Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Last weekend in January

So it was the 5th anniversary for me and my girlfriend last week and we decided to go away somewhere neither of us had been before. For some reason we had decided on Derby. 'Why?' I hear you say, exactly the same reaction I got off people when I told them. Apparently it's a rough place with nothing going for it.
So off we set on Friday afternoon, expectations low. Stopped off at some Welcome Break for the obligatory coffee, Starbucks this time. Derby is only about an hour and a half away, but I get a coffee on the way to Birmingham! Got to our hotel of choice after getting lost, the Jury's Inn on King Street. At only £46 a night, I wasn't expecting much. To our surprise there was parking available at only £6 for 24 hours, but if you arrive after 5 or 6 in the evening, it is only £3 until 12pm the next day. If you are only staying the night on business or a night out, this is exceptional! We checked in and got to our room on the sixth floor. The room overlooked the city, cathedral and river, a really nice view, worth far more than the paltry price paid! After a quick change it was out to have a quick look around and grab a bite to eat. The Westfield shopping centre was only a hop, skip and a jump away. Ended up in Zara with my girlfriend, over an hour later came out carrying her bags! Burger King was very well received and then it was back to the hotel to spend the evening watching tv with half a kilo of pic'n'mix, my favourite crisps (Tesco finest lamb shank and red wine) and a bag of black country pork scratchings! Then came the snow. It started at around 7pm and didn't stop until the next morning. Around 8pm, I decided I would continue the unhealthy trend and popped out in the snow to get a McDonalds!
With the snow putting our plans of exploring the Peak District to the sword, so it was another day in Derby. Shock, horror my girlfriend wanted to go shopping again. Whilst walking to the high street, we deviated off the main track and into an area which I believe was called Little Chester. Whether or not it was named after the actual Chester remains to be seen, but it was rather historical with lovely Tudor and Elizabethan houses, gateways and alleyways, coupled with cafes and boutiques which made for a pleasant deviation, before getting back to the mainstream. Went for lunch at the food quarter in the Westfield again, a lovely fish and chip counter. A slab of battered haddock and chips for a fiver, can't go wrong. Trawled the shops once again, but it was getting on in the day, we didn't get up too early, so made our way back to the hotel. Along the way we popped into the fish, poultry and game market, accessed through the guildhall. I'm sure it would have been good, but they were all packing up at four. Down Iron Gate, there was an absolutely amazing little men's boutique called George Brigdens. Gant, Ralph Lauren and Hackett aplenty. Almost bought a gant wallet, but it was only the display model left, so I went without. Kind of regret it though, I haven't been able to locate it on the internet! There was another great little shop next door called Bennetts. Tweed and waxed jackets adorning the walls, Le Creuset cookware in the middle. After a quick change it was out to Nandos about 8pm. My girlfriend has coeliac disease, so nice food and gluten-free rarely go hand in hand. I, on the other hand, am not a great fan of Nandos. Last time I had one I ended up in hospital having my appendix removed, so I have always associated them. But I'm not going to have appendicitis again so I went. Now I have to say I think it is rather expensive for what it is. Apart from seating you, bringing your food and clearing the plates, there is no service. Essentially I had a little bit of chicken and a lot of chips. Not the best meal I have ever had.
Sunday was check-out day. Sleep deprived from some idiots in the next room keeping me up, we drove out of Derby, northwards. Driving along the A6, we came to Belper. The scenery on the way was beautiful and I could easily see myself living somewhere like that. However, nothing was open because it was a Sunday! So we drove on through Ripley and down to Nottingham. We had stumbled upon a lovely little pub call The Nuthall in Cinderhill. I had a Sunday roast and it was gorgeous. The gravy was flavoursome, meat cooked perfectly and vegetables al dente, just how I like it. If you are ever in the area, you have to go there. Rustic charm and and modern decor clash in the lounge area, making for a relaxed atmosphere. Very well priced and also extremely accommodating to my girlfriend and her gluten-free diet. Then it was back to Worcester to pick up the guinea pig!
That concludes my rather long winded weekend if you have stayed with me thus far, so thank you!

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