We find our hotel, The Minster, with no trouble. An alleyway off the main road leads to a parking area, and we roll our bags up the slight incline to enter a warren of twisting and turning corridors to find our rooms. They are clean, comfortable and adequate, but not more; the hotel looks like it has seen better days, but we are not complaining, We stretch out on our beds and promptly fall asleep for half an hour before tackling the dinner decisions. It is still raining when we go out, but not pouring, so we grab our brollies and set off through an archway leading to a narrow street where we have been told there are many restaurants and cafes. The young receptionist at The Minster Hotel, as well as the barman, upon hearing our American accents, recommend a little restaurant which serves good hamburgers and steak. This is a little like the old coals to Newcastle thing, so we set off in search of something more exotic.
Reproductions of famous Renaissance paintings depicting life in earlier centuries hang on the ancient walls of the Minster and the streets. This is a town that knows how to exploit its past, for sure. Even in the rain this street exudes charm and the warmth of little cafes, pubs, shops, and restaurants. It is young and lively. We end up in the Café Rouge, a chain of French restaurants in England, where you can always be sure of a decent French-ish meal, sort of like an upscale MacDonalds, I guess – a place where you know what you will get, whether it is a steak-frites, a quiche, or a cassoulet.
When we leave the café, it is still raining.
- Northward bound—-
- York minster and Belford