Thursday 10 December 2015

A Festive Weekend in York

A couple of weeks ago, we were lucky enough to get a bit of time off work and plan a weekend in York. It has been on our list for so long, and we realised that the best time to explore the town would be when the Christmas market is on!

We realised though that we wouldn't want to just do the Christmas market (Yes, we never stop). So we booked tickets for the Jorvik Viking Centre on the first day. It was fascinating! I love learning how people lived a long time ago and the staff there were really helpful and enjoyed a chat when they could. I would recommend to not go when you're feeling a bit under the weather as they re-create the smells as they would have been at the time, and let me tell you that it was not nice...!

The good thing about the Christmas market in York is that it's a bit everywhere. So after leaving the Jorvik Centre, we took our time and strolled around the narrow streets of this beautiful town, finding here and there some stalls and small huts with handmade goodness or crafty items.

At the end of the day, we had a few Christmas presents in our bag, and we felt really relaxed and content to be there. The atmosphere was just great. It's hard to explain but sometimes you just feel good about a place, and that was the case. We stayed in a B&B called the Lighthorseman just outside the centre, and it was perfect as it only took us 10 mins to walk back. Plus, the room was really nice for the price and the bed very comfy.

Not pictured here is the fabulous dinner that we had at Côte Brasserie... I still remember the tasty praline crêpe I had for dessert!

What I'm not showing here as well is how many beers Jason had during the night and how sick he felt in the morning! He couldn't even finish his breakfast at Café Rouge, so naturally, I sacrificed myself and ate the delicious baguette...!

Also, have you seen this morning light?! I was over the moon that the weather was on our side and that we actually managed to walk around town without an umbrella at the ready. York Minster was imposing and a treat to the eye. We didn't explore inside as we had to pay but I would definitely recommend it!

After breakfast, we hit the main market on Parliament Street and went straight after to Barley Hall as we'd booked tickets previously. Completely different from the Viking era exhibited at the Jorvik Centre, this stunning building has been renovated to show how people were living in York during the reign of Henry the VIII. There were loads of descriptions and details about their habits, diets, beliefs... And although I didn't read them all, the exhibition itself is enough to give you a good idea of the customs of the time.

We happily spent the afternoon shopping for more Christmas presents (Jason was feeling much better after a massive burger for lunch), and the moment it started to get cold, we found some warm seats together with hot chocolate and mulled wine at Thor's Tipi. No need to tell you how nice the atmosphere was inside the massive tent. Loud, joyful and warm. The best.

Before leaving, we made sure to walk around the park as the sun was going down. In a way we were pleased that it was getting dark as the lights around the historical buildings were really nice and they made them look even more theatrical.

Just talking about it now and seeing the photos again makes me want to go back immediately. What a great weekend! People, you need to visit this place!

Now, I'm going to watch another Harry Potter and drink another hot chocolate ;)

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