger and honeycomb pot was big pieces of chunky ginger crunch in a creamy cocoon.

Bradley’s surroundings are warm and cosy – burgundy walls with abstract pictures. The solid wood tables fit in with a stained glass windows that give the restaurant a classy reverence.

The restaurant has a whole host of events lined up ranging from a Rod Stewart Tribute night to a three-course meal with limousine pick-up and drop-off at home for £35 per person. It has also recently hosted a sausage week, a pie week and a three-day tapas event.

Service was exceptionally pleasant. I only tip if I think it’s worth it, but on this occasion the Hirst wallet flew open and out came the cash along with the moths.