Tales Of York

Discovering York

Despite us hitting the sack early enough, (It is considered early when nocturnal humans like us doze off by 1 at night) after our adventures from the previous day (which you can read about, HERE) none of us woke up before 11 in the morning the next day. After failed attempts at getting in touch with Alex, we decided to freshen up and head out for a quick breakfast at McDonalds.

I know, so very touristy of us.

As we headed out, unaware of where to find the nearest McDonalds, our trusted Google Maps came in handy. Not only did it lead us towards our food destination but it also allowed us to see a bit more of York albeit with a grey and cloudy sky as the backdrop.

Just as we caught sight of the fast food chain, we had a change of heart and headed towards a pretty in pink cafe that served High Tea.

The cafe was called Bullivan of York and I would definitely recommend it to anyone headed to York. With pastel pink walls and delicately painted porcelain tea pots and cups, lavender hanging from one side of the wall and water paintings decorating the other side, the cafe oozes coziness.

Sullivan of York

While I chose the Cranberry Sauce and Chicken Sandwiches, Mary decided on a Chocolate Scone with Chocolate Cream and a Chocolate Milkshake and Dipa went for the Traditional (Vegetarian) English Breakfast.

Cranberry Sauce And Chicken Sandwiches

Chocolate Scone with Chocolate Cream.

Traditional (Vegetarian) English Breakfast.

Our appetites satiated, we headed out to see more of York. By this time, the sun had decided to come pay a visit which was wonderful since it made our little tour around York brighter and more delightful.

We headed out to visit the York Minster which was basking in its ancient glory and soaking up the sun just like we were.

York Minster

As we walked around, we stumbled across some beautiful sights. It was a treat for the eyes to see such a burst of colours in the landscape of York. I have to say, the winding alleys and roads of York along with the picturesque landscape it is situated in, is one of the many reasons I love the British terrain and its towns.

Dipa who quite enjoys visiting churches and being surrounded by the peace and calm the churches provide, had us following her into one such Church.

Having spent a few minutes taking in the calm and tranquility of the church, we then headed back to the Museum Gardens to soak up the sun and just relax. Once the bugs started to bite and Dipa and Mary screamed one too many times about spiders, we decided to go visit Clifford’s Tower which is all that is left of the York Castle.

Clifford’s Tower.

Funny story while we’re at it. Upon coming across Clifford’s Tower, none of us could fine a way to climb all the way up. So I ran up having noticed grooves trailing all the way to the top of the hill. Just as I reached the top, panting for breath, Dipa and Mary found the staircase. If it hadn’t been for our wonderful observation skills and my lack of patience, I would not have been gasping and gulping down water.

(Note to self: Get back into shape)

We then walked inside only to be enveloped by the history of the castle and the story it housed within its circular walls.

Once we wandered around and had read up on the parchments of information plastered all over the walls of the Tower, we decided to go up to enjoy the view from the top of the tower and boy was it spectacular.

We had a beautiful view of the entirety of York and for a moment, we just stood there, taking it all in, the breeze playing with our hair, annoyingly plastering it across our faces.

( I think…THINK…I could get hired for sarcastic melancholic/poetic statements.)

We then headed for lunch, our ravenous tummies demanding we pay attention to the grumbling. We decided on Chinese food and over ate to the point that we sat there, unable to move for two hours. While Dipa and Mary wiled away the time talking, I made better use of the time and dozed off on the restaurant table for the two hours.

Hey, no one can say I don’t have my priorities in life set straight.

Soon though, it was time to check out and head to the station where we would board the train back to London.

All in all, York was a delightful break from our PhD’s and Masters and the bustling busy life in London and I am glad I got to experience the magic of this town.

From left to right; Dipa, Mary and yours truly.


Times of York

Despite living in an intercollegiate hall solely for postgraduate students, there was an exception this year and the hall was housing quite a few undergrads as well.

Of this bunch, there were a few that I became extremely close to over the course of the year and when they left, one by one, the hall became a lot more quieter, a lot less crazy and I missed it as did many others.

