Tag: fish and chips

A weekend in Whitby – part 1

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that part of my birthday present from the husband last year was a weekend in Whitby. You don’t remember? You don’t memorise every post I ever share? I’m disappointed…

Anyway, with getting our flat ready to sell (i.e. painting everything shiny new and hiding all the bad bits with rugs and furniture) and then moving into our new house, and then holidays and general stuff, I only got around to cashing in my trip the weekend before last, having booked it a few weeks before. If you follow me on Instagram (what do you mean, you don’t? More disappointment…) you’ll already know a bit about my trip.

Headline – it was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best weekends away I’ve had in absolutely ages. I didn’t stop grinning like a loon and making happy noises all weekend. Of course, the fact that we had great (if unseasonal) weather helped a lot, because while the British seaside in the sunshine is quaint and enjoyable, in rain and cold it just involves dodging from amusement arcade to amusement arcade and stocking up at the off licence before snuggling in bed back at your B&B.

Where we stayed

The British seaside is rife with B&Bs, which can range from delightful boutique rooms to out and out scabholes (I’ve stayed in both types, over the years). Using Whitby’s association with Dracula as a basis for our stay, the husband suggested Bats & Broomsticks which is a themed B&B without being tacky or cheesy. With only 3 bedrooms it has a cosy homely feel (as homely as a room with a four poster bed and a bat hanging from it can feel!) and the décor is incredible; moody, gothic, snakeskin wallpaper, wooden fireplaces, stone gargoyles, leopard print towels, a basement breakfast room where a beautifully cooked full English breakfast is served by candlelight and eaten with cutlery with grim reaper carved metal handles. Very quirky, certainly an experience (a good one!) and it’s position at the top of a hill gave our legs a good workout too.

Where we ate

Fish and chips at the seaside is practically the law, and Whitby apparently has 2 entries in the top 20 fish and chip shops in the country in 2017. However, with the good weather on Saturday came lots of day trippers and tourists (like ourselves) which meant long queues and few spare benches or places to sit and enjoy our national dish. So, instead, we took position on an outdoor terrace at The Pier Inn, overlooking the bay, and had pub fish and chips, which was so so good (which shouldn’t have been a surprise; if you’re positioned by the sea you have to make sure your seafood game is strong).

On Sunday we ate at Abbey Wharf, on the opposite side of the bay, again sat outside on their upstairs terrace, and both ordered their seafood paella off the specials menu. It’s a dish that will live on in my memory for a long long time; huge chunks of white fish, salmon, giant prawns and so many mussels that we built a jenga style tower of shells by the end of our meal, all encompassed in creamy flavoursome rice. Just stunning.

I’ll tell you more about what we got up to in another post (I have a lot of pictures and stuff to say!) so look out for that. Until then, here are some photographs I took in the town.

Seagulls are rife, as you’d expect, which is another reason it made sense not to get fish and chips and sit on a bench! (we saw one man get swooped upon from a great height, and I don’t share food!) and you can just smell the sea. The town is on two sides of the port, connected by a bridge. West Cliff has a big beach and is probably more touristy (traditional amusement arcades and fish and chip shops), while East Cliff has quaint cobbled streets, cute shops and the Abbey. More on that next time!

Have you ever been to Whitby? Do you like the British seaside?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Days out: Black Country Living Museum

It was my Mother-in-Law’s birthday last Sunday so I suggested a trip to the Black Country Museum. M-i-L is in her 70s so has memories of some of the things there and, from a selfish point of view, I haven’t been for years and really fancied it!

The museum recreates life from the 1900s through to around the 1950s in the “Black Country”, which is the part of the West Midlands in the UK that was dominated by heavy industry during the industrial revolution and became known such because of the black layers of soot and coal dust which settled over the area. Legend has it that Queen Victoria drove through and lowered the window blinds on her carriage so not to have to look at the grimy landscape. Despite all that, people from the Black Country are known as “salt of the earth” – hard working, straight talking, down to earth people with no airs and graces.

I’m originally a Black Country girl, born in West Bromwich, although now I live in South Birmingham and have done for the past 10 years.

The museum has a range of “living” exhibits; houses reclaimed from demolition or clearance that have been painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick within their grounds; a working mine to demonstrate the conditions of miners during the industrial revolution, chainmakers, old cars, a running tram, an old fashioned fairground, chemist, bakery, sweet shop and general stores. Many of the buildings are manned by volunteers in period dress who will chat and answer questions and show the history of the time. Two of the main attractions are the pub (The Bottle & Glass) which serves traditional ales and the fish and chip shop which serves traditional fish and chips cooked in beef dripping and served in paper. I can confirm that they are very very good indeed!

There’s also an 1800s school where visitors can partake in “lessons”, a canal boat trip which takes visitors through the canal tunnels and into open caverns which were mined in years gone by, and horses being led along the street!

I think it’s so important for places like this to exist, and I do wonder what the future of them will be when the generation of people that remember some of the details first hand are no longer around. Considering a lot of kids these days don’t even remember time before mobile phones, I can imagine this is quite mindblowing for the younger generation!

Here are some pictures from the day.

The museum is great value at £16.95 for an adult ticket (or £15.95 if booked online in advance) and the ticket is also valid for a whole year, so you can return as many times as you like, which is ideal if you live not too far away, like me.

Have you ever been to the Black Country Museum? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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