Friday, 21 May 2010

Old York

Today, to celebrate my ma & pa's 27th wedding anniversary, we ended up paying a visit to one of my all-time (well... top ten) favourite cities. York is a wonderfully pretty old city that used to be the the capitol of England before London muscled in. The Vikings were pretty fond of old 'Jorvik', leading to it hosting a rather dodgy overpriced museum which somehow manages to attract hoardes of tourists. It's quite a lot like Edinburgh, except without the funny accents, although that is debatable. In my humble opinion, the best bit of York is The Shambles - all cobble pavements, street performers and secret little tearooms. 

It bears more than a passing resemblance to Diagon Alley in Harry Potter films, which is always a good thing. It also features some rather Hogsmeade-esque street names, the best of which being Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate - see below for photographic proof. I went out with the full intention of spending the none-existant money burning a hole in my pockets, but in the end I bought nothing but a cowboy mug, which is admittedly quite excellent. Here are a few snaps from our lovely day out...

This is a beautiful delicatessen named The Hairy Fig (which sounds like a euphemism if I ever heard one!) It sold the most delicious-looking food known to mankind, including a honey glazed dead pig from which they carved slices on demand - fresh, indeed. They also sold this rather novel package of tinned escargot complete with snail shells.

One of the tastiest attractions in York is Betty's, a very traditional English tearoom which first opened in 1919, and I don't think anything has changed much since. The interior is very grand Art Deco-style and I'm always quite envious of the uniforms the waitresses wear, which looks like something a Victorian parlour maid would wear to serve Ma'am her afternoon tea. The restaurant is pretty amazing, my favourite dish being the mouth watering Swiss Rosti, but sadly I wasn't feeling too flush today so the shop had to suffice. Much love to the adorable lady working there, who gladly let me take many photos for your viewing pleasure.

My lovely parents bought me a box of macaroons for my birthday, since they're pretty hard to come by in England. However, the suave man in Betty's informed me that they're best eaten with four days, so lucky me, I get to eat them early! I opted for the raspberry, pistachio and chocolate flavours - I am nibbling a pistachio one now, and I must say, it's rather delicious. 

You may stop salivating now.

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