Wednesday 30 September 2009

Finally Did La Rosa

Finally did two nights in La Rosa at Whitby , in the Little Red Room , and I can say it was totally excellent . Liked it so much that we're going back in February.

As well as the hotel itself just being excellent they have wi-fi , but no TV or room phones (given that everyone has a mobile these days who needs one). Also they have a very civilised mid day check out . Breakfast is served in a hamper , consisting of fruit juice , cheese scones , fruit cake , cheese , boiled eggs , coffee - superb.

The room was packed with interesting things some of which can be seen on the site , but liked the skull in the cabinet and the Red Riding Hood pictures as well as real Red Riding Hood hung on the door!!

We were advised that we could park on the street , but given that most street parking in Whitby is free , this wasn't an option , so we used the West Cliff car park . This gives the option of of paying via mobile phone / card via the RingGo web site- which means you can extend your parking without returning to the car park .

What a change from the thieves at North Tyneside who fail to provide machines that take all your money, don't provide an alternative , don't give you the full amount for what you pay , then fine you £25 !! This image to the left is the £3 ticket that gave me 6 hours (rate 80p for 2 hours so I paid for 7.5 hours) . To the right is the fine .

As well as that , 25 miles from Whitby the exhaust went . I thought I'd get it fixed in Whitby but both garages were very helpful , but couldnt get the parts til monnday, though Borough Tyres reckoned they could have done if I'd have gone in early enough. Also they both closed at noon , it's nice where lifestyle comes before profit.

Anyway , we discovered The Vineyard Restaurant (formerly Harrys) and Trenchers , both of which I'd recommend and we had a visit to the Magpie Cafe . Yes you have to queue but it's worth the wait. Also no trip to Whitby would be complete without a visit to the excellent Folk Devils record shop . I left with a Desert Blues compilation and several other interesting CDs.

Monday 14 September 2009

What The Puck?

Have recently returned from my first Ice Hockey match at the Newcastle Metro Arena , featuring the Newcastle Vipers vs Nottingham Panthers. Didn't know what to expect and my only previous experience was the excellent 1977 film featuring Paul Newman , Slapshot, trailer below:

The game is split into three twent minute periods , with clock stops for the many infringements. The puck is vulcanised rubber which the announcers constantly warns the crowd to be vigilant about as it "may leave the ice", which does quite often , though only once managing to vault the protective screens. How you protect yourseldf against a 100MPH piece of vulcanised rubber is a mystery to me , which I hope I wont have to answer as intend going again. Below is footage of the match I took soundtracked by The Stranglers Tank (Download here) . The third Vipers goal is about about 1:25 :

The game is well worth watching and I can see the addictive attraction , think I'm hooked , though don't have the T-Shirt yet!!

Here's some footage of the Vipers against Cardiff:

Saturday 5 September 2009

A Few Days In Hexham

For the first time in many years , this Bank Holiday Monday we visited Hexham 20 miles to the west of Newcastle in the Tyne Valley. We were disappointed to learn of the demise of Priestpopple Books, a wonderful second hand book emporium , probably driven to the wall by Oxfam and the like.

However we did discover the excellent Mr Ants eaterie,situated on Priestpopple , which has the unusual menu side entry of chips by the pint or half pint!!!

The Wetherspoons in Hexham is esconced in an old cinema , although the cinema is still functioning , but like many of their takeovers looks incredibly impressive.

We noticed several shops were shut. I regard this as a good thing as it means that people regard life as more important than work. On of these was the excellent "Artful" run by Karen Morgan (I think) and filled with her and other artists work. This shop is well worth a visit , down St Mary's Chare off the main drag in Hexham.

Today finished of with a visit to Bouchon , a french restaurant (or "Bistrot" [sic] as they describe themselves on the website and literature) in Gilesgate . The food is gorgeous and very reasonably priced , the pace was packed to the rafters and the staff run off their feet. Their seemed to be a few mistakes , but these were swiftly rectified , and I will be going back again and would recommend you do the same if you get the chance.