I'm sky_rider from Durham. I've been Qyping since 22-01-2009
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Bishopthorpe Road, York, North Yorkshire YO23 2QD
Middlethorpe Hall can be found in the Bishopthorpe area of York, near the racecourse. It is a lovely, big hotel and was once a large, stately home type of house. Now it’s a hotel and spa with a restaurant. I have only ever been to the restaurant and into the gardens, so I can only really comment on those.
The food in the restaurant was lovely, the starters and desserts were quite posh, but we went for Sunday lunch, so that was fairly traditional still, which I liked. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the beef was undercooked and I had to ask them to cook it some more which they did. I thought for such a posh and expesive place they should have asked how we wanted our beef cooking, although I suppose I should have specified. The staff were very good too.
The gardens are beautiful and very extensive; hotel guests and diners in the restaurant are allowed to stroll in them. On a nice day you can sit outside on the terrace with drinks before or after your meal.
I know you can also book a function room in the hotel to have a private party in. I would imagine it’s very expensive though, as this is a rather posh place.
New Street, York, North Yorkshire YO1 8RA
A funky place to eat, with a range of people who go there. Families join groups of friends, students and couples in what is a very cool addition to York’s range of eateries. HaHa is part of the national chain and the food is what you would expect from the grill. My favourite is 'posh fishfingers’! The food isn’t overpriced for what it is at all. The staff are friendly and the seating comfortable.
At night it becomes a cool bar.
9 Gillygate, York, North Yorkshire YO31 7EA
An absolutely brilliant lttle craft shop selling fabrics, wool, buttons, silks, crafty things to make cards, kits to do tapestry, make cushions etc. It also stocks a huge variety of unusual beads and charms with which you can make jewellery, as well as all the wire, earring backs and hooks you could possibly need to do this. The staff are lovely and helpful and have a wide range of experience of doing crafts themselves so are very knowledgeable. I could spend hours in here trying to choose between things to buy.
Gillygate, York, North Yorkshire YO31 7WQ
A funky little vintage shop on Gillygate in York. Blue Balloon sells retro and vintage clothes for girls and guys. They stock some original vintage clothes, mostly T shirts and shirts, but some skirts and dresses too. In addition they make retro-look clothes out of vintage fabrics, giving you something just that little bit unusual. Not a widely visited shop as not many people know about it, but well worth going to now you know about it if vintage is your thing. Not wildly expensive either.
North Road, Durham, Durham DH1 4SH
This supposedly Australian themed nightclub doesn’t seem very Australian at all and is rarely very popular. The only time it is packed and therefore a good night out is in Durham university freshers’ week. Otherwise people just avoid it. Its problem is it just doesn’t have a niche like Klute and Loveshack. It plays cheesy music, but Klute already has that one covered, and has cheaper drinks. And it just doesn’t have the character of Loveshack. It’s a huge space pretending to be a big city nightclub, which is another problem; unless it’s absolutely packed there is no atmosphere whatsoever. I think Durham’s nightlife is just too 'special’ for walkabout really, we don’t want or need a big city nightclub (if we want that sort of night out we’ll go to Newcastle) and trying to fit in by playing cheesy music won’t help either. It’s the last choice on a night out, only to be considered if everywhere else is full.
Elvet Bridge, Durham, Durham DH1 3AA
Klute, infamous in Durham for being the worst nightclub in Europe. Actually it was voted the second worst after one in Eastern Europe, but now that one has burnt down Klute holds the title.
It is indeed such a bad nightclub that it’s kind of good. The dancefloor is tiny and sticky with spilt drinks, the music is always old-school cheese, but this doesn’t stop people (mainly Durham university students) from queueing out of the door to get in.
It’s always full of horrendously drunk people, buying still more alcohol, which is pretty cheap for a nightclub, and it’s reputedly the best place in Durham to pull. Maybe that’s why it’s so popular.
Durham, Durham DH1 1SQ
Loveshack is a funky, retro nightclub in Durham’s Watergate complex. It has a kind of sixties-style decor, one of it’s key features being a VW camper van! There are also circular seating booths, which are quite cool. In terms of music Loveshack is probably one of the most up to date and 'clubby’ of Durham’s nightclubs, although there is a fair bit of cheese in there as well. It’s very popular with students during the week and on most nights they will be queueing to get in. It has special nights e.g. on Wednesdays there is a bouncy castle in the club! There is a cloakroom to put coats in at the cost of £1. Thw alcohol’s not cheap in here though.
17 North Road, Durham, Durham DH1 4SQ
A very small Tesco close to the centre of Durham, this in itself is useful. It stocks most things you could possibly need to live your life in a very small space, as well as a large range of sandwiches and other food you may need when on the go.
What is disappointing about Tesco Express however, is that it stocks branded products but does not stock Tesco’s own brand goods, let alone the value range. Also I have been in before when they were completely out of milk but didn’t seem to have anyone dedicated to shelf-stacking.
The staff though are very friendly and efficient, sometimes too efficient I find so you feel a bit rushed to get out of there so they can serve the next person, especially if you take your own bags and are packing yourself. If you don’t take your own bags they’ll pack your things for you though. They sometimes forget to add green clubcard points, which is a shame.
All in all, a good shop to go to if you want to buy sandwiches or other food on the go, or a few things you have run out of. Not the best place to do a weekly shop though because the range isn’t good enough, and more expensive than other Tesco stores as they don’t stock own brand goods.
50 Saddler Street, up by the cathedral, Durham, Durham DH1 3NU
A really lovely, unusual gift shop, which is actually split into two shops with two separate entrances, near the cathedral in Durham. It sells a wide range of gifts and cards; pretty trinket boxes, jewellery, pashminas, scarves, unusual clothing and witty fridge magnets among other gifts. Many of the cards the shop sells are very pretty and rather unusual and you’d be hard pushed tofind them anywhere else. They’re not overly expensive either. There’s probably something to suit most people you know. Well worth a visit if you’re looking for an unusual or unique present.
159 Rue de Crimée, Bassin de la Villette, 75019 Paris
I stayed here in September 2008 and was pleasantly surprised. It really is good for a hostel and is even better, and cheaper, than some hotels in Paris. It’s not central but has a nice setting by the canal and the nearest metro stop is only a 5 minute walk away.
It’s definitely a young crowd who stay here and it’s aimed towards young people, especially backpackers, with a bar and a nightclub of sorts downstairs.
All the staff speak very good English and can help you book taxis and day trips as well as give information on and directions to Paris’ attractions. Facilities are good. There is free Wifi access, but this sometimes didn’t actually work and the computers in the internet cafe weren’t too reliable. There is a collection of dvds for anyone who wants to stay in and watch a film at some point.
The rooms were comfortable and clean, as were the communal shower and toilet facilities. I think there was a possibility of ensuite rooms for more money.
The security in the shared rooms was pretty good. You get an under-the-bed lock-up to use, which you need a padlock for, although the hostel reception sells these if you forget to take one. The only problem I would have with security is that there is nowhere secure to leave your luggage on your departure day. You can leave it in an area in view of the reception, but it’s not locked up.
Breakfast is included in the price of your stay and is quite good, despite being basic. You can have cereal, bread rolls with butter and jam, tea, coffee and fruit juice.
All in all a very good hostel and very reasonably priced in what is an expensive city.
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