Beijing

How can I follow Anita’s fantastic Japan post? Continuing with the Eastern theme, I’m going to share my experiences of Beijing. As a Communist country, I didn’t find the same magic Anita found in Japan, but China is captivating in its own right. So here are … Continue reading

Japan

When the lovely, unicorn-loving illustrator Anita Perry said she was heading to Japan with her equally lovely new husband, we all agreed there could be no better honeymoon destination for the quirkiest girl we know! I’ve persuaded her to write a guest … Continue reading

York

I spent a wet and windy weekend in York with The Boy this autumn, and it blew our expectations out of the water! York is unlike any other city I’ve visited, and is more than worthy of being the subject of a blog post, so here goes…

A friend of ours from Doncaster recommended The Star Inn The City pub, and its cosy lounge, in its riverside setting close to the city’s Museum Gardens, gave us some respite from the cold. The food looked incredible, however as we already had dinner plans based on a recommendation from another friend, we confined ourselves to wine and coffee (both fantastic), and gazing lustfully at everyone else’s food. We had dinner at the Mumbai Lounge, an Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant in the heart of York – I’m a vegetarian, so I never expect my restaurant reviews to be respected by carnivores, but WOW this place is amazing! The Boy says his curry was the best he’d ever eaten. Bold statement, I know.

We spent a great morning at the National Railway Museum, and I wholeheartedly recommend this! I confess I’m a total history geek, and lover of all things vintage, so wandering round original royal carriages and exploring the stories of 100-year-old restored steam trains, was a little piece of heaven for me. HOWEVER… The Boy does not share my enthusiasm, and still had a good time, there is so much to see, and if I still haven’t convinced you, there is some really good cake in the tea shop!!

If shopping is your thing, York has plenty to offer. I could have spent all day in Demijohn’s – This is a “liquid deli” where you can try stunning oils, vinegars and a huge selection of drinks from their ‘demi johns’, and take what you fancy home in attractive bottles with hand-scribed personal messages. At home our nearest Demijohns store is apparently in Oxford. We may have to relocate!!! A visit to “The Shambles” is a must. This narrow, cobbled street is over 900 years old, and the slanting higgledy-piggledy roofs of the buildings lining it almost meet above your head. It’s an eerie reminder of the past, and retains an element of mystery and intrigue, however nowadays it’s the home of shops, cafes and tourist attractions, and it gives its name to a brilliant market.

Now for a ‘marmite’ comment… I’m a big, unashamed fan of using Premier Inn for city breaks in Britain. OK so it might not be my top choice for a special occasion, but I honestly think you can’t beat it for a night or two on a tight budget, and if it helps you to experience more of this amazing country (and leaves more spending money!), that must be a good thing right?! We paid £70 for 2 nights in York, with free parking, just a few miles from the centre – Brilliant. So if random city breaks feel a bit out of reach, it’s worth looking at local budget accommodation.

York is a beautiful city, and a great place to visit. We hope next time to head up in summer, to picnic in the gardens, check out the museums, and refill our bottles at Demijohns of course!