So we went to York. We only had a day there, but we did the things one does in York - 'wow' at the Minster, which no matter how often you see it, still looks bloody spectacular); shove and kick German and Dutch and Japanese and American tourists out of the way in The Shambles (I don't think I've ever been surrounded by so many tourists in one place - as you can imagine, I loved every one of them); buy some pointless overpriced tat; eat well.
This latter brings us to the most amusing part of the break - our host at the B&B (previously mentioned for his remark when I made the original booking here). It's fair to say he lived up to expectations as a wonderfully entertaining cross between Basil Fawlty and Frasier Crane. You get the feeling that here is a man who secretly loathes his guests with all their asinine questions and requests, and so goes out of his way to second guess every eventuality by publishing his own guides and instructions on where to visit, what to see, how to behave whilst under his roof ("please allow time for your breakfast to be cooked - we do NOT own a microwave"; "you do NOT need a bathmat, your bathroom floor is specially treated to allow wetness, however if you REALLY MUST have one, feel free to ask and one will (grudgingly) be provided") and most important of all - where to eat.
So, after a short questionnaire to ascertain our specific tastes and dietary requirements, Frasier Fawlty proceeded to tell us exactly where we should dine that evening - from his own handpicked list of "recommended" eateries. He even went so far as to draw us a map and show us the menu on the internet. All very helpful, and polite, and amiable - if a tad patronising, in a "you're obviously far too stupid to be allowed to make a decision like this yourself" kind of way. But anyway, though we did go as far as to check out his recommendation... we ended up choosing another restaurant a little further up the same street. And a mouthwatering repast we had there too. But Louise, of course, just couldn't wait to confess to FF our willful disobedience...
"You went where?!? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!"
"We really enjoyed it."
"Yes, well, I'm afraid I had to strike that particular establishment from my list after our last experience there when I'm certain he served me reheated duck. And when I questioned his culinary credentials, he had the temerity to tell me, 'it's duck, sir - duck is supposed to be pink!' - as though I don't know what colour duck should be! The outrage! The absolute outrage! Needless to say, we won't be dining there again..."
I can still see him, shaking his head in my rear view mirror as we drove away from York... and on to Beverley, of which more tomorrow. Probably.
Oh, it's good to be back.