Saturday 31 May 2014

Lunching Lady at Marco Pierre White

You may remember last week I wrote a post about how much I love Living Social.  I am constantly getting excited about the latest local deal and adding yet another to my bursting collection of vouchers.  So I was really happy when Living Social got in touch and asked me if I'd like to choose a deal to review and share with you all.

Being a fan, I'd already purchased a lot of the deals for the North East but as most of these are for cake or afternoon tea we decided it'd be nice to do something a bit different and go for a spot of lunch.   We were immediately drawn to the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill which offered a two course lunch with Prosecco for two people for £30.00.

MPW is attached to the Hotel Indigo close to the train station in Newcastle, I've had afternoon tea in the bar before but never been to the MPW restaurant.

Having spent Bank Holiday weekend apart, Simon and I decided to book Tuesday off work and use our voucher for a nice relaxing lunch and catch up.  There's something rather special about having lunch in a lovely restaurant when you should be at work.

From the moment we walked into MPW we were treated like important guests, our coats were taken off us, we were shown to our table and the waiters were so warm and attentive.  We were made to feel special which always makes for a really pleasant dining experience.

As I'm a huge fan of bread and don't often allow myself to overindulge on it at home we decided to add the bread basket to our deal for an extra £3.00.  I'm so glad that we did because the basket contained a very generous amount of warm bread and a pot of butter huge enough to allow me to spread each slice with a nice thick layer.   So good!

The Prosecco arrived at the same time and was a very welcome change to our usual boring drink order of diet coke!   I felt like a real "Lady that Lunches" sitting in such a lovely environment taking little sips of my bubbly.

We had three dishes to choose from for our main course and both went for the same - Chicken Risotto (apologies, I stupidly forgot to photograph the menu so I'm struggling to remember the proper names of the dishes).   It tasted absolutely amazing, the chicken was beautifully cooked and was sitting on a really rich risotto.   It was a very filling main course but we knew we had to keep a bit of room for dessert.

For dessert I chose a chocolate tart with mango sorbet and Simon had the panacotta with berries and brandy snap.   I was so happy with my choice. I've never tried chocolate and mango together before but it was a tasty combination.

We left the restaurant feeling very full but having had a lovely dining experience.   We will definitely be back and I have already had a little look at the Sunday Lunch menu.

Thanks so much to Living Social for treating us to such a lovely lunch.


Thursday 29 May 2014

I Used to be Fat: How I lost 9 stone

I'd like to begin by saying how much I hate the word "fat", however it is a word that became very important to me and the reason why I have used it as the title to this post.  Back when I was at my largest I could never describe myself as "fat", I was "chunky".  The word "fat" was a horrible, nasty, offensive and scary word that I never wanted associated with myself. The day that I finally accepted the word "fat" into my life was the day that I admitted that I had a problem and the day that I made the change. 

My weight loss isn't something I've really touched upon much on my blog, yet as it's briefly mentioned in my sidebar it is a question I get asked from time to time and it's a subject I very much enjoy talking about as I'm so proud of my story.

Today marks a very important anniversary - two years ago today I reached my goal weight, and was in my healthy BMI for the first time in memory.  When I started on my journey a lot of people warned me that those losing a lot of weight tend to struggle to keep it off when they return to "normal life".  Well I'd like to stand up and say that I am not one of those people, I am still at my healthy weight today and am living proof that anyone can do it. 

Before I continue, I should rewind to the start.

I don't really remember a time when I wasn't larger than everyone else.   I had two sisters who were both smaller than me and therefore, to me, seemed beautiful, slim and popular.  My Mum spotted my love of food when I was a child and as I was growing up tried to keep a close eye on my weight.  I remember coming home from school and telling her exactly what I'd had for lunch - I always told her "ham salad" but in reality I'd quite often had sausage, beans and chips and a chocolate brownie for afters.

