Fun weekend, in Leeds!
I have to say that this does all endorse my preference for (expensive) rail travel - even just being a passenger in a car it is just as long and tedious as a train, perhaps more so. At least on a train I can use a laptop, or go to sleep, as I feel. Talk to people more easily. Etc... Sandra drove there yesterday and back today, and well done to her for such a long drive in shitty motorway traffic and fog! I was driven slightly round the bend by the flashing catseyes on the M40 at one point - who thinks they are a good idea - it is mental.
The plan was to go up to Leeds, visit the Royal Armories, see The Tudors costume exhibit, and the rest of the armoury, and (unknown to Sandra) buy her a suit of armour. She has wanted one (to go in the hall in the house) for many years...
Well, it started reasonably well, until we looked up the hotel to check directions. Seems travelrepublic has somehow booked us in to Bradford, not Leeds. Victoria swears she did not make a mistake. Arrrg, that put everyone in a bad mood for a start. So, Hilton Bradford! If it was Leeds we had it planned, either TGI Friday's or (as I wanted) Shebab in Leeds (next to the Hilton) which do a really nice Balti Murgh.
Thankfully I found a nice place called Nawaab that happens to also do a nice chicken murgh, and the meal was really nice and liked by all, phew.
Also, it turns out, we arrived in Bradford as they started their "Fire & Ice" turning on of the Christmas lights thing, which was entertaining and took our mind off the fact we were in the wrong place!
Breakfast in the Bradford Hilton was a disaster - should've gone to premier inn! They start with no pot of tea, soft boiled eggs as requested but no egg cups, no butter, a toaster than was very biased to one side (when we eventually got rock hard frozen butter), a cup of tea that was nearly poored as coffee and then never turned up, generally ignored by the staff, and £10 a head to add insult to injury. I tried to register a complaint on the Hilton web site only to find it refused to accept any of my (perfectly valid) email addresses and so I posted on twitter which got their attention. We got refunded for the breakfast at least. Seriously though, the premier inn in Leeds has much better and more reliable breakfast... They also have much less noise that the centre of Bradford so you can actually sleep all night!
The Royal Armoury in Leeds was quite fun - and Sandra loved the suits of armour (yes!) and, well, pretty much all of it. We have to say The Tudors costume exhibit was disappointingly small to say the least with something like 6 costumes, and that was it. Anyway, Sandra picked a suit of armour to buy and it arrives in a couple of weeks - cool (see pic).
Added to the fun was a comic convention of some sort, so outside were storm troopers and spiderman and all sorts.
Drive back in fog, traffic, and darkness, was not fun, but we are all safely home now. So, a fun weekend in Leeds!