The ancestral spawning ground

Sunday. York. I went down with my brother - he was going anyway, for a model railway show (I have mentioned that he's into model railways, haven't I?) so he suggested I tag along. I did.

We met Andrew Hewitt's brother John at the station just before nine and rolled south through the deepening snow until the towers of the cathedral appeared in the distance. We passed Durham on the way, and as usual I wondered why I've never been there. I should. Soon.

The show was at the racecourse, and we wandered round it for a couple of hours and had some dinner. Some of the layouts were very good, but a lot of them didn't have much going on. My favourite was a very small one on a turntable a couple of feet across.

After lunchtime, we walked back into town and wandered around the centre admiring the buildings until about four, then went (in spite of my slightly unfortunate history with pubs of the name) to the Maltings to watch the snow start pouring down again, and then to the station for the train back.

There was a beer on sale in various places called Kwak, which is just begging (especially if you've heard Beyond the Fringe) to be described as "a bit duckie", and slightly too late I noticed a board advertising strawberry cider. Intriguing. Maybe next time. They like their churches down there - hundreds of the buggers, there are. The big one was a bit busy, it being Easter Sunday and all, so obviously I'll have to go back at some point.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: awake
  • Current Music: Something a bit dancy, but not what I'm looking for.
They claimed to. I didn't see it personally.

Any idea what it's like?
Yes, regularly and extensively. It's one of my favourite beers, if I find a bar with it on tap (eg, Gollem in Amsterdam) I drink it.
Wasn't on this weekend. Had some in the Old Nickel (beer hotel near Centraal Station) and barman mentioned old trick of not giving non-regulars the wooden stand (I'm only in there once or twice a year, and I got one).

Didn't make it to either Gollem or de Zotte this trip, though.

ETA: was confused - wasn't on in Wildemann this weekend, they were out.

Edited at 2008-03-26 02:10 pm (UTC)
As I grow older, I find that hardly any of the friends I had assumed to have been hatched in jam-jars actually were.

I don't know whether to be pleased or disappointed.

Edited at 2008-03-25 11:17 am (UTC)
I realise that one extra person saying so will make a negligible difference to whether or not it actually happens, but really, go to Durham. The cathedral is the sort of space that can make Jon shut up.
That is indeed top of the list of Places To Go In Durham. York cathedral looked very nice too, but was mostly out of bounds due to busyness.
I'm not sure that there's anywhere else that is a specific thing to be visited in Durham. There's the castle, but that's a college full of students and doesn't really have much castle-ness, except when considering it as scenery. Depends if you like sixties concrete architecture, which I rather do and sometimes get flak for. The student union building is this tiered thing that runs down the steep sides of the river, with a high concrete bridge connecting to the peninsula full of old stuff, and I like it. The river itself is a thing to see, too. Durham's not very big in horizontal directions but is well-endowed with vertical.
I know someone else who goes to train shows in York, Rupert Brown. Not sure if he was at that one but he has very nice trains. He has a track all round his garden and they come out from a hole in the wall of the house. Occasionally we've been allowed to go and watch the trains. I must ask if grandson can go and see them.

Yes Durham is one of the best looking UK towns from the train. So fleeting and mysterious, something I too should check out one day.

We have been known to hang out in a Belgian Bar. Try Brugge Blonde also. Although it has a more conventional glass.

I remember the racecourse at York... I was at the first (and I assume last/only) York Rock Festival in 1984. The only time I got to see The Sisters of Mercy live in their the rain. I think it was my first real rock festival. I was woefully unprepared for the cold wet weather and definitely wasn't dressed or feeling hip n trendy or even Kuel Goth/Indy/Rock Chick that day - I felt crap.

Glad to hear the train back wasn't cancelled due to snow on the line or something.
There's a good pub in Durham called the Dun Cow, the other.side of the Cathedral from the railway station. The Cathedral is stunning - go.

Central, underneath the Peartree serves Kwak, and in the proper glasses too.