Thanks to my Mum's efforts I remained a healthy weight during my childhood, but as I got older and more independent the weight started piling on.  I remember quite often having to lie on the bed whilst she attempted to zip me into my jeans.

As a kid I loved my food and given half a chance would cram as much food on my plate as I could!

I loved my High School years and had lovely friends, but was very aware that I was large and awkward compared to them.  I never had a boyfriend and remember a brief stint of getting bullied by a girl who nicknamed me "bus".  At one point I felt so low I was too scared to leave the house at weekends in case I bumped into her.

 I hated PE with a passion, there's nothing more embarrassing than being forced to wear a tiny PE skirt when you're larger than all the other girls in the class.   I also remember being terrified of being asked to describe myself in French class in year 7.  We'd learnt the word for "fat" and I didn't want to have to stand in front of the class and announce "my name is Chloe, I'm 11 years old, I have ginger hair and I'm fat".

My first day of High School, already gaining weight and looking bigger than the other girls

Through High School I started gaining a stone in weight for each year of my life and by the time I left school at 16 I was 16 stone.

In the back of my head I knew I had a problem but never wanted to admit it or would make excuses.  I'd see someone on the street who looked larger than me and therefore I could justify the way that I was.  My family warned me of the dangers and that diabetes ran in the family but at the time nothing could give me in the incentive to change.

I remained this way all through my 20s, growing larger and larger by the day. 

My first day of work aged 20 and struggling to find office clothes that fit comfortably

I'd reached a fairly unhappy place by my late 20s and decided to move to London to "find myself".  By this time I had problems that I never would have admitted to anyone - the bottoms of my feet were so sore from carrying extra weight that I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, my periods had become irregular, I was secretly stuffing myself with sugary foods every evening and then crying myself to sleep and I was struggling to make it the short walk down to the tube station without getting very out of puff.

Greek Holiday in 2010, I felt large and very uncomfortable in the heat 

In 2011 I decided I had to make a change.  I'd just had my 30th birthday party and was horrified by the pictures of myself.  I'd reached a size 20, none of my size 18 clothes fitted and I was having to go to work in leggings.   I was beginning to really hate myself and was on self destruct.  As an added incentive my little sister's wedding was planned for the Spring of 2012 and I did not want to be the largest bridesmaid.

My 30th Birthday Party in 2011 and one of the photos that was to change my life

I decided to give Weight Watchers a try! 

I had no idea how a weight loss programme really worked or how I'd be able to adapt it to my life.  I remember so clearly the weekend before I started.  I ate myself silly, like I was never going to be allowed to eat ever again.   I went to an England match at Wembley with my friend and we had a fry up for breakfast, alcohol for lunch and Pizza Hut for dinner.  I ate until I made myself feel sick!

The last weekend before I joined Weight Watchers

I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting before work one Monday in June 2011 with no idea of how much I weighed.  I was so nervous getting on the scales and when it flashed back at me 19 stone 7 lbs I was horrified.   I walked to work, sat at my desk and cried.  How had I let things get so out of control?

And that was it, my moment,  I had to change and I was going to do it.  

I was rather cautious of the plan to start with, I knew that any foods were allowed if you pointed them correctly yet I still didn't understand how going anywhere near chocolate or cake would allow me to lose weight.  I'd very much grown up under the influence of the media, thinking that the best way to lose weight was to never touch nice foods, avoid carbs and live on a diet of lean meat and greens. 

I dropped half a stone in the first few weeks and soon realised that I could allow myself treats, the plan gave me weekly points which I used to enable me to go out and continue to enjoy London life - afternoon teas, the odd latte and dinner with friends.  I learnt that the key to weight loss was to change my mentality and attitude towards food and control my portions.   Yes I could meet a friend for cake in the afternoon, if I was sensible with my meal choices the rest of the day. 

Weight Watchers appealed to the geeky side of my personality - I loved adding up my points and using them in the best possible way to get a good balance of healthy foods and tasty treats.

