York: The Weird and Wonderful

When you have a few hours spare in the most haunted city in the world, it’s only right that you go exploring!

I’ve been to York before. I’ve seen the York Minister, I’ve fangirled over the Harry Potter Stores in The Shambles and walked along the castle walls. But this time, I was on a mission. I wanted to find the weirdest and most wonderful shops in this weird and wonderful city.

I like to think I succeeded! Check out my finds below.


The Portal Bookshop

Walkin into this independant bookstore was like walking through a portal (hehehe get it?) into a world of LGBTQA+ celebration. The shelves were lined with both fiction and non-fiction LGBTQA+ books, flags and badges and the person who owned the shop was so lovely and a pleasure to talk to!

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQA+ community, or an ally like mysel, you are welcomed with such a lovely warmth into this store. If you’re wanting to grab an awesome fantasy novel or educate yourself on social issues, then why not choose to head to this local business instead of the nearest chain?

Want to head there yourself? Find it here:

The Portal Bookshop
5 Patrick Pool
York, England YO1 8BB

Or check them out on Social Media!

https://www.instagram.com/portal.bookshop/


York Armoury

Much like these bewilderesd strangers, I too was in drawn in by the weapons on display in the window of the York Armoury. You might have notice the Keyblades (big up Kingdom Hearts) or mayve the crazy masks, dragons or full sized shields is what grabbed your attention, but for me, as soon as I saw this display I just had to go in.

The shop itself is a clustered mixture of both fan replicas of classic weapons (such as Mjolnir!), collectables, armour and real ass swords. Being a massive weeb, the Katanas were the think I was most excited to see. Sadly I neither had the funds, or the need, for a`sword of my own so looking had to be enough for me.

Check them out here!

15-19 Stonegate
York
YO26 8AS
www.yorkarmoury.com


Käthe Wohlfahrt

Ok so this one was probably the most fun for me to experience. This place is the real Christmas Wonderland and let me tell you, Christmas isn’t just in December for these folks.

Whilst you’re not normally allowed to take photos, the staff inside were lovely enough to allow me to take a few to show you guys a sneak peak!

Founded in 1964, this German company embodies everything Christmas. From beautiful tree decorations to beautiful statues, you feel like you are transported to a Winter Wonderland, no matter what the season. There is even an entire room just made of genuine German Black Forest Cuckoo clocks!

Walking around the shop, you feel pure joy and wonder whilst each room unveils a new surprise. A must see from me!

Give them a visit here:
17-19 Stonegate
Mulberry Hall, York
YO1 8ZW
https://www.kaethe-wohlfahrt.com/en/souvenirs-en/


York Ghost Merchants

Fans of the occult may already know this, but York is the most haunted city in the world! Situated on the Shambles, York Ghost Merchants pays tribute to this in such a lovely way. If you’re looking for a souvernir from your trip- this is the place to go.

Made from a water based material that I’m not allowed to say (but if you know me personally it is something work with myself!), this shop sells the most adorable mini ghosts! Each one is unique in it’s design, so your ghost will be one-of-a-kind. You can see my very own Ghost Jojo in the pictures below (yes I named it whilst watching Jojo’s Bizarre adventure…).

The way the shop is designed, including the low light and staff costumes, walking into the small space feels almost like you’ve almost stepped back in time to haunted Victorian England! There are little surprises hidden throughout the shop which I wont spoil for you, but they are. such a joy to discover.

Oh… and check out the mini working train!!

You can find these guys on The Shambles but the full address is:
6 Shambles
York
YO1 7LZ
https://www.yorkghostmerchants.com/


The Weird and Wonderful

These 4 stores are the weirdest and most wonderful you can find in the world’s most haunted city (in my opinion 😉 ).

Have you been to any of them? Let me know!

8 Exciting Eats- Manchester

8 Exciting Eats- Manchester

With the government asking us all to eat out to help out, I thought I’d put together a few of my favourite food spots in Manchester to help you guys out when you can’t decide what to eat.

Want to grab a quick bite or relax into a good meal with a cocktail? Check out my top picks below.

1. The Ivy

Situated in Manchester City Centre’s classiest area Spinningfields, The Ivy hosts three separate restaurants: The Ivy Brasserie, Ivy Asia and The Ivy Roof Garden, all of which are amazing. My personal favourite is going to The Brasserie for brunch with the gals.

Top tip: try the buttermilk pancakes with fruit, Greek yoghurt and strawberry sauce- they’re to die for.

2. Mackie Mayor

Mackie Mayor is the coolest food hall you will ever see.

You can find it in the Northern Quarter where it is open every single day of the year. Serving artisan versions of all your favourite foods, it even has fantastic veggie/vegan options so that everyone can have an incredible meal. 

3. Victors

Victors can be found in South Manchester, with one restaurant in Alderly Edge and the other in Hale.

If you’re looking for a place to eat that is full of elegance and class, then this is the place to be. The Alderly Edge location has one of my favourite interiors of any restaurant I’ve ever been to, using florals and botanics to create an otherworldly vibe.

My suggestions are the sushi (which is unreal)for food and for a cocktail, the Victor’s Garden for Her.

4. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

Another Northern Quarter classic, the UK’s first ever Grilled Cheese Restaurant is a can’t-miss.

