Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIARY 116 ~ Holiday in Whitby & York

Before preparing for the exhibition, Jnanasalin and myself took a holiday, five days in Whitby and a weekend in York. The days in Whitby were filled with conversation,coffee, history, lovely food, more cake then walks. The apartment we stayed at in Whtiby was huge, we were expecting just a pokey place, but it was a bit palatial, but also reasonably cheap!

St Mary's ~ One of my all time favourite churches

Part Church ~ Part Boat

Part of the fun for us, apart from visiting places of interest, is finding four good things; a good pub, cafe, vegetarian breakfast, and restaurant.  We eventually found most of them in Whitby, but some not till late in the holiday. The pub was the hardest. Whitby is quite a working class tourist destination, and most of the pubs are either plastic themed, or a bit rough and insalubrious inside, The best overall, was The Station Inn, a CAMRA pub, with good beer, half decent landlord and decor.

Whitby Abbey

The Ruswarp Viaduct

The cafe ~ well we often search for that unbeatable, and frequently unobtainable, combination of half decent coffee and cakes to die for, and are forced to compromise on one or the other. Sherlock's though a cut above most Whitby cafes could not beat ~ Marie Antoinette's Patisserie. The range of cakes was simply superb, and not just your run of the mill carrot cake, but superbly decadent affairs such as a raspberry cheesecake with a broken waffle sponge topping.

Taken on our six mile walk to Robin Hood's Bay

Restaurants were a mixed bag, good quality Thai and Curry houses. A not quite reaching the heights Italian called Luna Pena, with a seriously weird waitress.  The best veggie breakfast was at The Marine,who had over half their breakfast menu vegetarian. I don't think we've found that anywhere else in the UK. The very best meal we had was lunch in Sandsend at The Woodland Cafe, which was stylishly presented and tasted so good we were both astounded. Jnansalin had a Cauliflower Soup that was to die for, and I had a deep fried goats cheese fritter, with caramelised red onion, on a rocket, pear and pine nut salad base, both of which set the taste buds and superlatives rolling. This was more than worth the three mile beach walk there.

Once we'd decamped to York we began searching for the same. Three legged Mare ~ Best Pub in York. Mannions cafe, great for coffee and cakes. 31, Castlegate, provided simply the most superb quality restaurant meal either of us have ever eaten, anywhere. York had a Food & Drink Festival on that weekend, so, in comparison to Whitby it did feel rather frenetically busy and overwhelming by comparison. Also, getting a handle on York's street layout doesn't happen very quickly, so we did a lot of walking up and down trying to find 'that place we passed yesterday.'

With the Minster costing £15 to get in, we sought out cheaper places of interest to visit. We walked the entire length of the remaining sections of York's City Walls, which is actually a great way to see the city. We also discovered Fairfax House, which is quite the most stunning 18th Century Townhouse, with breathtakingly detailed  plasterwork and immaculate furniture.

The B & B, at Romley House, felt and was small after our Whitby apartment. Though this was more than made up for by our host Bruce. A lively Alsakan, he made us very welcome, and insisted on providing some bubbly stuff when he found out it was our Anniversary that weekend.  In retrospect, we perhaps might have found the contrast of seaside town and city easier to manage if we'd done York before Whitby, but that's a minor qualm.

Our First Anniversary cheers

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