Sunday, 10 August 2014

York Part II

The long awaited sequel has finally arrived! York, day two. Essentially the day consisted of wandering, eating, and more wandering.

We scraped ourselves out of bed in the morning, taking ourselves close to the Shambles (a very, very, narrow street!) to Filmore and Union. It's a chain around Yorkshire, serving healthy breakfasts and juices.

Starting with a high fibre, high vitamin juice was all well and good, but sadly our breakfast wasn't particularly great. My order was wrong, and it took 45 minutes for it to arrive. Dave's was cold. We didn't have to pay for it because we complained, but wouldn't be going there again! Straight on further into the Shambles we went, with a beautiful view of York Minster:

Stopping to buy some fudge on the way!

We were tempted in by the claims that 'my fudge is like taking a bite out of an angel's face'. We bought two blocks, 'nuf said. Then onto a quick wander around the Minster- we sadly didn't take a tour inside due to limited time!

Then, the best part of the day: Betty's Cafe Tea Room. Betty's has been around since the 1920's and was originally based around a cruise ship tea room. It's not cheap, but the experience of having high tea at this place is truly second to none. You can't book, but the queue usually only takes about 20 minutes. Well worth the wait!

We went for afternoon tea for two. 

The tea arrived first- and we were very much ready for it!

It wasn't long, however, until our fabulously arranged tea arrived. Finger sandwiches, the best scone I've ever had, clotted cream, jam, and a mixture of more dainty cakes.

Fresh fruit tart, lemon macrōn, (or your spelling of choice!) and a coffee tirimisu style layered cake. The best of the three was definitely the tart!

With our faces full of the best afternoon tea we've ever had, we skipped along to the attached shop and bought their home blend of coffee, and plenty of tea bags.
After a walking that all off, we jumped on the train home. A very short break, but crammed with some very worthwhile plays and the best food we've had in a while! 

Have you visited York? Any recommendations for a return visit?


Thursday, 24 July 2014

York 20/07/14

Due to various bits of work going on, Dave and I probably won't be going away on a week long holiday abroad this year. So we've decided, instead, to take a few weekends away across our lovely isle. The first of these was York.

In my final year (which begins in less than three months, sheer terror) I'll be studying medieval plays, beginning with the York and Wakefield mystery cycles. They depict biblical sequences from the back of wagons, and every four years various drama companies, churches and schools of York take on the task of recreating one of many episodes, from Adam and Eve to the Last Judgement. This year is one of those years, so we thought what better than an extended visit to the city to see my studies in action whilst sampling far too many restaurants along the way?

Once off the train we went straight to Brew and Brownie. We'd pinned this on our 'York' board and read all about the various platters they had on offer. We went with the 'ee bah gum' board (which if you're not from the Lincolnshire/ Yorkshire area, will make 0 sense!) made up of smoked, blue and soft cheeses, a hefty chunk of pork pie, Yorkshire ham, artisan breads and pickles. Very good indeed, especially washed down by their speciality lemonade. The only annoying thing was the lack of air conditioning in summer heat, but you can't win them all. We meant to return to BB for the lovely selection of cakes they had on offer, but the trip being a short one we didn't get a chance!

After having our fill, we set off for the plays. I took hundreds of images but have kept only two for your viewings eyes, partially as I have no idea of the copyright functions and also as I'd hate to bore anyone to tears. The plays were in two parts, 7 in one section, 5 in the other. Each plays is dragged onto the grass by the players themselves, and was a really refreshing staging method. Our favourites were 'The Fall of Man' played by GCSE students. Satan was played by a guy in a suit holding a snake puppet through a tree, giving it a hilarious twist to a potentially pretty sombre topic.

After 5 more plays and a Costa break, in which I overheard an American lady asking if the pictures of  Italy on the walls were of York, we went back for the final instalments. I must preferred the first half, as I've always thought the Old Testament stories are a bit more juicy! The best of the second half however was definitely 'The Last Judgement'. It was difficult to completely grasp what was going on, mainly due to the extensive use of screaming to represent tortured souls (a bit much if I'm honest!), but the costume and staging completely made up for that. The style was Victorian Steampunk, and was immaculate. I loved the link of the Victorian themes of degeneration and cruelty with the biblical story. Note the little child in the corner, who held up a sign saying 'hungry and homeless' throughout, to represent the contrast of Victorian high society and poverty.

After our fill of the arts, we naturally needed more food. We had dinner at Cafe No8, a small but lovingly proportioned bistro just left of the Museum Gardens. I started with Pate, served in a plant pot!

Dave had pulled beef terrine with wasabi mayo. He loved it, I wasn't so keen. We weren't entirely sure whether the thyme on top was entirely edible. Ate it anyway, I live to speak the tale. As a wise man from Masterchef once said, there should never be anything on the plate that isn't completely edible. Here here!

Oh my goodness. The main. We both had belly pork, pigs cheek, celeriac and potatoes gratin in an elderflower jus. Words can't describe. Well, they can-  juicy pigs cheek, an entirely new one for both of us. What I like to describe as sexed up fancy coleslaw was also a lovely accompaniment to a deep meat dish. The potatoes were also lovely, and not too garlicky.