A trip to Edinburgh with friends in August 2011.  I'd been doing Weight Watchers for 2 months and could finally fit back into my size 18 jeans.  I felt amazing!

At times it was frustrating, I worked and worked and worked at it for months, losing well over a stone and was so annoyed that I was still stuck in size 18 clothes.   I went to Coast to try on a bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding, I proudly took a size 16 and 18 into the changing room.  I couldn't get into either of them.  I was so upset, and it would have been very easy for me to give up at that point and think "why am I bothering"?  I walked home past a supermarket and the urge to walk in and buy chocolate to binge on was overwhelming.  But I was strong and walked past, and I think that's probably one of the proudest moments of my life.  I  think if I had given up at that point it all would have come crashing down.

I'd never enjoyed PE at school, preferring more academic subjects like English and  Languages.  As soon as I started to lose weight though I knew it was important to get myself moving so I began with very small steps, sticking to exercise I was confident with.  I took myself out for hour long power walks every lunchtime, walking over Tower Bridge, along the river and back over London Bridge.

Finally in October of 2011 I decided it was time to be brave and join a gym.  I'd never stepped inside one before and I was so scared at my induction I felt myself feeling very emotional, I had tears in my eyes.   I soon realised that gyms are for everyone - as I saw people of all ages, fitness levels and sizes working out I began to relax.  I was still a little nervous about people looking at me so I spent my workouts walking on the treadmill fast up an incline that I gradually increased and increased.   I really enjoyed my sessions but it still took me a further 5 months of walking up hills to finally have the courage to try out a run.   I remember the day, it was on my 31st birthday in March 2012, I was in a small gym at a hotel and realising I was there on my own I decided to up the speed and try out a run, and I ran and I ran and I ran.  I  was so happy you literally couldn't wipe the smile off my face.    It was the most incredible feeling.

I worked hard in secret for the first 6 months, losing a nice steady amount of weight every week. I'd purposely not gone home to Norwich to see my family in that time and had kept my weight loss a secret from them, it was hard work but I really wanted to see their faces when they saw me for the first time at Christmas.   I will never forget the look on my Dad's face when I met him at Norwich train station on Christmas Eve in 2011, I'd slimmed down to a size 16 he didn't recognise me and looked straight past me.   I had to go up to him and say "Dad!" and all he could say was "BLOODY HELL!"  It made my Christmas.

Going home for a Size 16 in my new dress

I set myself goals as my journey continued, little things to motivate me along the way.  It was easier to keep focussed that way rather than to think about all the stones I had to lose.  My first challenge was to fit into a coat that I'd never been able to fit into.  It was a gorgeous red coat that my Mum had bought me years earlier.  It was a size 18, but it had always been very tight round the arms and I'd never been able to do up the buttons.  It was an amazing feeling the first time I got it buttoned up and soon I was wearing it all the time, a daily reminder of how far I'd come.

Finally fitting into the size 18 coat my Mum had bought me years before. 

There were times I felt very frustrated and demotivated.  It hurt when friends who hadn't seen me for months didn't compliment me on my new figure, and to this day many of my closest friends have never acknowledged my achievement. I've cried a few silly tears over it before realising that there's more to life. 

From the beginning of my journey I started writing a blog, it really helped being able to talk to others about what I was going through, to share my struggles and achievements and read inspirational stories from people who had got to goal.  I'd always loved writing so wrote my thoughts and feelings every day that  I weighed in.  If anyone is interested in reading my entire weight loss story you can read the blog even if you're not a WW member here.

I soon got up a little following of readers who were all very supportive and encouraging.  One in particular stood out - a northern lad called Simon who had joined Weight Watchers around the same time.  Like me he'd struggled with his weight for many years.  We got on straight away, reading and commenting on each others blogs.  Getting a comment from him on a post always made my day.   After a while we began chatting on Facebook before eventually swapping numbers. 

Yes that's right, I'm talking about my Simon.    

