PHOTO DIARY: AFTERNOON TEA AND CHOCOLATE TOURS WITH HOTEL INDIGO YORK
Ahhh finally! A girls weekend away! Me and my mate and fellow mum Milly were almost frothing at the mouth when hip hotel chain Hotel Indigo asked if we fancied a weekend away in their cool York boutique hotel. With our sights set on eating as much as possible, indulging in as many child free activities as we could and having just a few too many gin and tonics, the weekend set off to a great start. And then Hotel Indigo really pulled it out of the bag when they saved us from near disaster...
We arrived in York Sunday around midday, and took a short cab journey to Hotel Indigo in Walmgate. The hotel is located within a fairly new building and is really warm on entry, with wooden panelled walls and modern velvet seating. Now you're probably wondering why I don't have a photo of the entry - I meant to take one when we left the hotel but something happened that meant I couldn't, I'll explain more in a minute! Anyway, we headed to our room to dump our stuff before our date for afternoon tea at the renowned 'Betty's'.
The room was cute and eclectic, mixing Moroccan inspired tiles and flooring with traditional panelling, a leather headboard and cool cushions.
After taking in the surroundings and getting a few snaps of the room we took a stroll into town and found the place we had been told all about and been sensible enough to book a table at... Betty's tea room. Look at the queue! See ya suckers, we're heading upstairs!
We were first into the room and got to take in the 30s Art Deco style of the room that has been modelled on the Queen Mary. It was heavenly luxury liner vibes at all times. So frickin good. Plus they had a guy playing piano the whole time which was pretty spesh. Oh and don't get me started on the food...
Of course I was absolutely in love with the decor too. I think the rest of the diners who were clearly there for like quaint little afternoon parties or whatever were thinking me and Milly were crazy as we papped our food and the tables, tea set, cutlery and anything we could focus our lens on. But they ain't bout this blogging life homie!
Ahhhh! Swooning over (sadly) we took a stroll around the historic town and did a bit of shopping. They have loads of sweet shops as York is known for being one of the key areas that chocolate started its history in the UK.
After a little bit of Topshop sale indulging (because there is always a need for a pleather pencil skirt at £7), we took the short stroll back to the hotel.
It was really sad to see the flood damage and how many businesses it had affected in the Walmgate area. Can you imagine your whole business and livelihood being shut down like that? Some of theses buildings had their whole bottom floor submerged. I wonder if their imsurance covers the cost?
Was a bit of a wake up call.
Back at the Hotel indigo we chilled out in our room for a bit before dinner. Milly decided she wanted me to do her hair, so we turned into teenagers doing hair and taking photos. Pretty pleased with my handiwork to be honest though, doesn't she look awesome?!
Suitably spruced up, we took a walk over to nearby Ambiente, a Spanish tapas restaurant. A couple of hours later, we were pretty well fed and watered.
Rolling out of the place, we went back to hotel indigo to have a couple of large G&Ts in their bar area. The hotel has loads of really nice finishes, I was especially into their floor tiles which could be found in various spots around the hotel.
Gossiping, gossiping, more gossiping... then we finally called it at night. At the very rowdy 1030!
The next morning, we got up, and had breakfast in the same bar that we drank at the evening before. I was feeling a bit queasy but put it down to the two large G&Ts and beer. Yeah I'm a big lightweight! Anyway, had a lovely cooked breakfast and got some more snaps of the cool decor in the restaurant area.
Nice bit of chipped nail polish there Sarah - don't worry I got this fixed later!
So I was feeling a bit rough but not that bad. I was excited at going to the nearby Chocolate Story, a historical tour and hands on demos of York's chocolatey history. Fun!
But... by the time we arrived at the chocolate tour I was feeling weird. Queasy, faint and weird. I plodded on, and to be honest learning all about how chocolate is made was quite a good distraction. I was holding it together at least for this goddamit!
We learnt all about the chocolate of York's history, mainly about the factories of Rowntree's. Apparently Smarties used to all come in boxes of one colour until a mysterious and mischievous factory girl started mixing them up and sending out crazy mixed boxes which ended up being really popular and that's why Smarties are mixed like they are today.
We also had a love chocolate making demonstration which was really cool. I'd really recommend York's Chocolate Story if you go!
There was loads more to it but to be honest I was fading in and out of paying attention as a lot of the time I was trying not to throw up. EEK!
AND THEN IT ALL WENT A BIT TITS UP.
Within the next hour I went from being able to firm it to feeling like a complete weirdo. We had already checked out of the hotel but I so desperately just needed somewhere to lie down before our train back at 4pm. I looked for an earlier train but it was going to cost like £200 to change it so I didn't think it was worth it.
After a call to the hotel they so SO kindly let us have a room to borrow for a few hours so I could lie down and get some rest before our train. They were so sweet, offering me cold water and asking if I was ok when we got back there. Thank god for them letting us have a room! I felt so awful and by this point was really close to throwing up all the frickin time. I know this is so gross to read about so I won't dwell on it but I just wanted to share how accommodating the hotel had been. They really didn't need to let us use a room so I was super appreciate.
Anyway, fast forward a few hours later and I was having the worst journey of my life - 2.5 hours going backwards on a train back to London and then 1.5 hours in a car going through central London rush hour traffic (all whilst puking every 30 minutes).
Thank the universe for Milly, who looked after me while I whined like a little child. Thanks for Hotel Indigo for letting me lie down in a time of need, and thankyou to my darling hubby Jason for picking me up from London rather than me taking a packed rush hour journey on the tube!
After I got back I found out my sister and her family had come down with the same thing and I'd been hanging out with them the day before I went to York. Doh! So many viruses around at this time of year.
As you can imagine there weren't many more pics after the chocolate story as it was all a bit of a blur, but York was really lovely and I'd really recommend visiting! It has loads of history and lovely shops which are perfect for meandering around. Hotel Indigo is really reasonably priced, with rooms like ours starting from £89. Bargain!