Yes, this confirmed southerner has ventured north of the Watford gap. The verdict, it’s cold, it’s wet, there’s freezing fog – basically the same as London then. Clearly I’m a bit of a fraud, Nick is from just outside of Manchester so this isn’t my first visit beyond the bounds of the south. As he would say, it’s awright.
I’m writing this as he cooks a Moroccan dish recommended to us by our hosts, as were the two other meals that we’ve cooked this week. Local knowledge has extended to where to head in their recipe books and I’m all for it. Coupled with local beers and some unlocal ciders purchased from the Evil Eye shop, we’ve eaten well. Mainly due to a fabulously well stocked spice cupboard. Not to mention Lottie Shaw’s seriously good Yorkshire Parkin which does exactly what it says on the box.
The real reason(s) we are here though are two adorable fox terriers named Jake and Jeannie. Tintin’s Snowy is of the same ilk and, like him, they are extremely cunning and clever, but cute at the same time. We’ve been walking them on the Racecourse, something I find fantastic as I’d expect it to not be open to the public, let alone dogs. It’s also been full of frozen puddles that crack when you step on them in a most satisfying way and make the dogs skate around entertainingly too.
York is a fabulously touristy medieval city and the old buildings shrouded in the fog look even more moody lit by hazy Christmas lights. I’m reminded of both London and Edinburgh, but that’s mainly because of the signs for ghost tours everywhere I reckon.
We’ve not had a huge amount of time to see the sights so chose the Minster over the myriad of other attractions. We were lucky enough to get there just in time for a guided tour. Normally we prefer to just amble around aimlessly, but on this occasion we chose well. The guide, in his 70s I’d guess, said the word “breast” with the most lingering fervour. I’ve forgotten the rest. I guess we’ll just have to come back.