In September my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. I can’t quite believe that it’s been 20 years, I mean people get less for murder! Only joking, we’ve had our ups and downs like any other couple, the highlight of our time together being our four wonderful (mostly) children.
Our wedding at Ripley Castle 20 years ago!
Since the twins arrived seven years ago, we’ve only had the opportunity to get away for the weekend once and that was to a friend’s wedding. It’s difficult finding people who are prepared to babysit four children for a full night! However with it being our 20th anniversary we pulled a few strings and managed to organise one night away. Living in North Yorkshire we are spoilt with fabulous locations, eventually we decided to stay in York, even though it’s only up the road. Firstly we didn’t want to waste precious time travelling to the hotel and secondly we didn’t want to be too far away if we needed to get home for any reason. York is a fantastic city, full of atmosphere, loads to do and is just stunning at all times of the year.
My lovely hubby decided to surprise me by booking a Heritage Suite at The Grand Hotel and Spa. Ridiculously expensive, but it was a special occasion. We arrived in York early and left our luggage with the concierge at the hotel, which was a surprise as we are used to being directed to the luggage room. We then headed into the city and did some of the York “touristy” stuff. I was really keen to avoid the shops as didn’t want to waste the day trawling round Primark! As it happened my husband had forgotten to pack half his clothes – so we had to buy him a shirt, but the process was quick and easy!
We then spent a lovely couple of hours looking around York Minster, it’s a while since I last visited and you can’t help being mesmerized by the workmanship. The Minster area of York is gorgeous and wandering up and down the Shambles is lovely. We then headed to The Guy Fawkes Inn for some real ale. The Inn is the actual place where Guy Fawkes was born in 1570, it has a fabulous restaurant lit by candlelight and as the sunsets the Inn is lit by gaslight.
We then discovered that York food festival was underway, in the centre. The food smelt amazing, but having just tasted alcohol at the Guy fawkes Inn, we opted for a large gin and tonic in one of the marquees. The area was buzzing.
It was now heading towards 3pm, which was the time we could book into the hotel. On arriving at The Grand Hotel we were informed that our room wasn’t ready, so we were taken to a room within the hotel for afternoon tea. This was all very nice, however we still weren’t in our room an hour and a quarter later! This was really disappointing, as we had our evening planned. After complaining several times we were eventually shown our room, which was lovely. We were also given a couple of glasses of Prosecco as compensation. However, to be honest we weren’t impressed and felt we hadn’t received great service, despite the hotel being 5 star.
After a quick shower we headed back into York and had a fabulous meal at Ate 0’clock. It was lovely and we spent a lovely time having cocktails and dinner. Later we headed back to the hotel. York on a Saturday night changes into a hen and stag night mecca, which changes the atmosphere of a daytime in York considerably. I suppose it makes for a lively night, but we chose an early night instead. To be honest the room was so expensive we needed to get our money’s worth!
Next morning we headed off to the Vanguard shopping centre in York, as I had some new glasses to collect from M&S. Spent a few hours shopping, then went to collect our children from their uncle and aunties, did they miss us? Not a bit, they had an amazing time.
Other than the hotel being disappointing we had a lovely weekend and I would recommend a weekend in York to anyone. If stag and hen nights are not your thing, you could book the theatre, go on a river cruise or book a ghost walk. There’s so much to do.