A few months after we started talking he got a National Express coach all the way from Newcastle to London to take me out on a date and that was the start of something really special.

My confidence had taken years of bashing and I'd always felt ugly.   Simon was wonderful in helping me to regain my confidence.  He told me every day how beautiful I was and how he couldn't believe his luck that he was with me.  To start with I found the compliments hard to accept but after a while I began to listen and then slowly I started to believe in myself.  Weight Watchers might have helped me lose the weight but it was Simon that taught me how to love myself again.

Weight Watchers quickly caught on to our relationship and before we knew it we'd been invited to a gorgeous house in Surrey for a photo shoot.  It was an amazing day, we got to try on lots of clothes and were interviewed about our experience.   They liked us so much we ended up being used in lots of promotional material.   You can see our "Success Story" on the Weight Watchers site here and if you want a laugh there's even a video here!

Weight Watchers Photo Shoot

Just under a year after starting I finally reached my goal weight after losing just over 8 stone.  For the first time in my life I was slim, healthy and wearing a size 10.  I'd been saving money up to buy a new wardrobe when I hit goal and being able to walk into any shop that I wanted and fit into beautiful clothes was so surreal.   I'd never taken much pride in my appearance before but I suddenly found myself with an interest in fashion.

I continued losing a bit of weight until my body settled at around 10 lbs under my goal which is where I continue to be to this day.  I've had a total weight loss of just under 9 stone.

Getting to goal - the new me with my old size 18 jeans that had been too small for me when I started!

I'm not going to pretend that all my problems were solved overnight, it took quite a while for my head to catch up with my body.  Whilst I could feel that I was slimmer I couldn't always see it in the mirror and was always amazed when I saw photos of myself.  Also whilst I look slim with my clothes on my body is a bit of a mess underneath, but I've learnt not to care, my damaged body tells a wonderful story and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Dressing up for a friend's wedding in October 2012, a healthy size 10 and feeling amazing

Every day I still wake up thankful that I made the change and succeeded, I don't think there'll ever be a day that I take it for granted.   Losing weight has given me not only a new start in life, but has also lead me to Simon.  I never could have imagined that taking that brave step to my first meeting would lead me to him and my new life in Newcastle.

I leave you with just one thought - it's never too late to make a change. 

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Our Anniversary in York

Remember when  I told you that May is a big month of celebrations?   Well last Monday Simon and I turned two!   We knew we didn't want to spend our anniversary shut away in our offices so we both booked the day off work and decided to head to York for a day trip. 

York is one of our special places, as it was a convenient place for us both to get to when we were long distance and we actually had our second date there so it's full of very happy memories.

I'm very thankful that we decided on 19 May 2012 to become a couple because it meant that in 2014 we got to celebrate over the hottest day of the year so far.  We really couldn't have timed it better.  We'd already had a fantastic weekend of adventures in the sun and a Monday full of sunshine on top of it was amazing luck.

Our train got into York just after 10:15 am so we decided to find some breakfast.  A few people had recommended The Star Inn The City for food and as it's perfectly located just a short walk from the train station, it was the ideal first stop of the day.   The restaurant only opened late last year (which will explain why we'd never spotted it before) and is nestled at the edge of the Museum Gardens overlooking the river.  

We had a quick look at the interior as we first entered and I particularly loved the look of the Garden Room which is full of comfy furniture and has huge windows overlooking the park, we will definitely grab a table in there next time.  It looks the perfect location for afternoon tea.    This time however there was only one place we could possibly sit, and that was outside on the decking overlooking the river.

It is a beautiful outside area with really pretty views and plenty of tables (although I should imagine on a hot weekend it gets full very quickly).  The lights strung up above our heads made me wish we had booked a later train home just to be able to sit out there in the evening, I bet it's perfect.

