The first stop was Harrogate where it would have been rude not to stop off at Betty's. The queue however was ridiculously long so we had a quick peep through the windows and went for lunch at The Pantry instead. I am exceptionally glad that we did end up here as this was some of the best food I've eaten in a while. I started with Pea and Mint Soup which was the colour of luscious grass; it was fresh and full of flavour. I was pretty torn with what to have for my main either Chicken Kiev with Wild Garlic or Macaroni Cheese with Mushrooms. I went for the macaroni and it was wonderful; it came with a fresh chicory side salad which cut through the delicious rich sauce and mushrooms. The OH opted for the Kiev and it was divine. With two courses for £13.95, you can't complain!
Next we were off to York, somewhere I've heard a lot about and of course we headed straight to The Shambles. An interesting mixture of shops and cafés, overhanging buildings and narrow alleyways The Shambles is well worth a good poke around. We desperately wanted to try a suave, modern looking café (the name escapes me) but they only had four tables and it was a busy lunch time. There are so many places to choose from it was hard to know where to start but the little café we ended up at served a very generous Greek mezze so I was pleased.
We did manage to find a recommended beer shop; set out like a wine shop is, by country, but absolutely full of beers. It was a great place to have a look around and see all these weird and wonderful brews you might not be able to get hold of anywhere else. The other thing we fit in to the trip was a visit to The Chocolate Story. It was a really fun interactive tour through the history of chocolate in York which included making your own chocolate lolly (I quite fancied a swim in the liquid chocolate bath used for this) and plenty of chocolate tasting.
The final trip was over to Whitby through the stunning Yorkshire Moors. Luckily we chose the sunniest day for this trip and enjoyed some chips by the beach. The Abbey looked beautiful and I was well at home in the sweet shops stocking up on flying saucers. Oddly I mentioned in my Brighton post last year about the few and rare fish smoking houses now dotted around the country and stumbled across one while in Brighton. How strange that I also found one in Whitby; I must be accidentally turning up wherever they may be. Yorkshire is such a huge county I'm sure I missed plenty of places that I should have gone, but that's what the next trip is for!