Bedford and Baker Street are usually names you'd associate with the capitals of the world, not a town in Teesside. But as more and more students and creatives have moved here, its cool factor has upped.
I've seen Middlesbrough evolve over the past ten years. We used to go there when we were fourteen, as it was the only place that would let us into the pubs without any form of ID. Back then, these roads were dilapidated. Now, trendy bars and restaurants line them, and old working men's clubs have been transformed into slightly questionably 'hip' pubs. We're talking bicycles on walls and plant fixtures dangling from corner.
That's what's happening inside the brightly coloured buildings. Outside, in has stepped Orange Pip Market, a monthly artisan food market.
We popped along a couple of weekends ago, for a mulled wine and a mosey. We had lunch at The Twisted Lip, which was amazing! I had the fish and chips, which was gourmet pub food at its finest -- seasoned with a sprinkle of class, without any sort of pretentiousness.
Afterwards we sat and watched the entertainment, a lively Russian band, surrounded by hefty numbers of locals enjoying the thriving energy of the event.
It's safe to say Middlesbrough's no New York just yet. Walk a little further towards the train station from Bedford Street and you'll still see the same sense of adversity of a town betrayed by austerity. But it's definitely on the up, as is the spirit of its residents. At Orange Pip Market you couldn't find a greater, more jubilant sense of community.
Definitely worth a visit. Oh, and the food's stunning too!