Confession time. Over the past few months, this blog has lost a little steam, due in big part to the daily grind just getting in the way. The last post? It was all the way back in August and though Sinead and I have gotten on with life, the stories we wanted to tell have had to take a backseat. We started this blog to update our friends and family back in Canada as to our lives overseas and until a few months ago I think we did a pretty good job. So I am announcing that we are back and will continue to share our stories with you on a more frequent basis!
So today's blog is short-ish and sweet and features a quick getaway to York, England. Let's begin.
In October, Sinead and I, locked in a perpetual state of stress over VISA applications, decided to take the 3-hour journey down to York for the weekend. After a peaceful 1.5 hour journey and a hectic hen-do-filled second leg, we arrived in York ready to explore. After dropping our bags off at the hotel, our first mission was to find some delicious eats. That wasn't too difficult, as we happened upon Shambles Market where it only took moments to discover Los Moros for some delicious North African wraps. With our bellies full of tasty treats we wandered off without a real plan of action, down the winding, busy streets of the Shambles. Straight from the pages of Harry Potter, the Shambles featured tiny independent shops and food stops, each business proudly hanging their shop name from their window. You could easily get lost down these narrow Diagon Alley-like streets.
Some definite highlights include the Yorkshire Soap Co., a white-walled mecca filled with soaps of every colour, shape and smell. For me, it was a sensory overload but for Sinead it was heaven. Next door we were treated to one of the most interesting shops either of us had set foot in. The Imaginarium, a shop filled with wonder and charm had us craning our necks in every direction, our eyes filled with childhood glee as the cinematic music of Narnia played in the background.
Our next stop was the National Railway Museum, a free and expansive set of buildings containing British trains and memorabilia from days gone by. Upon arrival, we quickly entered the first of many rooms, containing the old train carriages of the kings and queens of the past 200 years. After walking along each row we set on to the next room where we were treated to some spectacularly large trains sporadically set about in a massive hanger. This was set alongside a warehouse filled with train memorabilia. The museum claims to hold over 1,000,000 objects, which for any train enthusiast could keep you entertained for days. Sadly we only had a couple of hours as time was ticking on our 48 hours adventure.
Day 2 started with a meal at the Cosy Club. The decor featured a mixture of 1930's furniture and 1800's oil painting along with Union Jack flags and eccentric wallpaper. The place was the feast for the eyes, and the food was not too shabby either. As with most places in York, this place had such a friendly and quirky personality. Then it was a quick coffee at Brew and Brownie before heading out for a chilly walk inside King's Manor Square, a small oasis away from the bustling crowds of tourists. Sinead was told that the squirrels in the Square were quite friendly, however, I remained cautious while Sinead placed her hand out to greet the furry-tailed creatures.
York is also well known for 3 things: York Minster, the Roman Wall and Betty's Tea Room, so of course, we visited all 3. We opted to poke our heads into York Minster instead of challenging the 275 stairs. As for the Roman Wall, we walked along its ancients stone appreciating the incredible craftsmanship and beautiful views of the city. And finally, Betty's, an institution for afternoon tea. On any given day you could be standing outside its doors for hours waiting to get a table, luckily we learned of Betty's second location where a quick wait of 10 minutes (indoors) had us seated and enjoying a small selection of Betty's offerings. Our night ended at a very local no fuss restaurant called Barabakan. Having reserved a table earlier that day we were seated in a comfy booth lined with colourful pillows and eclectic tableware. The meal was relaxing and un-hurried and Sinead and I were treated to some delicious offerings of Polish perogies and slowly roasted beef cheek. It goes down as one of my favourite meals in a long long time. After the rest a relaxation of our final dinner in York we grabbed our bags and headed back to the train station, ready for the long 3 hour night journey home.