At very short notice I decided to take a short break in North Yorkshire and booked into a very nice B&B in Pickering (17 Burgate for those interested) and then set about making the most of the time I had up there.
During the drive to Pickering I stopped at a lovely café called “The Patisserie” in Malton and had possibly the best smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich I have ever eaten, and to compliment this they served excellent cappuccino. Particularly impressive were the young man and young lady who were serving, impeccable manners, a smile on their faces and customer care of the very highest quality.
I also came across a rather strange parade of members of the local “Zydaco and Cajun Music society” walking around the market square in what one has to say, were some pretty impressive costumes…………..I have no idea of the significance of the parade although I was informed that is was an “occasion parade.”
Arriving on the Saturday afternoon just happened to coincide with the Flying Scotsman steam train arriving at Pickering station to unload and pick up its next bunch of very lucky travellers (I was told that the tickets went on sale in November and were sold out in less than a day).
The place was absolutely packed with visitors who had come to see the train, old and young alike, stood and waited in anticipation of the “green goddess” making its appearance at the platform.
After a shortish delay it was announced that the train was about to enter the station. We could see the steam and heard the whistle but not the train, then it appeared like magic and gently sidled its way into the station to the sound of hundreds of camera shutters going off. It eventually detatched itself from the carriages and shunted forward to begin the process of turning around, it was at this point that I got the best shot I think I have ever taken of it.
Saturday evening I dined out in Pickering at Figaro’s Ristorante where I consumed a really excellent lasagne and a palatable glass of Italian house red wine. The starter of bruschetta was made with nice fresh tomatoes and only lacked fresh basil leaves to make it perfect. But, well worth a visit (customer service was very good.
Sunday took in a trip to Whitby (uninspiring) followed a by a longish stay in Goathland to await the arrival of the Flying Scotsman, which was inevitably running late. The station was packed with people who had made special journeys to see the train and when it arrived it pulled into the small station and stayed about ten minutes, during which several thousand photographs must have been taken (I took two thousand!).
A very enjoyable meal at Willowgate Bistro in the evening consisted of a starter of smoked duck breast followed by an excellent fish pie, which was very posh as it had scallops in it! Service was a little slow but I whiled away the time with a very decent glass of Rioja and finished with a fine cappuccino. They do set two and three course menues which are good value for money, worth a visit if you are in Pickering.
NB I have no personal or professional connections / interests with any of the places I have named.