I had another business trip this week.
York this time. Newcastle last month. York is nicer than Newcastle. Apologies to any Geordie readers.
I’d been to York a couple of times before. About 20 years ago I was there on business – a conference. I didn’t see much of the city – just the inside of the conference hotel (the Royal York).
I paid a brief visit 5-6 years ago, mainly for horse racing. York is one of the big English racecourses. It was July and the city was wall to wall (literally – it is a walled city) with tourists. 50,000 (hungry & thirsty) racegoers were squeezed in too. I tried to do a bit of sightseeing, but is was so busy it was claustrophobic.
This week’s trip was for an all day strategy development workshop with Ice Hockey UK. It’s the national governing body for the sport.
Being February the city was much quieter. It was midterm school holidays in England (or some parts, anyway) but the foreign tourists were still thin on the ground.
The morning of the meeting I was out of my hotel about 7am to see the old part of the city while it was quiet. Perfect strategy.
It was cold but sunny, and great to walk the medieval streets in peace.
I was too early to get into the Minster (unless I wanted to worship) but I was impressed by its grandeur. I’m not easily impressed by churches.
I also saved myself a small fortune on breakfast. The hotel (the Novotel) wanted £13.50 for a continental breakfast – in a room infested with screaming, small children no doubt. I paid £5.50 in the city centre. More perfect strategy.
The other big success was dinner in a Turkish restaurant (the Reina) soon after I arrived off the train the previous evening. I guessed all the families would be in chain pubs and restaurants, plus 99% of little British kids would throw a treble tantrum at the prospect of eating Turkish food. Another strategic success.
The Reina was quiet. Service was excellent. The food was absolutely wonderful. Great value too.
As for the meeting – after 5-6 hours of strategising (on a Friday, no less) my brain was ready to burst. I thought the meeting was a big success, mind you. I’m new to the organisation however, so maybe trouble is lurking just below the surface and I didn’t spot it.
© iain taylor 2015