February Festivities

February Festivities

Hey hi hello – sorry for being so absent lately! There have been books to read, films to see and games to play – so I’ve kind of neglected my blog a little. Slap my hand and let’s get on with it for I want to share with you (for some bizarre reason) the things I’ve been up to as of late. 

Throughout February, Tom and I have booked a couple of days off here and there (in fact, this is my first full week at work since January) just to spend time together. Many people think that because I live with my partner, it means we see each other all the time, but for the most part it’s a routine of get up, go to our respective jobs, come home, cook tea and go to bed. This is why I think it’s massively important to take time for just you and your partner, to enjoy ‘us’ time.

So, what did we get up to I hear absolutely nobody ask?

Michelin Star Meals and Metal Music

Gourmet food and a rock concert go hand in hand, right?

Earlier this month, Tom and I went to The White Swan in Fence, which has recently been awarded a Michelin Star. Check us out, being all fancy.

I’m sure many people are like this, but for me and Tom, food seems to be a huge part of our relationship. Linda Evangelista wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day – well, me and Tom won’t go out unless we know there’s grub involved. So, on a Thursday evening, off we trotted to the White Swan for some posh nosh.

The ~cool thing about the White Swan is that the menu changes almost daily, depending on what the head chef can find fresh at that morning’s market and only includes three starters, three mains and three desserts. To paraphrase the almighty prophet Forrest Gump: dining at the White Swan is like a box of chocolates. You never know what’cha gonna get.

The first time we went to the White Swan with Tom’s parents, I had a consommé that quite literally consumed me and I’ve been craving ever since, and a hearty Sunday Roast. It was a little bit disappointing when a teeny tiny portion of food turned up for our mains the second time around, but the pure deliciousness almost made up for it.

Our dessert was f’ing phenomenal and included some sort of custard/ ice-cream hybrid which I almost miss as much as the consommé.

Food at the white swan

I dream about that damn consommé.

After a couple days moping around town, we then set off to Manchester to see my favourite band, Enter Shikari, at the Academy. Because both Tom and I are anxious about driving in Manchester, we X43’ed it in and decided to book a hotel to save us stressing about getting the last bus home, which made the whole experience more enjoyable, obviously.

As per usual, Enter Shikari were phenomenal. Playing tracks from their most recent album as well as older songs for those die-hard fans (me), Enter Shikari never fail to capture the room’s attention and turn us into sweaty, excited messes ready to stick a middle finger to government.

Enter Shikari

Sexy Cinema Scenes

Before I start talking about what was possibly one of the more awkward moments of my life, I’d like to just say: I fucking love Betty’s.

For Valentine’s Day this year, Tom and I decided to have a little excursion to Ilkley (you’ve probably heard me ranting about how much I love the cinema in my 2018 wrapped blog post). We kicked off the festivities with a trip to the famous Yorkshire tea rooms, where I absolutely devoured a cream tea and Tom enjoyed a breakfast rosti – honestly, I was more bothered about what was on my plate to pay attention to his. 

I would recommend Betty’s to anyone – there is normally a queue to get in (which just affirms how popular it is) but the wait is oh so worth it. It is like stepping back in time to when high tea was the fashion, but somehow it’s cool. Plus, it’s impossible to leave without buying a year’s supply of macaroons from the shop. 

cream tea at bettys

Of course, no trip to Ilkley would be complete without seeing a film. In case you haven’t already guessed I’m a huge history nerd (see blogs: Five Things You Didn’t Know About Anne Boleyn and that one I did about Mary I). Therefore it was a no-brainer that we’d see Mary Queen of Scots, which is a film adaptation of the book by John Guy (who is a GREAT historian by the way). Now, normally being the anal history buff I am, I can get quite picky about which historical fictions I watch.

That being said, the film was more a biopic about Mary Queen of Scots’ life and the turmoil she faced from within her own country and from England/ Elizabeth I as well. For such an underrated character in the landscape of British history, Saoirse Ronan did an incredible job of capturing the Scottish queen against, what is generally thought of as, a historiography that tends to bet against her. The bigger surprise was that Tom perhaps enjoyed the film more than I did!

The only downside of watching this film, at two thirty in the afternoon is that we were joined by the cast of cocoon, and being surrounded by about fifty elderly ladies during a quite, ahem, intimate (and graphic) scene in the film was more than uncomfortable. 

Ilkley Cinema

York, again!

Tom and I love York just a little bit more than we love Ilkely. We also think there’s something to be said about the fact our two most visited places both house a Betty’s tea room… Anyway, because, as most of you know, we’re getting married in York, we thought it was worth a trip to scope out a potential wedding venue.

Now, in my wedding planning blog, we mentioned we were holding our reception at the House of Trembling Madness. I will always, always hold this place dear to my heart but it’s too damn small! With the guest list growing and growing, we decided that we needed to find somewhere bigger. That’s when we found a lovely little bar / restaurant called Kennedy’s, and the rest is history.

After paying the deposit (so grown up, eh?) we had a wander around our favourite city, bought some art and craft supplies because we’re big nerds and had some dinner. Honestly, just walking around the cobbled streets is wonderful and in all honesty, it was good to get some fresh air.

Me an Tom

If you’ve not been to York, or if you’re looking for some recommendations, check out my little guide to York here.

And that brings us up to date, dear chums! If you’ve made it this far kudos (and also, why?)! I promise to write more in the future – watch this space. I promise it’ll be worth it. See ya x




    • nicoleparkes
      February 22, 2019 / 11:58 am

      We visited for the first time before it had it’s star, so that’s probably the only reason we went back! I would still recommend the White Swan in Fence if you ever get the chance though – just make sure to book! 🙂 x

  1. Melissa February 22, 2019 / 3:09 pm

    Everything sounds so fun! My outings almost always involve food too.

    • nicoleparkes
      February 22, 2019 / 3:43 pm

      Ah thank you Melissa! It definitely was 🙂

  2. Sheqo February 23, 2019 / 6:22 pm

    Looks like your travel was amazing. I would I would love to visit Manchester someday. Great photos❤

  3. Michelle Miller February 23, 2019 / 6:57 pm

    It looks like a wonderful time! So much to do. 🙂

    • nicoleparkes
      February 23, 2019 / 7:38 pm

      Definitely! Thanks for reading z

  4. Ashley Firth February 28, 2019 / 12:58 pm

    I love York! How fabulous to be getting married in York|! I’m so jealous. I’ve never been to Betty’s tea rooms! The scones look absolutely delicious! xxx

    • nicoleparkes
      February 28, 2019 / 1:39 pm

      Ah thank you! I would 100% reccomend, even if it’s just for one time! Thank you for your lovely comment x

  5. Francesca March 1, 2019 / 9:46 pm

    I’m so jealous you saw Enter Shikari!
    Looks like you had a great February! Love the photos and really enjoyed your post! 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Fran x | http://www.frantasmagoria.co.uk/

    • nicoleparkes
      March 1, 2019 / 10:52 pm

      Thank you Fran! They’re amazing live I’d highly reccomend going x

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