BRADFORD has been celebrating a double hat-trick after picking up its sixth successive title as Britain’s Curry Capital.

The four restaurants chosen to represent the district this year were Akbar’s at Thornbury, Aakash in Cleckheaton, Kipling’s at Greengates and Shimla Spice in Keighley.

Dill Butt, of Akbar’s, said: “It’s absolutely overwhelming. Bradford has worked very much as a community. They are a hardworking bunch and I think we take a great deal of pride in that.”

Mohammed Rafiq, of Kipling’s, added: “It’s a double hat-trick. Every year we outdo ourselves, creating a bid for the other cities to follow.

“Each year they are trying to keep up and each year we move forward.”

The district’s tourism team, Visit Bradford, helped organise the bid.

Tourism manager Tricia Tillotson said: “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t dare think we would win for a sixth time.

“We worked really hard on the bid and upped our game, knowing that the other cities would be following our past bids and using our blueprint.”

Asked whether they would run for a seventh successive title, she said: “Since year three, we’ve thought should we, shouldn’t we? We have, in the past, said to the organisers, ‘Would you like us to step down for a year’ and they say, ‘No, we want you up there to lead by example.’

“At this point, I’m not even thinking about next year. I’m enjoying the moment for a day and letting it sink in that we have won for a sixth time.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for culture at Bradford Council, said: “I’m over the moon. It’s a fantastic achievement, six years on the trot.”

Bradford’s bid this year involved a curry-themed Olympic games with cadets at Thornbury Barracks, ex-offenders and volunteers planting edible gardens and a garden party at City Hall to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The bid raised more than £1,000 for the Curry Tree charitable fund.

Supplying the sweet treats at the garden party was local Asian bakery Yaadgaar.

Abdul Ghafoor, of Yaadgaar Bakery, said: “We were proud to represent Bradford. We are a Bradford company and we have been operating since 1983.”

Judges praised the cooperation and community spirit of Bradford’s 2016 bid, saying it was a “well-deserved victory”.

But this year’s awards have been tinged with sadness after the death of awards founder Peter Grove in June.

His widow and awards co-founder Colleen is continuing his work as a lasting tribute to him.