Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Date Day!

Today myself and Big dropped Small off at his Grandma and Grandad's bright and early in the morning and took ourselves off for some extremely rare time just the two of us.
We both had rather mixed feelings about it as it seems a bit wrong to crave time away from our child but at the same time, it's nice to be able to just be a couple rather than two parents.

We went up to York and went around the new York's Chocolate Story museum, which is rather good. It takes about an hour to go round and costs £9.50 per adult to enter on the door. We booked online so paid a pound less each. Even that's a bit dear maybe for a hour's entertainment and the prices in the cafe and shop are terrifying - £12 for two coffees and a wee bit cake each -  but actually I found it was worth the price. The tours seem to begin every 20 mins and you are met at the beginning by a very knowledgeable and friendly guide who helps you pass the time until the tour begins with questions and trivia. Then you're taken up in the lift and introduced to your guide proper. The tour itself is beautifully laid out with interactive bits and  bits where you are taught how to properly taste all the flavours in your chocolate and how to tell good chocolate from bad. You are walked through a history of chocolate beginning with the Mayans and onto the setting up of the three big chocolate factories in York, then through the decline of those companies and where they all are today, ending with a virtual set up that walks you through the chocolate making process and a final demonstration from a real live chocolatier It's all very clever and uses cutting edge technology to make it all as interactive as possible. We got to taste a fair bit of chocolate and even the chilli-cocoa water that the Mayans drank. The chocs that were made in the demo were then handed out and were absolutely delicious. You can totally see where your entrance fee is going and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

After that we grabbed some lunch, wandered around York as we tend to do if we're given the chance and even caught a performance from my favourite York busker, The Magic Ball Man. He's a contact juggler and unlike most other York street performers he doesn't try to engage the audience in cheesy banter or talk at length about how this is only source of income so please remember to contribute at the end. He just stands there and makes a crystal ball or six fly. If you put money in the hat, he thanks you. That's all. He's amazing. The first time we saw him we had Small with us and the kid was transfixed in absolute silence for the whole show. Check him out on Facebook or Youtube.

We stopped by Leeds on the way home and ate an early tea at the new 50's American Diner style burger joint Johnny Fontanes. I'd heard mixed reviews about it so was a bit wary but it was absolutely gorgeous. They say that they make all the food from scratch every day, including cutting the fries and mincing the beef and based on what I ate today I believe them. Juicy, flavoursome cheeseburger and crispy, tasty fries just what the doctor ordered. Definitely a good meal and good value and we will return again.

All in all a very successful child-free day. I loves my Big I do.

Now I'm off to make some clotted cream ice cream with the egg yolks left over from yesterdays macaroon experiment. I'll leave you with a pic of the choccy demo from this morning.

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