Friday, September 14, 2007

York part 1

I was just about to ring S to see if she and P were about this weekend and would welcome a visit (P is in need of distraction right now), when she texts suggesting a night away. So having tracked down a couple of last minute hotel rooms, we each catch trains from our various points and head to York for the night.

Having dropped off our bags, we walk across town to one of very favourite eateries Cafe Concerto.

The decor is truly charming, with the 'music for your mouth' motif followed throughout. The walls of the cafe (and even the loos) are papered in sheet music, finished with colour washes.

I imagine someone like Kathryn would be in seventh heaven here, with trips to the loo forming an excuse to break in to a little bit of Mozart.

The food is excellent, though I have to say my fears about their attempts to harmonise duck in blackcurrant jus with potatoes dressed with goat's cheese, were well founded (one shouldn't always 'trust the chef', even when they're usually spot on, it seems). However, taking the approach of informally separating it into two sequential dishes resolved the problem in to two rather lovely courses.

P and I share a generous slice of Banana and Honey cheesecake and it's simply heaven.

After such a feast we decide a good walk around bits of the city and along the river is more than demanded to aid digestion.

Back at the hotel (last minute nature of trip had meant limited choices, but we'd decided to spoil ourselves and plump for the rather nice looking Royal York Hotel), P&S head off to their room in the garden wing (having now found an external route, that avoiding walking right through the middle of a wedding reception which was the unavoidable element of the directed route from reception) and I head to my first floor room in the main old part fo the hotel.

Now we knew the location of this old station hotel when we booked, and hey I live in a city and I'm hardly unused to a certain amount of night time noise, but I was unprepared for the level of lairiness that would keep me awake through most of the night.

Even taking extra 'migraine preventing meds' that normally knock me straight out failed to compete with the drunken shouting that broke any few minutes of drifting off I achieved.

I did consider calling down to see if another room was available, but the thought of trying to pack and move in my now drugged and over-tired state was more than I could contemplate. Besides surely it would cease soon, no?

Apparently not. It seems good old genteel York has become a destination of choice for stag and hen dos, helped it seems by trains that run through the night. As I tried yet again to find a way of getting my seemingly single glazed sash window to provide a better acoustic seal, I couldn't help but notice the police van and car that appeared to have permanent parking spaces in front of the station (below my window), which I guess should have been a sign.

Sometime after 5am I eventually managed to get some sleep.

Until about 7am, when deliveries started to arrive beneath my window.

I fear I did complain in the morning. I appreciate that there's not a whole lot the hotel can do about the noise outside, but I'm pretty sure there was more that could be done to soundproof the window (as it stood it made little difference whether I had it opened or closed). And if there isn't then frankly they need to stop charging an am and a leg for a room that isn't fit for sleep.

A 30% discount is offered by the deputy manager and frankly whilst it doesn't really compensate for how crap I feel after less than 2 hours kip, I'm too tired to argue.

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