1. Three robots do Ace of Spades. Thank you to everyone who sent me this!
How bad-ass are these women? I found them on the consistently rad Teenage blog where there’s a whole series of awesome 80s female punk fans.
It’s not really connected, I suppose, but I’ve been thinking a lot about ~~personal style lately. It’s not a New Year resolution or anything of that nature, more a dawning realisation that I’m a year off 30, have a proper job where I need to go to srs meetings (at least sometimes) and probably shouldn’t base my outfit ideas around teenagers. From the 80s or otherwise.
It feels like I’ve taken half my wardrobe to the charity shop over the last few weeks through a combination of being really bored of my clothes, needing to do a bit of a clearout and not fitting into things anymore (all that hiking over cliffs in Whitby paid off). I now have a (slightly less full) wardrobe full of things I feel ambivalent about but that ‘do’ for work and things I love and wear all the time – with a lot of space for some new sensible purchases.
I’m definitely more about quality than quantity now, but it’s the ~~personal style bit that I’m struggling with. Sometimes I want to just be a teenage goth and wear dungarees and a beanie and sometimes I want to be COS/Whistles grown-up like Iso and other proper adults.
Does the answer to this come to you in some 30-shaped lightning bolt from the sky? Because I really care a lot about what I wear and the clothes I buy, but there doesn’t seem to be any regular pattern to any of it.
Do you have to make your mind up?
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have already been subject to my pictures of Whitby, but as so many people seem so enthralled with the place I thought I’d round up some of the best things to do there.
I spent many happy childhood holidays in this fishing town on the north east coast, but my last visit was about eight years ago. In the ensuing time I’ve developed a brutal taste for real ale and good food – and realised that my goth tendencies are nothing to be ashamed of – and as Whitby has plenty of all these things, figured it was time to revisit the place.
Lots of Googling went into our planning so to save you the effort if you do end up going, here’s my guide to some nice places to eat, drink and be generally gleeful about how amazing the place is.
Places to drink
The Black Horse, 91 Church Street, YO22 4BH
Little old man pub where we spent just about every evening. Really good ales and ~pub tapas. Which basically means a really, really good cheeseboard and lots of pork pies. The food is bloody brill and if you are a London dweller who is used to paying Southampton Arms prices for a pint and a pork pie, you will cry like a baby at the cost of your round. Fun fact: Andy lost a wallet of money, cheques, cards and train tickets here. It was handed in untouched. People, eh! Lovely bloody people.
Duke of York, 124 Church Street, YO22 4DE
Handily located at the bottom of the 199 steps, this pub has a pretty amazing location overlooking the harbour. Again, it’s Cask Marque-tastic in terms of ale AND it has free wifi – which comes in handy in a 3G blackspot like Whitby. They do standard pub grub which isn’t anything spectacularly mind-blowing but not to be sniffed at by any means – you can’t go wrong with some pub scampi and chips, can you? Especially not when you’re basically sitting in the harbour. Really though, you’re here for the beer and the view.
The Board, 125 Church Street, YO22 4DE
Hold on, you’re thinking. All of these pubs are on Church Street. That’s right. Whitby is small, that’s what makes it brilliant. This is a proper locals pub but don’t worry, this being Yorkshire everyone’s dead friendly. I’ve not eaten here but it has food and, again, amazing views and top ales.
The Endeavour, 66 Church Street, YO22 4AS
Ale. Friendly people. Are you getting the message? Everywhere in Whitby is nice and cheap with good beer, I can’t really tell you any more than that.
Middle Earth Tavern, 25 Church Street, YO22 4AE
One for the hobbit fanciers.
Jolly Sailors, 13 Saint Anne’s Staith, YO21 3PW
Over on the other side of the harbour, this is one of Whitby’ two Sam Smiths pubs. It has a fire and beer is £1.30 a pint. The other SS is called The Plough and it’s on Baxtergate – I prefer this one for its harbourside location and friendly locals. It also has a beer garden, apparently – bit cold for those larks on our visit.
The Shambles, Market Place, YO22 4DD
If you want to revisit your teenage holiday to Newquay with all your mates, this place goes some way to taking you back there. It’s bloody massive, there are lots of sofas and you will buy some cheap pints of lager and a bag of Mini Cheddars and you will be extremely happy. This place also has an enormous balcony which, I vaguely recall, is smashing in summer. As we were there this time in December I didn’t venture out to see if my memory was correct.
