Having being a southerner for most of my life, I have been wondering whether I should subject the McBaby to the same fate. Do I want him to avoid eye contact with fellow train passengers? Do I want him to be surly? Do I want him not to let other drivers out at junctions? Do I want him to have a me-first mentality?
It doesn't have to be this way, southerners! We just had a fabulous few days in York and this is the kind of lifestyle I'd like for the McBaby - I know I was only there for a week, but not once did I meet anyone rude; everyone I met was welcoming, relaxed and friendly.
Our first stop was the Premier Inn just south of York in Bilborough. It was clean, well-priced and again, staff were friendly. A quick drive up the road and we were at the park and ride which effortlessly took us for just £2.60 into the heart of the city.
Our next stop was Society café for coffee and Panini. Another warm welcome from a young lad who didn't blink at the mess the McBaby made with his Panini ("The students make much more mess than that") and who also reminded us that if we returned with today's receipt, we'd get half price coffees for the rest of the day.
Autumn sunshine in the Shambles
Next was a walk along the Shambles which, as you know, is one of the oldest and best preserved shopping streets in Europe, although none of the shop fronts you see today are original. In olden times, most were butchers, but now they host a range of pleasing products such as fudge, jewellery and baby clothes), before meeting the market place where we had a lunch in a restaurant called Gert and Henry's after I found this stall highly amusing:
(No? Just me then)
After soaking up the history, we marched into the present century and into Wagamama where again, we were served by a friendly young man who offered to box up the gyoza I'd bought for the sleeping McBaby. Having fallen asleep as the food arrived, I was quite touched at the young man's thoughtfulness in letting the McBaby enjoy his Japanese feast later.
Our next stop was the National Railway Museum to see the Mallard alongside the Japanese Shinkansen in a gloriously roomy home alongside railway memorabilia from adverts to benches.
Lots of trains!
The McBaby LOVED exploring in here and we spent TWO HOURS happily roaming the place for FREE (there's no admission charge, but donations of £3 or more are gratefully received).
After two nights in the Premier Inn, we left Lenny Henry and headed for the Churchill hotel on Boothgate, a short stroll into town. Again, a fabulous welcome and a hard-to-find resource in York - PARKING! The Churchill's rooms share Churchill-themed names, making one of them 10 Downing Street. (Imagine trying to get a pizza delivered to that room).
Other highlights of the trip were seeing Ed Alleyne-Johnson BUSKING in the city centre. Busking!
So thanks to the people of York for ensuring we had such a good time. We'll be back soon!