Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Whitby Jaunt, Part One

WARNING! Entirely non-garden related post!

With my birthday coming up, the other half and I decided we'd plan a couple of nights away somewhere relaxing, so after some umming and ahhing about various places north and south, we decided on Whitby. For those who haven't had the pleasure of a visit, Whitby is a lovely fishing town on the Yorkshire coast. It can get quite touristy in the summer, and is famous for its fish and chips, but at this time of year it's fairly civilised. A well wielded google search should turn up all manner of historical shenanigans, should you be interested in such things. We've been a few times before and always found it to be a nice place to relax. A quick look around on the ever trusty Trip Advisor for somewhere to stay turned up Raithwaite Hall which seems to be a modern take on a country house hotel. More on that later.

The Mother In Law kindly agreed to look after That Baby for a couple of nights, and so we've set off with bags packed, and only a fairly mild dose of the predictable procrastination and general faffing about that seems to be a natural part of such departures. We broke the journey down by stopping off for lunch at Ibrahim's Cafe in Middlesbrough. It's fairly close to my office, so I've had take out from there before, but I've never had the chance to sit down and take my time. The food there is great, and very reasonably priced. They do a very nice seekh kebab roll which is worth sampling if you happen to be in 'Boro.

The rest of the journey down was lovely. It had been snowing earlier in the day, but the weather had cleared up and we drove over the moors in bright, clear sunshine. I love that part of the drive to Whitby. Provided you don't end up stuck behind someone tootling along at half the speed limit in their Nissan Note, it's one of the most enjoyable roads I've driven. At some point before you get to Whitby, the road that leads to the hotel forks off on its own into the moors, then winds quite steeply down into the village of Lythe (I think. Google maps none too helpful on this point) where the road ran right hard against the seafront. The sea was a textbook illustration of iron grey, angry water. As we waited in a small queue of traffic for our turn to go over the single lane hump backed bridge that crossed an inlet, the sea was smashing into the tidal wall next to us, covering the car in sheets of spray. All very exciting.

Not long after this we made it to the hotel. After meandering up a fairly lengthy driveway, past a few ongoing expansion projects, we arrived at a very pleasant looking building made from honey coloured stone. I suspect that in few years time it'll look like it's been there for ever. Even more more impressive still was the huge Rolls Royce that was parked outside the front door. I wonder if they'd let me drive it... After getting settled in and having the obligatory quick look at the hotel bar, we decided that it would be a marvellous idea to walk into Whitby. Only a mile and a half. Easy we thought! Cue high velocity sideways snowstorm. Very painfu...Bracing! Yes! Um... Ow. Luckily it took very little effort to find a cozy little pub with a log fire that we could slump next to and defrost. We didn't move from there for quite some time. The rest of the evening was enjoyably quiet and uneventful. A couple more pubs, some decent enough food, and then the decision that we couldn't be bothered with walking the return journey and jumping in a taxi. We shall now spend a thoroughly rock and roll night lying on the bed in our room drinking wine, reading, and being secure in the knowledge that we have a full nights sleep ahead of us without being repeatedly smashed in the ribs by the Incredible Hulk (A.K.A. That Baby). Tune in next time for another not particularly thrilling instalment of The Whitby Jaunt.