Ye Dolphin, King Street, YO22 4SH
If you walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay, this is a good pub to reward yourself in. It’s a seven mile hike over the cliffs so you will deserve the reward, trust me. Good ales and more good pub food, although we missed serving times and had to make do with a bag of nuts. There are quite a few pubs in Robin Hood’s Bay, considering its population is less than 1,500. I’ve not been in any others but as you may be gathering – it’s hard to go wrong.
Places to eat
The White Horse & Griffin, 87 Church Street, YO22 4BH
FANCY! This is definitely one of Whitby’s jewels – incredible historic building with lots of nooks and crannies and open fires and utterly brilliant food. It’s a tiny bit expensive (I mean, it isn’t at all – but after a few days of laughing in the face of the price of everything, this is more back to normal standards) but they do ~early bird special menus and breakfasts and all sorts of things, so make sure you visit at some point.
Trenchers, New Quay Road, YO21 1DH
Oh god, the chips from these guys. You won’t be short of choice for fish and chips in Whitby but after the Magpie, this place owns my heart. Nice art deco kind of feel to the restaurant but even if you just got a bag of chips and sat outside eating them you’d be happy.
Magpie Cafe, 14 Pier Road, YO21 3PU
The Magpie is probably the most famous thing in Whitby, if you remove Dracula from the equation. It’s won a billion awards, got pages of rave reviews and has a queue outside every day for good reason. It is bloody brilliant. Sprawling over more floors and rooms every time I visit, it nevertheless loses none of its charm – the staff are just brilliant and keep a tight ship running at all times. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, frankly. I had crab pate and fish pie this time and just thinking about them now is making me salivate like a cartoon dog. Go early and book your table, then run on the spot for two hours to build up your appetite.
Humble Pie, 163 Church Street, YO22 4AS
Pie, mash, gravy, peas. £4.99. I know what you’re thinking – Goddard’s pies are the best in the world. Nuh-uh. There’s no Henderson’s Relish in a Goddard’s pie.
The Moon & Sixpence, Marine Parade, YO21 3PR
You want a fancy bistro? Well SURE, Whitby can cater to that. This smart wine bar kinda hangout does a mean breakfast, quality lunches and, obviously, loads of Whitby fish for your dinner. Kind of tiny, so choose your timing wisely – then sit and look at the harbour and enjoy your lunch and feel smug.
Green’s of Whitby, 13 Bridge Street, YO22 4BG
If you want more fish (obviously you do) but you don’t want to visit a chippy again, Green’s is your super fancy alternative. Chef Rob Green is a former winner of Seafood Chef of the Year and with the quality of raw materials available to him you’ve got a fairly winning combination, haven’t you? You’ll probably need to book and it’s not cheap, but if you want to experience some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat then add it to your list. Oh, and there’s non-fishy stuff too if you’re weird and can’t eat any more fish.
Sandside Cafe, East Row, YO21 3SU
If you walk from Whitby to Sandsend (the opposite direction to Robin Hood’s Bay), this is your reward. A smashing little cafe right on the sea front, with cakes and sarnies and sausage rolls and all sorts of delicious things to reward you for that bracing stroll along the front. It’s only a couple of miles, but you deserve it.
Places to buy tasty food
If you end up self-catering like we did, you’ll be faced with the daily dilema of whether to go out and eat amazing food in all of the awesome places listed above or whether to take advantage of the brilliant local butchers and bakers and fishmongers. Tough call, I know. Here are some places we bought our supplies – there’s also a big Co-Op down by the station if you need anything else.
Fortune’s Kippers, 22 Henrietta Street, YO22 4DW
Smoking kippers in the same little ol’ hut for 139 years, this is as much another Whitby landmark as somewhere to buy your fish. Only open in the mornings, it’s worth getting up and over there before breakfast to pick up some kippers wrapped in newspaper or the pate, which is the stuff of dreams. You can smell this place a mile off and I mean that in the best possible way.
Botham’s of Whitby, locations throughout the town
You can’t beat a proper bakery, particularly one that’s still in the same family hands as it has been in for 147 years. You know when you go to a bakery and buy a loaf and toast it and have it with real butter or kipper pate and you think, I will never again buy a loaf from Sainsbos? That. See also; pork pies, sausage rolls, cakes, pasties.
Shepherd’s Purse Whole Food, 95 Church Street, YO22 4BH
Oh god, the cheeses. And the spices and the sauces and the condiments! Forget what I said about the Co-Op, just go here and smell everything.
Breckon Butchers, 6 Golden Lion Bank, YO21 3BS
There are loads of good butchers in Whitby but this is where we seemed to do most of our shopping. Best bacon I’ve ever eaten in my life. I know it’s obvious and non-London dwellers will roll their eyes to the heavens, but it’s so nice to go in a butchers and chat to them about what you’re cooking then be handed a bag of meat that costs less than a fiver for enough to feed a family of four. That bacon though, seriously.
