Only because I took so many photos do I think it necessary to post a journal of my recent trip back to the Mother Land. It will however give you a nice little insight into my former-life in England. Photos are in no particular order.
The food hasn’t changed since I was there last!
Haworth and Worth Valley Railway, and not Disney Land as I’m sure you’re thinking! Haworth is about a 30 minute drive from where I live, and because I hadn’t ridden it since I was about 8 years old, in true Harry-Potter-style, I booked us in for a quick trip on the steam train.
In order to ensure that our short-journey would be all the more comfortable, I requested tickets on a train pulling a buffet carriage.
“What types of red wine do you have?” my wife asked the little old lady manning the bar on the buffet car.
“Ay up lass. Let mi ‘ave a look ‘ere……” replied the helpful lady, in the thickest Yorkshire accent known to mankind. She then disappears underneath the bar, and returns with two different size miniature bottles of Stowells red wine.
“Wiv got large an’ small. Which y’after?”
<A few moments of silence>
“She’ll take a large one.” I replied on behalf of my wife.
I ordered a beer.
After the train, time for a tea-break!
I almost make drinking tea look bad-ass! Almost.
The Happy Haddock Fish & Chip Shop in my hometown of Brighouse. Prince Charles once visited it. It’s a claim to fame that they’ll forever hang-on to!
Just another random pub…
A new wine store named OWLS has popped-up in my hometown of Brighouse, since my last trip back. I had a quick look in, and the selection was……terrible. Mainstream, mass-produced, Euro-crap.
In order to redeem the experience, my wife posed for an owling photo.
This is more like it! Czerwik’s is a very cool little cheese, meat and wine shop, also located in my tiny hometown of Brighouse. The wine is stored in the cellar, and if you’re over 6ft tall (as I am), be prepared to basically browse the fine wine selection in a crouching position. This in order not to give yourself severe head trauma on the low ceilings.
In the photo below; one of the four cellar rooms at Czerwik’s, housing their Italian and Spanish selections. If I had to guess, they probably also used it as an air-raid shelter during WWII.
I really wish I had appreciated Czerwik’s more when I was still living back home. Here’s just one reason why; on this visit, I picked up a random bottle of Cohors (Malbec from just outside the Bordeaux region of France), and I walked up from the cellar to the cash register to pay for it. The owner of the store John bagged it up for me, but when I reached into my pocket to grab some money, I realized I had left my cash at home.
Just to clarify, this is the first time I’ve met John. He doesn’t know me, I don’t know him.
“That’s ok. Just pay for it next time.” John said happily, he handed me the wine, smiled and went about slicing meat.
He was going to let me walk out of that store, not knowing when I was going to return, to pay for that bottle. Please ask yourself: name one store that you know would do something like that for you?
Now, obviously you can argue if a store started doing that for everyone, they’d be bankrupt in no time. But then again, Czerwik’s has been open for over 15 years, and has survived through the fairly recent opening of 2 huge chain grocery stores within less than a half mile away….
What I witnessed was customer service at it’s absolute finest!
The English are still into their Port’s quite a bit. I believe it’s still the largest Port / Fortified Wine market in the world, although popularity is waning. Niepoort features heavily at Czerwik’s.
Pretty coffee at Harvey Nichols in Leeds.
Some of my old High School chums at an informal class reunion I attended (I’m in the black).
One of the better meals I had while I was over there. Pork Belly with Crackling and Black Pudding, with a bottle of Luighi Righetti Amarone Classico.
Day trip to Whitby, Dracula’s Castle in the background.
“I thought Dracula’s Castle was in Transylvania?” asked my wife.
“It is. This is where he escaped for a ‘dirty weekend’!” I replied.
In actuality, the Whitby castle does feature in Bram Stoker’s novel.
Also in Whitby: Morris Dancers!!!
I’m not even going to try and explain! You’re going to have to research that one for yourselves…