Well, we didn’t go to Coignashee as it is now closed. That’s a bit of a shame, as it really was a lovely place. We didn’t even go to Newcastle, oh no, we went to Leeds and then to York. It has been one of my vague ambitions in life to stay at Malmaison, and so we booked a swanky room for Saturday nite in Malmaison Leeds and off we went.
It was quite an enjoyable journey south until we reached junction 45 of the m1 and discovered that it was very closed. So we had quite a haul round Leeds trying to find Malmaison, a jaunt through a hideous shopping centre to avail ourselves of their map and then a journey round the ring road back to where we came in to find we had driven almost straight past it initially.
So slightly frazzled, we checked in and got to our room, only to find some woman on the phone there. Who said oh yes, I am just testing the phone – however, I heard her say as I entered the room oh i’ve got to go, I’ll call you back. I was not amused. Anyway, the room was very nice, the bed palatial in it’s proportions and we had just set about the important business of jumping on the bed like loons when yet another member of staff just breezed into the room unannounced. I was incensed and moved enough to call reception and ask if anyone else wanted to join us. Huh. You expect this from a Travelodge, but not a swanky place.
Mini bar explored, towels messed up, we took to the streets of Leeds for a wander around. We have been to Leeds before but only briefly to go to a wedding shop, back in the days before marriage. We took note of a nice looking Thai restaurant on the way, with a view to going back for dinner. We had a nice wander round, went to a few shops including my favourite Muji (yes, I spent a fortune, but some of it was Christmas presents, so I feel justified). We had meant to bring some of the free wine I got from Smile to quaff, but in our haste to leave home had forgotten it, so we set about trying to find somewhere to purchase some from. Not a single off licence to be had! We thought we had found an Asda just a few minutes from our hotel, but it turned out to be their head office. So we had to make do with the hotel stuff which was overpriced and not all that nice.
Back to the restaurant, we sauntered over at just after 7, famished as we were, expecting it to be quiet, such was it’s location – however, it was absolutely packed and we were given a table only if we could be finished within an hour (of course we said yes, and then took our damn sweet time about it). Not even my sawasdee ka-ing could raise a smile from the maitre’d, but the staff were very pleasant and before long we were tucking into a very tasty meal indeed. I would recommend the Chao Phraya restaurant in Leeds to anyone! The food was delicious, very reasonably priced and you could even pay in bhat! I had some left over bhat, which I left as a tip and the waitress was delighted. The pancake with custard is to die for, although a little alarming in colour (bright green).
After a restful night’s sleep in the enormous bed at the hotel, we were up earlyish and out to the car, having decided to go to York on the way back rather than spend the day in Leeds. I had tried to book into somewhere in York, as I went for a week at school and was keen to go back and see it again without being distracted by boys and being bullied by the cooler kids and indeed it was just as lovely as I remembered.
You could spend days exploring all the little alleys and all the old churchy places, but we contented ourselves with a stroll round the high spots and a hot pork sandwich and chips (it was FABULOUS). We took in the Shambles and a little market before heading up
to the Minster for the obligatory York photo opportunities. We also found the Japanese shop where I put my language skills to good use again with the staff, to squeals of
delight from the shopkeeper.
After all that excitement, we headed home and arrived in Glasgow just in time for some tea and then bed. The photos are here, for your viewing pleasure.