During our planned domination of all things blogging and Doncaster, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people in our hometown Doncaster. One of those people being Vicky Prior who writes at priorportfolio.co.uk. Vicky has lived in Doncaster now for one year and we’ve collaborated to hear about what discoveries Vicky has made in her first year in Doncaster.
One year on: The best bits of moving to Doncaster | By Vicky Prior
It’s been one year since I moved to Doncaster. Before I looked into moving here, I didn’t know much about the place, so this has been a real journey of discovery. Happily, what I’ve discovered is a load of really cool places. Here are a few of my favourites.
I’m a big foodie/greedy guts, and while I was thrilled to see Jay Rayner give the lovely Clam and Cork a great review, I was annoyed that Rayner thinks Doncaster doesn’t have a food scene. It really surprised me how much choice there is in Doncaster for eating out, and new places are opening all the time.
My number one place, judging by how often I go there, has to be Dreambakes. Owner Hannah Shekle was one of the first people I met in Doncaster and her enthusiasm for her work, plus her excellent mince pies, made me eager for her cafe to finally open. It hasn’t disappointed. My current favourite bake is the Spiced Apple Rascal, but this White Rocky Road got a lot of love on my social media.
For dinner, I tend to flit between two options, which handily are right next door to each other on East Laith Gate. For a Turkish feast, go for Lalezar’s £9.99 two-course lunch menu. I’m in love with the Cop Sis, a kebab of flame-grilled lamb. If you’re extremely hungry, try any of the dishes on The Grill Shed’s menu. Portions are huge, my top tip is to not ‘Pimp Your Fries’, as I have in the next picture, if you’re having a burger as well.
All good food needs some great drinks to go with it. The Grill Shed does a lovely cocktail selection (I swear the Lynchburg Lemonade cures a sore throat) but if you feel like a treat, go find The Blind Librarian in Bawtry. Hidden behind a bookcase, this magical venue is not for penny pinchers, but the cocktails are sublime.
In order to work up an appetite, you need to go on a shopping spree. Doncaster is happy to accommodate with a wonderful range of independent shops plus all the big chains. Frenchgate, our shopping centre, is oddly welcoming and has recently seen a flood of new shops open up, including toy store The Entertainer and Morgan Taylor, where I have fallen in love with a handbag.
But my true retail passions live in the Waterdale area. Rewind Vintage sells antiques at very reasonable prices, which means stock flows in and out and there is always a new treasure to find. If you prefer to make your own treasures, then the crazy-named Wool and Much, Much More should satisfy all your crafty needs. My only problem is that each time I go in to buy some yarn, I see something else I want and have to make a second trip…which leads to a third…
When I’m not writing whatever takes my fancy for a living, I run a campaign to promote the importance of culture. A big factor in moving to Doncaster was the way the town has used culture to regenerate. We have lots of free festivals and events. An incredible mural was started in July as part of the town’s Culture Crawl, and artist SPzero76 has been returning every few weeks to add to it. Here he is, finding it difficult to get the top figure’s nose just right.
My Dad has taken to volunteering at the museum and is currently touring primary schools teaching them about WW1, through objects from the museum’s collection. We also go to see dance and drama at CAST, Doncaster’s incredible theatre. They put on national and international touring shows, as well as local gems. Take a look at their beautiful auditorium (with thanks to Beth Rutt at CAST for the photo).
With quality housing available at reasonable prices, all the amenities you could wish for, including a first-rate hospital, and a friendly atmosphere, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to live in Doncaster. I have a theory that Doncaster natives have been spreading rumours about it being ‘grim up north’ so they can keep Doncaster’s treasures to themselves. Sorry folks, but I’m here to expose all your beautiful secrets and encourage people to at least come and visit Doncaster.
Massive thanks to Vicky for letting us publish her great post about even more awesome stuff in Doncaster!
David and Donetta 🙂