These are far from just your average cheese toasties. Northern Soul takes a basic staple and turns it into a gourmet masterpiece.

5. Rudy’s

Who would have thought you’d find one of the best pizza spots in the world in Manchester?

Rudy’s has an official ranking of the tenth best pizza worldwide by food website Big Seven. To top it off, the prices are super reasonable.

If you’re a pizza lover, Rudy’s is a must-visit on your trip to Manchester

6. Crazy Pedros

Staying on pizza for a minute, Crazy Pedro’s Pizza Parlour lives up to it’s name– the flavour combinations are crazy!

From their ‘World Famous Hotdog Pizza’ (featuring hot hogs, crispy onions, mustard and ketchup) to their ‘Giuseppe’s Not Sloppy, He’s Vegan’ (Hot spiced fake beef chilli, vegan cheese, peppers, onions and jalapeños), you know you’re in for a wild time. Plus, their cocktails are awesome.

7. All Star Lanes

What doesn’t All Star Lanes have? With an A La Carte Menu, Brunch (until 4pm!!!) and insane cocktails, you’ll struggle not to have an amazing meaI almost forgot to mention the best part- it’s a bowling alley.

 I’ve had some of my best nights out starting with a meal, drinks and bowling here.

8. Indian Tiffin Room

I don’t know about you, but in my family, curry is the ultimate food and The Tiffin Room is the hands-down family favourite.

With two Manchester locations, you can either visit in the City Centre or down in Cheadle. Personally I’d recommend the Cheadle location as the staff are so lovely. 

Top tip: Try the Gobi Manchurian, Chana Batura and ITR Curries. 


Have you been to any of these places? Let me know what you thought of them!

Enjoy your food!

Charlotte

5 Tips for Travelling with an Illness

5 Tips for Travelling with an Illness

Travelling with a chronic illness, or anything that provides a limitation on your life can seem like a daunting task but there are steps that you can take to make it way easier! Here are 5 tips that I find really useful when planning my trips.

1. Stay somewhere with a Kitchen

Image from Unsplash

Diet is important when it comes to keeping up energy levels and whilst you don’t have to be healthy all the time- you are on holiday after all– it can be helpful to know what is going into your meals.

When I go away, I still do go out for meals sometimes but having access to a kitchen has really helped me to plan my food around my activities.

Got a big afternoon? Make a dish with some brown carbs and veg for energy.

Light day? Make a salad that won’t cost an arm and a leg etc

It also helps to save money too as eating out for every meal can be expensive!

2. Make sure you have ways to get back to your accommodation

Image from Unsplash

For someone like me who has chronic fatigue, a dip can happen anytime, and anywhere. Eating well can help to control this slightly but it doesn’t mean that this won’t happen unfortunately :(.

Making sure that you have a way back to your accommodation should you need it is essential.

If you are travelling with a car that is ideal (but make sure you’re in the right state to drive ofc!) or if you’re with someone else, make sure they are insured on the car too. Max (my boyfriend) has been driving me everywhere whilst we’ve been down in Cornwall (mainly because I still can’t drive…) and it has been really helpful to have someone help me get back when I feel bad.

Should you not have access to a car, make sure that you look up public transport links and know your route home.

Also, get the number for a taxi firm incase it is hard to get one off the street. If you are staying somewhere that is does not speak your native language, try and memorise: ‘Do you speak x’ and ‘Can you take me to x’. If you don’t think you’ll be able to remember it, write it down.

3. Make a To-Do List

Image from Unsplash

I don’t know about you but I feel way calmer having planned out what I intend to do for a trip. Making plans of what to do and see really calms any anxiety of floundering around aimlessly.

To make an overall trip list I look on pintrest or other people’s travel blogs to see what previous visitors recommend. Local tourism sights are always a good bet and I even look on Instagram to see where the coolest looking spots are!

Then, it helps to make daily breakdowns. Planning what you want to do each day is great for people with illnesses because we can say: ‘Wednesday looks like a heavy day so let’s make Tuesday an easy one and plan for an early night’ etc

4. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go to plan

After spending ages creating your perfect itinerary (or at least I do) it can be so frustrating when your illness decides not cooperate.

During my trip to Cornwall, I think I only did about 70% of what I had planned to do because I had dips. It sucks but no matter how hard you plan, shit happens. The best thing to do is try to enjoy the things you’ve managed to do and be flexible with changing up what you want to do based on how you’re feeling.

5. Take energy boosting snacks with you wherever you go

Food photo created by Racool_studio – www.freepik.com

If you start to flag, have a dip of or just start to feel all round rubbish, having some energy boosting snacks to hand can help give you that small boost of energy you need to get back home or to get you over the hill so that you can continue on with your day.

Personally, I take a super small Tupperware of trail mix with me everywhere I go. It has a mixture of nuts and seeds that are not only a yummy, healthy snack, but are also great for a little boost.

Let’s say you’re feeling rubbish but it would take you a while to get back to your accommodation or to get a proper meal- having something like a peanut bar, some seeds or (if you fancy something more fun) a cacao bar can be a huge help.

Don’t think you can’t do it- you can!

Our bodies might be fighting against us at times but it is 100% possible to get out there and do the things we love. We just need to take a few extra precautions than healthy people.

So to all my fellow Spoonies out there, let’s get exploring!