The breakfast menu is fantastic, everything a breakfast menu should be.  It's really varied and you can pick anything from a full fry up to pancakes with fruit.  It took me a while to decide but in the end I opted for eggs benedict with fresh orange juice.  The service was a little slow.  Quite a few people who had come in a while after us got their food first, but as soon as our breakfast did appear that was all forgotten as it was so delicious.  We will definitely be back!

With full bellies we went for a lazy walk around the Museum Gardens which was already filling up with sun worshipers.  There were some beautiful flowers out in full bloom, plenty of sunshine and it was nice to just walk around with bare arms and legs.  The grass was still slightly damp but it felt rather refreshing on my toes.

Seeing the amount of people walking past us with ice-cream it wasn't long before we had a cone in our hands having stumbled across a little cafĂ© that had fun flavours.  Simon opted for mint choc chip (which he proceeded to get all over himself, he is THE messiest ice-cream eater!) and I had the rhubarb crumble which was amazing.  We decided to justify the naughty treat with a walk of the City Walls.


The City Wall Walk is one of my favourite things to do in York.  It's free and offers some great views of the City.   

The whole walk is 2.75 miles long and it's always so peaceful, considering the amount of tourists that can pack into York.   The Walls are surprisingly calm and quiet and it's a great place to escape.  

There are 5 bars (gateways) along the wall which means you can climb down the steps and back to reality along the way giving you the option to either break up your walk for some food or a drink or head back up and continue along the route.  There's also a few tiny museums if you're a history buff.  If you've never done the walk before I highly recommend it.

All that walking was thirsty work and by this point in the day the sun was blazing hot.  We knew that we'd earned ourselves a nice Summery drink.  York has a number of pubs and bars with outside seating but we decided to head back to one that we discovered during our first Summer together, The Secret Garden Courtyard at Thirteen Thirty One.

I haven't actually explored the whole bar properly as every time we've been it's been a boiling hot day but I do know that they have a cocktail lounge, restaurant and even a little cinema.   The Secret Garden Courtyard is the place to go though, it's in the centre of  York but always feels really tranquil and it's a lovely little suntrap.  Simon enjoyed a huge glass of fruity cider.

and I went for my second Pimms of the year.

Of course it wouldn't be our anniversary without cake so deciding to give our fair skin a bit of a break from the sun we went on a cake hunt.   We really weren't impressed with our last visit to Betty's and it feels a bit like everyone goes there, it's a little predictable and the queues to get in are rather off putting so we wanted to try somewhere new.  

We decided on Chloe's of York, a family run tea room close to the Shambles.   We got there just as they were about to close for the afternoon but being really lovely folk they took pity on our hot little faces nosing through the window and kindly let us in.   I honestly can't even begin to tell you how much we loved Chloe's - they have a smartly dressed doorman greeting customers, the staff are really chatty and friendly, the tea room is so cute and the selection of cakes is immense.  The huge list on the blackboard was rather overwhelming and it took us a good while to read through it all and make a decision.  In the end Simon went for a slice of chocolate orange cake and I had some lemon cake.   It was fruity, fluffy and sweet with  a melt in the mouth creamy topping ...absolute perfection.   We will definitely be going back for a return visit.

By the end of the day we were absolutely exhausted, our legs ached every time we attempted to climb down steps and our feet were sore.  After three days of adventuring our bodies felt about 20 years older than they were, but it was worth it to spend such a lovely day in one of our favourite cities.

Thanks for making our anniversary so special York!  We can't wait to return.

Apologies for the sudden change in photo styles, we were having so much fun we didn't realise we'd accidentally changed the camera settings ... doh!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Living Social

I have a bit of a problem.  I am obsessed with Living Social.

I've been promising to introduce you to Living Social for a while now and as I'm constantly going on about the deals I've found on Twitter I thought I really should share the joy with everyone rather than hogging all of the deals for myself,

If you don't already know, Living Social is a website featuring deals on the best things to do in your area.  