Ellis Greengrocers, 8 Baxtergate, YO21 1BD
Again, there’s no shortage of grocers in Whitby but we liked this place. See, there really is no need for the Co-Op, forget I even mentioned it.
Well, that was a long break. I didn’t intend it to be quite so lengthy but I do feel much better for it so there we have it.
Normal service to resume shortly.
[Dan Weiner, New Year's Eve in Time's Square: Art Blart]
2. International evil alternatives to Santa. I like Krampus and, of course, the Yule Lads. But we all knew about them before, didn’t we?
2012 has definitely been the year of Goodhood for more. I feel like I’ve written a million posts about this little East London shop but their smashing selection of brands just feels like it’s been curated specially for me, you know? Everything I like in one pleasingly grey place.
With that in mind, I can’t think of a better way of rounding off the year than with one of Goodhood’s pre-stuffed stockings – loads of cool shit, chosen for you and wrapped up in one stylish sock. There are options for male and female recipients, but nail polish aside I’m pretty sure anyone would be happy with any of them.
As well as your screen-printed stocking, you get a choice of awesome stuff from the store including Wig Wam socks, Victorinox pen knives (pleased to see these in the girls’ options rather than just the LADS) , Malin & Goetz toiletries, Norse Projects knitwear and APC x Carharrt pants. I mean… how could you not be happy?
Imagine looking half as cool, calm and composed as this woman when you’re sweating into someone’s armpit on the Jubilee line.
Her angry scowl just make me like her even more. All the best people are scowlers.
See more of Walker Evans’ portraits of non-sweaty, non-ruffled, non-headphone-wearing-Kindle-toting people on the subway in the 1930s and 40s here!
Well, we got there.
4. One of my favourite Persephone books, The Making of a Marchioness, is on ITV THIS SUNDAY! Set your V+ for 8pm ‘cos it’s gonna be gooooood. I hope. Teeny snippet in the ITV Christmas trailer… [Don't forget it's called The Making of a Lady on telly, 'cos youse are all too thick to know what a marchioness is. That's what ITV said anyway.]
This year’s Christmas gift suggestions are based around the varying facets of my personality – because I’m sure that everyone can find a bit of @furcoat inside them if they
I don’t want to toot my horn too much, but I think that ‘finding weird shit on the internet’ would definitely be something I could list under skills on my CV. What can I say, I spend a lot of time fannying around. Today an IS guy had to clear my browsing data and he was like, ‘damn, you have a lot of history’. YEAH I DO, son, yeah I do.
I guess there’s nothing new here, but if you like fannying around on the internet as much as I do, I hope these things appeal. Cats, junk food, craft… it’s what the internet what made for.
1. Bear Highlighters, £3, Paperchase - for when you have to step off the internet and go IRL and print stuff out. (Who even has a printer?)
2. Stonehenge Key Ring, £2.75, English Heritage - I don’t even know, I just want one. If I get one, I promise to do a blogger ~outfit post in front of Stonehenge. I’ll jump and everything.
3. Happy Chopper, £11.97, Rume - who doesn’t love stuff with faces? I’d only cut things in the middle of this dude so that they looked like his nose.
4. Chrissie Abott Cat Mug, £20, Culture Label - it involves a cat.
5. Edible Seeds, £3.95, The Balcony Gardener - why have a garden, or indeed leave the house at all, when you can grow all you need to survive in a window box?
6. MonuMini Barbican Tower statue, £15, Culture Label - the Barbican is Instagram’s favourite building. After the Shard.
7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Bunny USB, £35, Selfridges - USB sticks say a lot about you. My George Forman one says I’m an idiot so I’d like this please.
8. Rufus Bottle Sealer, €8.85, Donkey - dogs and booze, booze and dogs. I spend most of my internet time drinking booze and looking at dogs so… apart from the fact this encourages you not to drink all the wine, it’s basically perfect.
9. Mohzy Loop USB Cable, £7.50, Heal’s - white iPhone chargers are so lame.
10. Burger & Fry Ear Buds, £7, Amazon - I can only imagine how bad the sound quality is, but you’d have a mini burger in your ear and that has to count for something.
11. Rock & Roll Clothes Plasters, £7.99, Jennie Maizels - these just remind me of what I was like when I first got into the internet. I.e. awesome?
12. Fang Clips, £3.50, Tate - I guess the internet likes vampires.
13. Stitching Postcards, £2.50, None Such Things - what better way to plot your travels/world takeover than with good old fashioned needle and thread?