12 in 12 Challenge – January

This year I’ve told Patrick that we are going to make sure and do something out of our ordinary routine at least once each month. We often go out for tea and go to the theatre here in Hull so those things won’t count towards our 12 in 12 challenge. We do however spend lots of our weekends at home, we’re not sitting around idle, I’m sewing or some other crafting, or perhaps working on my family history website and Patrick will be writing or messing about in the garage making something, but sometimes I think we just need to do something different. It doesn’t have to be huge – a day out on the train or a walk somewhere new to us. On the other hand it can be something bigger, a holiday or weekend away. Let’s see where it takes us!

So in January, we had a day out on the train to sunny Scarborough. Well it was raining for a little while, which I wasn’t happy about as it was forecast sunshine and I didn’t have a hood or a brolly. However, it wasn’t raining in the pub! Our first port of call was The Angel Inn, touted as a traditional pub selling a cask ales, we thought it sounded a nice place. It was very traditional and quite a nice feeling about the place, old guys watching the horse racing on the telly and a smattering of other regulars drinking what they always drink no doubt. The ale selection was a little disappointing for us, though I’m sure suited the regular clientele perfectly. It was basically a choice of bitter or bitter with only two handpumps in action, Patrick had the Timmy Taylor Landlord and I had Marston’s Wainright, both on form and very nice but we tend to be a bit more adventurous in our drinking these days.

Next up was the North Riding Brew Pub but on the way we were waylaid by a bakery with very enticing looking sausage rolls and quiches in the window. Of course we couldn’t resist and got a sausage roll each, they were huge and we later wished we had resisted because we both felt very full. On to NRBP. We’ve been here about three times now and we really want to like it but each time we’ve left having not felt comfortable in the place. It’s cold and feels a bit stark in the main bar, we’ve never been when the lounge is open so can’t comment on that. The beers naturally are all North Riding brews and on the whole are good beers so we enjoyed our tipples but I don’t think we will rush back into the pub.

We enjoyed a lovely walk along the prom on the way back into town to our next watering hole which was called Craft Bar, I can’t find a webpage so link is to the TripAdvisor reviews. This was our favourite place of the day, right opposite the acclaimed Stephen Joseph Theatre, I found myself browsing their listings to see if there was something I wanted to see so I could come back here! No cask in here, just craft taps, bottles and cans, I can’t remember what we drank but we sat in the window and watched the world go by whilst drinking it. Craft Bar was a lovely warm and welcoming pub which filled up during the time we were in there and with the buzz of conversation, it felt very nice and cosy. We did have a bit of a comedy moment in here when the tallest guy I’ve ever seen went to the bar and was standing behind Patrick. The size difference between them made Patrick look like a child. I couldn’t stop myself from giggling and just had to take a photo!

By this time, we were both feeling a bit hungry. Now, you cannot visit the seaside and not have fish and chips, so that was our intention. It was getting chilly so I didn’t fancy walking around eating from the paper so we found a restaurant, Wackers. It was absolutely huge inside and I imagine in the summer months it’s quite unpleasantly crowded. We both ordered fish and chips and a cuppa, coffee for me, tea for Patrick. I found the fish and chips a little too greasy and we both felt very bloated afterwards so decided to walk it off a little.

We made our way to the front and found the Central Tramway funicular down to the beach, we walked down to the beach through St Nicholas gardens with the intention of taking the tramway back up afterwards. Scarborough used to have five of these funicular tramways, two of which are still operational, I remember using one when on holiday as a little girl. The operator told me that my dog wasn’t allowed, he was only kidding me but I took him seriously and marched out in disgust and walked down with my dog. He managed to get hold of my dad the next day to tell him that he was kidding and of course the dog was allowed in the tram. Love me, love my dog eh!

It was surprising to both of us just how many visitors there were on a chilly January Sunday. Lots of families mooching about, on the beach, in the amusements and eating fish and chips on benches. It was a lovely atmosphere and felt nice seeing people enjoying the sea air and just being out and about. We walked along for a little while before turning back to go back to use the tramway to the top, as we had one more pub to visit before catching our train back home.

We’ve been to The Stumble Inn two or three times and it’s a lovely little micropub with seating outside as well as inside on the ground and upper floors. It feels friendly and welcoming, as most micropubs do. However, we were both feeling tired and still very full from our fish and chips so were struggling to finish our beers! (don’t tell anyone). The railway station is about five minutes away and the next train left in 15, the one after that would be an hour later so having decided we’d had enough and didn’t want to be killing time for 75 minutes, we headed off to catch that train.

We had a lovely day and it really did feel so nice to get out and do something with our weekend rather than just staying at home as we often seem to do. I’m already looking forward to planning something in February.