From the website you can select your location and then search all of the deals in your area.   To check what cities the site covers just take a look here .  To give you an idea it features a lot of cities in the UK and Ireland including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, York, Leeds and, of course, Newcastle.

The local deals feature everything from spa treats and beauty treatments to coffee shops, restaurants and hotel stays.  The offers tend to come from local independent businesses which I love because it means that I discover somewhere exciting and new in the area that I hadn't necessarily heard of before.   There's also been quite a few times where a voucher has popped up for a place that I've been wanting to try for ages which means  I suddenly have the perfect excuse to finally go.

The deals are updated daily and most days a new deal pops up that I want to purchase.  Simon is now use to me dropping him a cheeky text or tweet to tell him there's yet another deal I'd like to get.  I think he probably thinks I'm a bit crazy, but you'll never hear him complaining because he loves trying out new places as much as me.

Quite a few of my recent foodie posts have been places that I've been to thanks to a Living Social deal, including: a two course Italian meal with wine at Pinocchios for two people for £18.00, and two brownies and a hot drink each for £6.00 at the Brownie Bar.

I currently have another five vouchers just waiting to be used including coffee and cake at Kuppa Coffee, afternoon tea for two at the Bank Bistro in Low Fell, four coffees and four slices of cake at  Flat Caps Coffee and a two course lunch for two at Marco Pierre White (all places I've been wanting to try for ages) as well as a cupcake and coffee voucher for one of our favourite cake places in the North East, Lottie McPhees.   (I've linked the deals above that are still available, unfortunately some of them are no longer on the site).

Once you've found a deal that you like, you can click on it to get more information.  Make sure you always read the fine print as it tells you the exact terms of the deal, if there are any restrictions, if you need to book a table in advance and, most importantly, the expiry date of your voucher.  Most deals are valid for quite a few months but make sure you that you always check.

For those who live their lives on the go Living Social is also available as an app on your phone (very dangerous!).    It is so easy to use and you can set it to your local city so that you can quickly swipe through all the deals on your phone.   It also stores all of your vouchers for you whether you've bought them through the app or through the website which means you don't have to print off your vouchers.  Helpfully the app also flashes a little notification message on your phone if you happen to walk near somewhere where you've bought a deal to remind you that it's there ready to be used.

I don't think my addiction is likely to end any time soon.  Of the five deals I've mentioned in this post I bought two of them today and my day will continue to very much be brightened every time a new deal appears.   I can't wait to see what might appear tomorrow!

Living Social have gifted me with a deal for review purposes (coming next week!), however my obsession is very much real ... just ask poor Simon!

Friday 23 May 2014

Paul Mitchell at the Gary Hedley Salon

If there's one thing in life that instantly puts me in an awful mood, it's a bad hair day.  Unfortunately after years of colouring and applying far too much heat my hair is looking rather thin, dry and frazzled.   In an attempt to save it I try and avoid over styling and most days you'll find me with it tied up in a very messy ponytail.

So when the folks at Paul Mitchell sent me an e-mail asking me if I'd like to attend an evening of "Intelligent Styling" I was really curious to see what it was all about.

The event was held at the Gary Hedley Salon in the centre of Newcastle and showcased Paul Mitchell's new range of "Neuro" products.  Neuro consists of six new hair styling tools designed to create the perfect blowdry, curl, ringlet or wave.  The interesting part for me (and my frazzled hair) is that each tool uses a microchip to deliver a safe and even heat to your hair, once the tool reaches the required temperature the chip regulates it 50 times per second to protect you against unnecessary extra heat.

I made my way to the event straight after work and met up with some other bloggers in the busy salon.  Everywhere you turned there was a stylist, a model, a blogger or, if you were really lucky, a topless waiter offering you some food and fizz. 

The evening got underway quickly with each of us being whisked away by one of the Salon Stylists so that we could experience the new products for ourselves. 

The Neuro Unclipped was used for my style along with the delicious smelling Express Dry Wash to add some volume and the Express Stay Strong to keep it all in place.   

