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Checking out nudes in York

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 23 August 2011 | Views [569]

York Minster

York Minster

5 years ago when I visited York and the only things I remember were eating rock cake, seeing York Minster and buying a funky watch. I was on a mission to find those places again, starting with the rock cake of course. In the city centre I wandered around, walking too closely to other people to hear their Yorkshire accent which if I've been following the right people goes something like this - "You alright luv? The minster's ov'r tere innit. Now I'm off teh Greggs teh get me a pasty." Apart from the accent, what separated the locals from the tourists were brightly coloured and cropped hair, and their incredibly skinny and lanky appearance.

A few streets into the city centre and I found a very popular cafe called Betty's, and from here I bought a Yorkshire Fat Rascal. This is the cake that I remember. It's like a dense scone made of flour, dried fruit, maraschino cherries and almonds to decorate. According to the bag it's best eaten when warmed with butter. The other sweets and cakes in the shop looked devine and I can understand why the cafe is so popular.

Near York Minster, which is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, there are some lovely gardens and pathways. I wandered through Earl's Court to reach the York city wall which gave a spectacular view of the Minster from afar. The walls were in pretty good nick, very narrow but fairly intact considering how old they are, and wound their way around York city. I came out through Monk Bar (a gate not a drinking place) which faces York Art Gallery. The William Etty exhibition was on, the 19th century Yorkshire artist renowned for painting nudes, which created a lot of controversy at the time but I thought were quite brilliant. Most of his paintings are adaptations of biblical stories so there's more meaning behind them than just bums and breasts. I'm happy I got to see the exhibition while it's showing.

Tags: fat rascal, william etty, york, york minster

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