So…we decided to go pay one of our favourite and most adorable undergrads, Alex, a visit in his hometown, York.

We planned on spending two days and a night there. Once he found out, the excitement level went up a notch and I couldn’t wait for the day to arrive when I could run up to my Little One and wrap my arms around his bony frame.

Tickets and hotel room booked, Dipa, Mary and I set out early morning to catch our train from King’s Cross to York.

And so the journey began !

From the moment we sat in the train, our adventurous trip started, so to speak.

When it was time to get off the train, somehow, Mary and I (resident klutz’s of the hall) got locked in while the train started shunting, getting ready to depart. Dipa, oblivious to our small panicky situation, was chilling on the station with no phone or laptop. SOMEHOW, we got out and thank god we did for I had no intention of wandering around Sutherland.

Having departed the station, we walked to our hotel, to drop off our bags and wait for our taxi that would drop us off at Alex’s house.

Despite very detailed and accurate directions provided by Alex, we found ourselves lost when it came to finding his apartment. He gave up and came out to look for us only to realise, we had wandered off in the opposite direction. Once we saw each other, us three girls ran towards him and gave him a big tight hug. At that point, any passerby would have considered him to be quite the lady killer.

Think about it…two PhD students and a Masters student travel all the way from London to York to meet an undergrad. He must have some tricks up his sleeve, am I right ?

Alex’s house.

We walked into his beautifully decorated house, to be welcomed by his parents, who were so incredibly warm and nice to us.

After playing one too many games of Jungle Speed and Articulate while the food cooked (which Alex had almost ruined; he was planning on cooking lunch for us, but ‘something’ went wrong and his parents had to take over), we headed to the dining room where I got to meet and play with their adorable labradors.

The lunch was extremely delicious. It was a traditional English Sunday Roast with roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, boiled peas, carrots and gravy. I couldn’t get enough of the food. Plus, the gravy was spectacular.

Once we had cleaned up our plates, we were served dessert which I kid you not, was out of this world. It was chocolate cake served with blueberries and my oh my, I could have eaten the entire thing if I had my way.

Our bellies full of amazing food which was a welcome break from the barely edible food served at the hall, Alex gave us a tour of his house and then volunteered to show us around his town.

He took us to the Museum Gardens which had a quaint air to it with half burnt pillars of the castle still standing strong.

We then walked around and past the Ouse River and had a small glimpse of the centre of the town before being dropped off at our hotel since by then, we were quite tired.

River Ouse.

We said bye to Alex who was quite unsure if he would be able to meet us the next day.

Once in our hotel room, all three of us, without saying much, changed into our pjs, got into bed and dozed off till late evening.

Upon waking up and having shaken off the last traces of sleep, we dressed up and headed out for dinner, our appetites having woken up with us.

We decided on Kashmiri cuisine since Dipa kept insisting on it. This turned out to be a bad idea cause all the dishes we ordered were too sweet and by the end of it, we just didn’t want to eat or finish it. The food wasn’t bad, but the overt sweetness didn’t work well in our favour.

Upon leaving the restaurant, we all agreed it would be fun to go out for a midnight stroll. The sky looked spectacular with hues of blue and grey and the weather was perfect for a walk around town and thats exactly what we did.

Our midnight stroll involved some midnight goofiness with all of us climbing on top of benches decked with flower pillars.

Greek and Bong divas.

And then there’s me.

We were looking for a bar with good music to spend some time at and soon enough, found ourselves walking down the stairs of Sotano.

We seated ourselves in a basement of sorts with blues music filling the air. While Mary got herself a drink, Dipa and I chose to pass on the alcohol.

The band playing music.

After spending a good hour or so at the bar, we headed back to the hotel, very sleepy but happy with our first day in York.

We decided on waking up early, so that we could have ample time on our hands to go see more of York before catching our train and soon zonked out, our exhaustion getting the better of us.

To find out what happened next, stay tuned Mavericks!