Some places just feel like returning home, and for me I think York will always be one of those places. As the city where I spent my student days, and some time afterwards, I got to know it very well and have some fantastic memories of my time there. Even though I feel completely comfortable in York, it still felt slightly odd returning after a little while and seeing the things that had changed. Whilst I had limited time to spend in the actual city (I was primarily there for a dance competition) I still managed to fit in some of my old haunts.
Copenhagen has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to go, and I’m not sure why as it wasn’t somewhere I knew much about. I can only blame my obsession with the Hans Christian Andersen film when I was younger… Anyway, James and I were looking for somewhere for a long weekend break and realised that we both had friends living in Copenhagen so it was the perfect time to go.
When you live so close to the Lake District, it can be easy to forget what a beautiful place it is to visit. I don’t visit it anywhere near enough, and each time I do I promise myself I’ll be back soon, which usually turns into many months later. The problem is that a lot of the time the weather isn’t fantastic, and when it is it becomes overrun with tourists making the roads busy and parking difficult to find. Luckily, I had the perfect opportunity to visit recently. The skies were blue, it was a weekday and it wasn’t yet the school holidays, so I jumped in the car and headed for Grasmere.
I think that brunch might be my favourite meal of the day. In fact, if I lived in a city and wasn’t spending as much money visiting places I could quite easily get into the habit of going for brunch every weekend. It’s nice being able to have a lazier morning, enjoy a big meal and then not worry about eating for the rest of the day, but still having plenty of time to do things. I also think that brunch is late enough in the day that you can follow up your meal with some cake, whereas breakfast is just a bit too early for that unless it’s a special occasion.
A few years ago before I was about to visit Spain for the first time, I made the mistake of admitting to James that I was worried about the food because I didn’t like tapas. He hasn’t let me forget it since, although I will now willingly admit that I really like tapas. Before I had properly experienced it, I thought it was all olives and calamari and other things that I would prefer not to have. However now I’ve been to Spain, and had tapas in the UK multiple times since, I can confirm that whilst I may not love those specific dishes, I definitely do not have a problem with tapas generally. Which is why I was pleased to hear that we would be going to a Spanish restaurant while we were in Manchester for the weekend, although it gave James another opportunity to tease me.
One of the best things about booking just a room in a hotel, rather than bed and breakfast, means that it gives you the opportunity to go out for breakfast. I love going out for breakfast or brunch, although I usually find my appetite is three times the size of what it would be if I was just having breakfast at home. Anyway, given the fact that breakfast wasn’t included in our room tariff, and the time of our trains, it made sense for me and James to go out for brunch when we were in Birmingham and following a recommendation from a blog we headed to York’s Café.
Birmingham is not somewhere I had ever really imagined going for a weekend away. Admittedly my only experience had really been changing trains at New Street Station, but it seemed large, overcrowded, noisy and the sort of place that I would usually try to avoid. However, it is a useful midway point between the north and south of the country, so a weekend in Birmingham was on the cards. A trip to Cadbury World was top of my list of things to do, but I hadn’t realised the abundance of other things that could easily fill a weekend.
I love food. I’m not quite sure when it all started because as a child I was quite a fussy eater, but I really enjoy food. When exploring somewhere new, or even somewhere familiar, one of my favourite things to do is look up places to eat out. Reading restaurant menus is great fun and if I’ve planned where I’m going in advance I’ll often know what I’m going to eat before I set foot in the restaurant. So much for spontaneity… Anyway, when it was decided that James and I would be heading to Birmingham for the weekend, I just couldn’t help but do some research which led to us booking a table at The Lost & Found.
When you’ve lived somewhere for several years, and have fallen in love with the city and the experiences you had there, it is very hard to let go. This is why I still spend an awful lot of time thinking about York, reminiscing with other people about York, and wondering when I can next go and visit York. Whilst I was staying with James over New Year, we started discussing the range of great restaurants in York, including The Yak and Yeti which had been one of our favourites. I haven’t seen a Nepalese restaurant since. However, when I was researching somewhere to eat in Bath after our trip to the Thermae Bath Spa, I stumbled across Yak Yeti Yak and there was suddenly no question about where we would be going.
Every so often when exploring a new place you will walk into somewhere and, despite having never been there before, will feel completely at home. This happened to me and James when we went for a long weekend in Bradford. On the first night we popped into Brew Haus for a drink thinking that it looked quiet and quite nicely decorated, and we ended up returning the next night. We could have quite easily stopped by again on our final night but decided we ought to try somewhere else whilst we were there.