Tag Archives: leicester

Back from Leicester

John was off in the US for the better part of two weeks, meaning I caught up on my own tv shows and played a lot of Fallout 4. He got back just in time for me to join him in London and us to take the train together to Leicester in order to attend his friend Lianne’s 30th birthday.

For a change we stayed at a hotel, a little place called the Castle Park Hotel right in the middle of town. A well located, reasonably priced, and friendly place that has clearly seen better days but had a nice big room and a pretty good continental breakfast. There was no elevator and we were up on the third floor, but that also meant we had a little extra distance from the sounds of the street and Firebug next door.

We arrived in Leicester around lunchtime and after getting settled in he went off to touch base with University people and I wandered around town checking out what has changed since our last visit. Most obviously the site of the old indoor market is now an open plaza, which looks like it will end up being an interesting zone as the businesses around it adapt. There seems to be a lot of redevelopment going on and the effects of the Richard III center on the city’s approach to tourism definitely seem beneficial.

I found  a place that does pizza by the slice (a thing I miss) and had lunch there, then in the evening met up with John again on London Road and had some very nice Nepalese food at Mumbai Spice, a place we visited during the reception last year based on someone’s recommendation.

Saturday we got up in time to have the continental breakfast at the hotel, which is always a crapshoot as to whether it will be enough food. This one was a pleasant surprise, nothing fancy but just what we needed. The birthday tea was at 2pm at the City Rooms, a place I have been curious about as you often see dressed up people filing in for some event or other. It’s a pretty venue, obviously very well located, and they did a very nice cream tea. I also got to meet a couple of people from John’s old gang who I had only previously heard about.

Afterwards we went back to Alex & Lianne’s for the rest of the evening, drinking g&t’s and tinto de verano in the back yard and eventually ordering some much needed curry in order to not fall over on the spot. We got back to the hotel around midnight and had no trouble getting to sleep regardless of club noises.

Sunday was for breakfast at the incomparable Bar Dos Hermanos – the full monty is still the best breakfast in Leicester, maybe in the entire of the UK. Then a long and exhaustingly hot train ride home almost did us in but we rallied after getting into the nice cool flat and finally checked out the beer garden in the Blue Keys hotel down the road from us. It was friendly and tasty and we will definitely be back.

Hello Twenty Fifteen

The rest of the Christmas holiday in Peterborough was lovely, with plenty of home cooked food and actual singing of Christmas carols in the village green. And even though I come from the proper civilized tradition of exchanging gifts on Xmas Eve, I managed to rise at 7AM on Christmas morning in the English manner and enjoy it quite well. On Boxing Day we went to an honest-to-goodness pantomime (Jack and the Beanstalk) which was very silly but also a lot of fun.

We came back to Leicester and on New Year’s Eve John’s parents took us to Casa Romana, a little Italian restaurant a few doors down from us that is easily the friendliest place in the city. The food was as good as ever and the desserts amazing. We ended up chatting away an hour longer than we had intended to, but eventually made it over to 33 Cank Street, a cocktail bar which was having a Bugsy Malone themed evening. Everyone was dressed up, most of them in period costumes, and the atmosphere was lively. There were tasty little canapes and as always the cocktails were delicious; I had a Mexican Pick Me Up which lived up to its name but I think I made the right decision in avoiding the Gangsters Tea Party, which came in an actual teapot.

There was live music by a duo called The Verzions, an acoustic duo that did a lot of retro sounding versions of songs including a bewildering number of reggae classics. They sounded great and also covered some great blues, jazz, and pop songs and even (in our favorite moment of the evening) I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book . John’s parents left at a sensible hour after ringing in the New Year but John and I stayed and danced until they kicked everyone out.

Today was devoted entirely to hanging out and playing board games. A good way to start the year off.