We both also finished with bannoffee pie. Toasted pecans on top gave it a lovely crunch, the there was plenty of biscuit and caramel. The bananas were dressed in lemon which Dave thought was a bit strong, though I liked the contrast with the intense sweetness everywhere else. 

We skipped away from the Cafe onto the hotel. It really was a lovely first day in York- though the second day was very fabulous, especially with our visit to Betty's. Will leave that for another post, so goodbye for now!


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Tailors @ Warwick

Hello hello!

6 months since a previous post. So very shameful. I tend to find myself blogging once university is over, during the summer. I also find myself consistently thinking when out and about, cooking, or enjoying happy moments, 'wouldn't this make a great blog post?'. I am constantly reading up on my favourite blogs, envious of their consistency and effort in writing. Well here I am, having visited a truly lovely restaurant in Warwick with my very favourite person, making myself finally get back into something which I think of so often.

Without further ado, we discovered Tailors via TripAdvisor. We have planned for a while to visit the lovely little market town of Warwick, as I'm considering doing my postgraduate there. After getting my second year results back, my parents sent Dave and I a little pocket money to treat ourselves to dinner. We felt going to another Ask Italian wouldn't really do Warwick the justice it deserves. Tailors is a very cosy restaurant tucked into Market Square, which we managed to find after the realisation I'd typed in 'Market Street' to google maps. We were welcomed by one of two owners, who waited for lunch service, and seated in the window on our own little table. When I booked, I was asked if I had any allergies and was assured there weren't any peanuts- always good news! We went for the Lunch set menu, which for a fair price of £15 you receive a drink and two courses. Compare this to your average chain and it really is fantastic value.

We both had the same- Salmon followed by Steak. First off, il vino:

Considering how flustered and hot I was after thinking I'd booked a place at an imaginary restaurant, it went down nicely. This was followed by bread (pumpernickel and cheese) with salted and unsalted butters- all included!

The starter, as previously mentioned was 'Salmon Sandwiches'. So, so, so good. The dressing and various addendum on the side was marv.

Our mains were both steaks. There was an option to upgrade to fillet, but we stuck with the rump and were not disappointed. I had mine medium rare but regretted it- Dave's was beautiful and I missed out a little on tenderness. Still delicious though, particularly the chips on the side. We agreed it could have probably done with a sauce, though with the pricing of the menu we felt it was lovely as it was. 

The owner who served us was fantastic, giving us advice of where to look around the city. We visited St Mary's Church, which was beautiful, and also went on to a cute little deli called 'Barker's' to buy some cheese and bread for dinner (which, I had to add, was also scrummy).

We're now enjoying the end of our Sunday of freedom and cooking up a barbecue after having demolished the rest of last weeks chocolate cake. Truly full, truly grateful!

Until next time (whenever that might be),


Monday, 6 January 2014

being thankful

Image courtesy of the holy grail of inspiration, Pinterest

This should really become a post written on a Thursday to provide the alliteration of a good blog- but hey ho, I've not been a bit of a naughty blogger lately. I've done a lot of reading but a very minimal quantity of writing, so I thought I'd attempt to begin a little series. A personal list of what I'm currently thankful for.

Though there is a lot of sucky stuff going on in the world, at the end of the day I think it really is important to step back and count your blessings. Without further ado:

+ My family. Having been at home lately and having this evening read a very teary post by Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter I've been reminded how grateful we all should be for the family we have. Both my Mum and Dad have done an incredible amount for me and I don't think I ever truly appreciate it. Parents often say that you can't completely understand that until you have your own little ones. I guess I'll wait and see!

+ Having my own little nest with my fellow person Dave. Having not the best time in halls in my first year of university and having said goodbye to my poppet for a little bit today makes me remember that I truly am very lucky to have a private place to call my own.

+ Having two jobs. I'm lucky enough to have part time jobs while at university meaning I can treat myself to little bits and bobs when I fancy them.

+ My health. There's enough suffering in the world to realise that not having any major health problems is something to cherish.

They're all quite generic, but I'm sure as I go along I'll be able to specialise!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 23 December 2013

Remembering Nana | Lunch at The Bentley Hotel

Today would have been my Grandma's 82nd birthday, but she passed away a few months ago. She loved The Bentley Hotel and we would always go for her birthday, so in her memory we decided to carry on the tradition! It was rather good indeed and I found it pretty irresistible to snap some memories. I know she'd be very happy we kept on with the tradition!

There was a huge Christmas tree in the foyer with gold and silver ornaments, very nice indeed! I took a photo of the entire tree but it looked pretty uninteresting, but close ups of the baubles are much nicer.

Myself and the famous Mama bear. We also went with my Uncle and Auntie, but I didn't know whether they fancied being on here or not. I wore a cami vest from Topshop and what I like to call my 'three wise men' necklace as it looks pretty snazzy. £7 from Forever 21, can't go wrong!

