Leicester is a multi-cultural city and it is a vibrant, exciting place to live.
As a student living in the city, you’ll want to know where the best places are to visit, the best places to eat, and the best attractions that are close to your student accommodation in Leicester.
The Golden Mile is one of those amazing places that deserves more attention than it currently receives. Everyone who lives in Leicester knows about it, but it must surely go down as one of the best stretches of road anywhere in the UK, with a wide variety of shops, boutiques, independent retailers, restaurants, sweet shops, and jewellery outlets that bring India to your doorstep.
An Indian bazaar is an exotic, exciting, colourful place to visit, and there are not many places in the UK that bring that sort of feeling to people. The Golden Mile is probably the closest we can get to an authentic Indian bazaar in this country, and best of all, it is only a ten minute walk out of Leicester city centre, making it really accessible for all, whether you take a stroll down to Belgrave Road, or use public transport or a car to get down there for a wander.
The Golden Mile refers to the whole of Belgrave Road. There is certainly something special about this part of the city, and in fact the road itself runs along the line of an ancient road from Roman times that linked Leicester with Lincoln.
This type of magical occurrence takes place in different locations around the country, and you can certainly tell that there has always been a rich tradition of commerce and culture on this road.
Golden Mile Jewellery & Fashion
Along the Golden Mile you’ll find the largest concentration of traditional jewellery shops from India (outside of the sub-continent). It is for this reason that it has gained the name ‘The Golden Mile’, as the road is full of some of the finest examples of jewellery shops, selling traditional designs, as well as stunning examples of modern Indian jewellery design.
Whatever the occasion, you can find exquisite jewellery and pieces that can adorn any outfit, and any event with style and grace.
Not only that, there is also a rich selection of high-end Asian couture in some of the boutiques and clothing stores found along the street. This is ideal if you are looking to match up some jewellery you have just bought with some fashion choices for an upcoming wedding, part, or other big event where you want to make your mark.
Arinder Bhullar is one of the finest examples of high-end clothing along the Golden Mile, and has in fact created bespoke clothing that was used on the international film ‘The Black Prince’ and in 2010 was named the Best Wedding Designer at the International Asian Fashion Awards. This, alongside a whole host of other awards and nominations over the years ensures its place in the pantheon of fantastic Asian clothing boutiques in the UK.
Golden Mile Food
After wandering down Belgrave Road and taking in the sights, the smells, the colour, and the diversity of clothing and jewellery, you’ll notice that there is also plenty of other things on offer. What this means is that The Golden Mile can really entertain you for hours on end, and you’ll no doubt want to stop for a bite to eat.
There is more to the Golden Mile than just the jewellery and shops though, Leicester is also home to some incredible Indian food. Let’s look at a few of the option along Belgrave Road. Bobby’s is one of the longest-running restaurants in Leicester where you can get a really tasty vegetarian experience.
The focus is definitely on the quality of ingredients, and when trying one of the dahi puri’s you’ll long for the feeling to last forever.
The crispy bread shells are filled with chickpeas and spiced potato and covered in yoghurt. It is moreish and a real signpost that vegetarian cuisine can be tastier than any meat dish you can name. Chai Paani is another fine vegetarian restaurant along the Golden Mile and has won the Best Vegetarian Restaurant of the year at the Leicester Curry Awards 2019. The menu includes chips, wraps, and burgers, all with a South Asian slant.
Away from the restaurants there are other incredible experiences to be had along the Golden Mile. At Sangam Pan House you can try out Paan, which is a taste like no other that you can experience for under a quid! Popats is home to a massive range of spices and vegetables to help you cook up a South Asian treat at home, whilst Sharmilee is home to some amazing sweets.
These sweets include Jelabi, which is a deep-fried flour and sugar syrup, and Mithai, which is a sweet made of condensed milk and sugar. If you have a sweet tooth and want to try something a little bit different, this part of Belgrave Road is definitely for you.
There are loads of great stores along The Golden Mile that bring Indian cooking, sweets, and other ingredients to your home, with specialists in the field happy to help you out if you are a newbie to this type of food. As far as restaurants go, there is no way we could possibly pick a favourite, and we would always advise that you sample as many as you can if you are living in student accommodation in Leicester and want to sample the local flavour.
The name of the game for many people in Leicester though is the quality of the curry houses. The Golden Mile on Belgrave Road is the place to be, and with the wide range of jewellery stores, fabric outlets, sweet shops, and BYOB curry houses, it’s a pretty cheap place to have a day out as a student living in Leicester.
We hope you enjoy your time in and around Leicester’s famous golden mile!