Remember I mentioned York in my Glasgow post?
We stopped there on the way back to London on Saturday. We left a sunny Glasgow, entered a rainy north of England, and nearly scrapped the plan, thinking it wouldn't be fun to traipse around a rainy city.
Thankfully, the sun came out just when it needed to. There had been some seat-shuffling on the train so that 4 children could sit together at a table. Everyone was happy until a Finnish woman, who was sitting with her son behind us, demanded her proper seats opposite Mum and me. So Dad and the other girl sitting with us around the table had to move. She was a miserable woman who visibly irritated her son every time she said something. She never smiled, he looked embarrassed, then she took off her shoes and played footsie with me. Not really, but I was forced to keep my feet as close to me as possible, as she made use of more than half the under-table space and kept kicking me when she moved - and NOT apologising for it.
So we were MORE than relieved to get out at York. Made a beeline for Betty's Tea Rooms. Oh how can I convey to you how precious that place is? It was founded in 1919 by a Swiss-Yorkshire family. Just like when I was there 5 years ago, I wanted to stay all day and just eat. The upstairs is all white wicker chairs and floral cushions. The downstairs is wood panelling and brass trim, which even extends into the luxurious bathrooms.
I have corrupted my parents! They were sooo pleased! Dad had a ham and gruyere melt, I had Yorkshire rarebit, and Mum had pan-fried salmon chunks and new potatoes on a bed of salad. For dessert Dad had a rich chocolate cake, Mum had 3 scoops of ice cream, and I had a banana, chocolate and cream crepes. The drinks were half the fun: Mum had a completely natural elderflower drink, I had the best Pimm's ever (like last time), and Dad had a tiny personal silver tea service of Ceylon Sapphire with cornflower (it had a honeyed character). Even the silver strainer was quaint and sat in a little silver bowl.
In the shop, I bought Chinese rose tea and Mum chose the Ceylon Sapphire.
Refreshed, content and recharged, we discovered the Gardens of the Treasurer's House, strolled around the Minster, and rambled around the Shambles. There was so much picturesqueness to take in!
Back at York station, we picked up our luggage and got right on to the wrong train, despite following the screen which said London Kings X on Platform 3.
The ultimate destination would have been Sheffield, but we were able to change at Doncaster for the correct train from York to London!
More annoyances there, as we had to find random seats. I sat at a table opposite an annoying Palm Pilot man who fenced me in with his legs, and beside one who smelt cheesy and kept stuffing his read newspaper pages beside me.
Mum sat across the aisle opposite a floppy-haired Gallic-looking man who kept staring at me and looking away every time I caught him. Dad was alright in his airline-style seat, but when I could take it no more, I craned my neck and spotted 3 empty seats around a table. We sat with a nice man who had just seen his brother graduate with an MPhil from the Glasgow School of Art!
The weekend has not yet sunk in. Perhaps tomorrow I will look back and exclaim, "Gosh, did I just do that???"