My hair was soon transformed to a head full of really pretty curls which I absolutely adored.   

I was really happy to be one of the first finished as it meant I got to stroll round the Salon and see what the other bloggers were up to.  

Kloe's long straight dark hair was soon transformed into natural curls that looked really effortlessly beautiful.

 I particularly loved how the tools styled Rachel's short hair and Laura's "Festival" inspired do was the real hit of the night with everyone lining up to take a photo of the pretty style.

If you want to see more of Laura's gorgeous new style head over to her blog here  to read about her experience.

I was very impressed with the products and it left me with a feeling of hope that maybe even me, with my dry frizzy hair and non existent hair styling skills might be able to create something pretty special thanks to Paul Mitchell.

I had a really great evening and met some lovely new blogging ladies.  Thanks to the whole team at Paul  Mitchell and Gary Hedley for the great evening and lovely goodie bag. 


Wednesday 21 May 2014

Day Tripping to Whitby

Day two of our car adventure and seeing another sunny day on the forecast we decided to head to the coast.   Our one requirement was to make sure we went somewhere that we couldn't easily get to by public transport so we decided on the picturesque coastal town of Whitby in North Yorkshire.  Whitby is an hour and a half away in the car yet to get a train from Newcastle takes over 3 hours. 

We arrived just after 11:00 am and the town was already pretty busy with people out to enjoy the sunshine.

As it wasn't too far off lunchtime (we are always thinking about our stomachs) we decided to earn our food by starting our day with the 199 step climb up to the Abbey.

The view was absolutely stunning but the air was thick with very annoying flies (unfortunately the flies seemed to have moved into Whitby for the day and they were irritating us on and off throughout our trip) so I don't have many photos to share with you from the top.

After our climb we decided we would let ourselves have a nice lunch and being by the sea there was only one choice for us, Fish and Chips.  We wanted to make sure our day didn't get too costly so we had a little walk around to try and find somewhere that looked nice but also offered good value.  

After a short while we found Hadley's Fish Restaurant, a family run business that offers a really lovely restaurant in an ideal location and with great prices.   When we first saw the restaurant we actually thought it looked too nice to fall within our budget so we were really happy to find that wasn't the case.   We both had "a Traditional Yorkshire Tea" which consisted of cod and chips with bread and butter and a pot of tea for £7.45 each.  It was a perfect sized portion and we both agreed that it was the best fish and chips we'd tried in a while and much tastier than a lot of overly hyped fish and chip restaurants we've been to over the last year.   The restaurant is really big with plenty of seats so although Whitby was busy we got a table straight away.

Once we'd been fed we went for a little explore round the Town.  Whitby has lots of cobbled streets filled with sweet shops, shabby chic gift shops, tea rooms and ice-cream parlours.  There was so much to look at and I had to stop myself walking into each cake shop to order cake.  Next time!


We had a stroll along the Pier and spent a little while sat on a bench admiring the beautiful view of the Abbey and letting the sun hit our pale pasty legs.  It was bliss and there were moments we completely lost ourselves and it began to feel a little like we were on holiday.

Moving away from the crowds we climbed upwards for a walk along the Promenade where we stumbled across a little crazy golf course.  It was only £2.20 each so we decided to stop for a quick game.  Simon won although I can pretend that he didn't because I tend to act like a child during crazy golf and stop scoring as soon as I realise I'm falling behind. 
There was just time for a quick sit down with an ice-cream before heading back to the car.  I'm kicking myself now for not trying a lemon top, an ice-cream with a dollop of lemon sorbet on top, which is a famous food in the area.  Unfortunately the "99" was too tempting to ignore.  

We had a fantastic time and the drive through the North Yorkshire Moors on the way home was perfect.   We felt very reluctant to return the car to the car rental office on Monday and really miss it already.  I can't wait till we can get one of our own and go on more adventures.  
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