My Mum being all angelic started with a fancy fruit salad but I went straight in for the pate. My uncle asked me if pate was the same as corned beef, haha! It was bloody good though. Would have liked more toast and and a bit more of an exciting salad but hey ho, when you're getting paid for you can't complain! I wish I could have been more dignified but for the life of me I could not work out which cutlery to use first *slap on the wrists*!

Om nom nom carvery! I promised myself I would not get turkey knowing that it's pretty much going to be my staple diet for the following week but it just looked so good so I caved. I went double on the yorkshire puddings because I knew I'd be frowned upon if I went back for seconds... hehe.

I don't even care if this is sticking like superglue to the insides of my arteries, bannoffee pie should be a staple to all balanced diets. The combination of sickly caramel joy, whipped cream and a crunchy base literally makes me want to weep with joy. I could have eaten two of these. I'm defintely thinking my New Years resolution is going to be getting back into running, but something tells me it's going to take some training to get back to 5k in 25 minutes! Nothing that a go on Zombies Run can't achieve.

I think my Nana would have been very pleased with the meal this afternoon- there was plenty of cream and that was pretty much her favourite food item! We were all missing her but she did have a long and eventful life that we celebrated today. I thought it would be nice to end on some more decorations around the big old tree- isn't this whicker star cute? I cannot wait to have my own tree to decorate with Dave!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

a walk in the park | oops we did coffee again!

Today Pa lent me his beautiful FujiFilm X10 to have a play around with. I'm desperate for my own higher level camera, and this one does pretty much everything I would like albeit without interchangeable lenses. It truly is the most handsome looking camera though- all vintage looking with a leather handle. The pictures came out very nice indeed which is very well as Ma and I went out on another little adventure. Today we went for a walk in a huge local park/ lake, and I went a bit snap happy. Naturally we had to replenish ourselves afterwards so we ended up in Starbucks. Oops! So, without further ado, here is a documentation of my first full day off in a long while!

After a week of getting up at an ungodly hour I had a dirty lie in which for me is about 9.30. First things first was snapping a picture of this beautiful star decoration that Mumma Bear always hangs from the lamps at the top of the stairs. Isn't it snazzy?

Up until about 2pm I was hard at work like the good university student I am. We have a 2000 word project due on the history of the English language so I cracked out a good chunk of that. Result!

Half two and it's about time to go out. I had to do a typical mirror shot just to show you how ruddy beautiful this camera is. Look at it. Mwah.

The park is pretty much this, with the odd bench duck and dog running frantically in a flurry of leaves. It's not as pretty this time of year but nothing a cheeky bit of iPhoto enhance feature can't fix! The leaves were surprisingly green and it was lovely to be immersed in nature in contrast to the busy hum of university life.

Mother bear wearing MY hat!

The gates closing into the humongous lake. Yeah aperture priority! 

Obligatory wellies and leaves photo.

Et moi!

Try and take a picture of weird looking mushrooms and this is what she does. My mother is bonkers!

The sun made an appearance!

Ma's photography skills. Not too shabby!

All this was topped off with a cheeky cappuccino at Starbucks. They had these mugs in large on sale and I had to claw my hands back from buying them.

Om nom nom nom raspberry and white chocolate cookie!

And that's that for today! Ma is cooking the dinner while I'm blogging away. We're off to deliver Christmas cards around the village after tea- a day well spent!


Friday, 20 December 2013

goodbye to the little ones | coffee with mother goose | pretty things

Today was the last day of helping at my local Primary school. Santa visited and popped in presents, musical statues was played and Christmas cards were swapped. It's absolutely lovely to see 20 little faces beam with the sound of bells from Father Christmas, especially when remembering my own childhood so well! I received another Christmas card which was particularly cute as the little beans don't know what to call me- the older children know me as Miss Jenkinson and the little ones as Emily, so I tend to get an amalgamation of the two in my cards!

 Mrs Emily and the hands of Mother Goose

After leaving early (they finished at half two today) myself and ma popped off to a cutesy little restaurant come coffee shop in the neighbouring village. Not that I needed a coffee- I was on about 4 per day when on placement!

Ma looking substantially more glamorous than me

Hair in desperate need of a cut and the fifth coffee of the day

We always have a coffee each and share some form of cake joy. Today it was an absolutely delicious fudge cake come brownie come slice of angel wings which I really need to ask the recipe for!

After that we popped out of the lovely eatery and went next door to a decoration/ arty/ generic pretty things shop reminding me of my desperation to finish my degree, do my teacher training and earn proper money so I can skip through Dunelm Mill buying extreme quantities of blankets and trinkets.

I don't know why I need doorknobs with bicycles on them for £5.25 a piece but I want them all. Now. 

These are definitely necessary in life. Who wouldn't find a use for spoons with the word 'love' indented on them? 

Ahhhh dreams of cream sofas with tartan rugs!

Then off we popped home after some mother and daughter bonding. I'm now sat on my cherished Mac wishing my photos were of better quality. Need me a compact DSLR! Maybe I should go and find the address of Santa from today and ask. Bye for now!