Tuesday, November 19

'Durham' Roll Please...


Ladies and gentlemen, I've finally handed in my crucial history essays after weeks and weeks of work, and yes my little cherubs, I am neglecting the blog and yourselves no longer.
I'm all yours for the picking and have some cracking posts (increasingly festive ones), coming your way!
So how shall I kick off my new found freedom?
Well whilst drowning under piles of Tudor textbooks in the darkest depths of the library, my friend Anna was having a bit a dodgy week too. Both of us needed a comforting hug, a good friend and a strong cocktail.
And so, just like that, I clambered onto a train (sadly with the textbooks in tow), and trundled off to the stunning city of Durham for a 24hr escape from life in Leeds.
Spontaneous trips are always the best after all!

I clambered off the train, sprinted down the platform with my bags flaying around and gave Anna a big bear hug like no other. (The John Lewis Bear & Hare would be proud!)
Luckily, the one weekend I wanted to escape Leeds was the one that Durham was having its finest moment: an enormous light festival called Lumiere which stretched across the city for only a few days.
We rushed back to Anna's, dropped off all of my bits and pieces and then dashed back out with our cameras.

But before we could venture onto the island of luminous lights, we had a date booked with a rather large cocktail and a beast of a burger.

Tango is a dark, atmospheric little burger bar located right next to the central bridge in Durham.
Apologies for the oddly coloured photos to follow... A camera struggles to snap in next to pitch black!

Sipping on some delicious mojitios, the gushing began: essay woes, boy problems, things we miss from home and of course... The fact the Christmas is only 5 weeks away. (I know, scary!)

One of the beautiful things about old friends is the fact that when you are back together regardless of the university distance, it is like nothing has ever changed!

Today was not the day for diets and so Anna and I both were sold on the same delight. The house 'Tango Burger' with sweet potato and regular fries.

Oh. My. Gosh. I really wish the lighting would have been more blogger friendly. This was incredible and my photos really do not do it justice.
An 100% Prime beef burger grilled to perfection topped with; sweet home smoked bacon, melting jack cheese, haystack onions and crowned with their secret BBQ sauce.

I mean... This was just wow.
Juicy. Meaty. Filling... And all in a sweet brioche bun.
Every single mouthful was savoured slowly, very very slowly.

Having well and truly stuffed ourselves with the best burger in town, we wrapped ourselves up in our scarves and thick layers before joining the massive queue forming outside the restaurant's window.

We could hear the enormous bellow before we saw it.
All of a sudden, before our eyes there was an enormous elephant, projected onto fake castle gates to in-keep with the city's scene.

Isn't she a beut? A moving, realistic elephant which dominates the sky above your head, flailing her trunk as she goes.

The lucky elephant even had a rather pert bum too.

We weaved through the crowds along the high street, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the plastic bag light show and flurescent signs until we made it to the cathedral.
Wow, just wow.
The whole cathedral was being used as a screen having bright colours, pictures and scenes scrolling across its front in time to music.

It was quite eerie in the moonlight, but the bright colours stood out in the pitch black sky.

The inside of the cathedral had light reflecting off of wires which were hung all around the higher arches, it shimmered and reflected tiny beams of light that vanished as soon as you blinked.

Anna and I lit a few candles or two with the help of the cathedral priest before checking out the 'fashion show' occurring outside.

A courtyard illuminated in wire dresses that changed colour from red, white, green, blue, pink and orange.
In the courtyard with the moon overhead, it was actually a very spooky sight, especially when the dresses shone bright white.

Beautifully made and simple, but ghostly nevertheless!

The castle was unfortunately closed off (typical), but we couldn't resist taking a cheeky snap or two before heading back down the hill to the illuminated river side.

It was a little bit like an odd fairytale. Strolling in the icy air under the bread crumb trail of fairy lights that dangled above your head.

Luckily we were no lost Hansel & Gretel could use the castle lights to guide us home in the darkened night.

Finally, as we headed home for some heart warming hot chocolates, we came across a rather extraordinary light display on the old Durham miners building.

It told the story of the miners, Margaret Thatcher and the past of the building- all through the medium of stick men and music.
I know, not an easy task for the designers at all! Nevertheless, they pulled it off and the crowds were staring in awe at the bright and rapidly moving men.

Lumiere was something rather special. It had that atmosphere which you would expect on bonfire night; that excitement in a place that is very much familiar, but has that spark of something new and unknown. Little children were in utter glee at the bright and changing lights, whilst adults alike enjoyed mulled wine and the atmosphere of such a cultural but universally enjoyed festival.
Sadly our fingers had frozen too much for us to have hung around for much longer and so we headed back to Anna's to get ready for a cheeky cocktail or two in town later on.

I think I definitely picked the best weekend to escape my life in Leeds.
This was a Durham night not to be missed.



  1. So Christmas and festive! I love it! And cocktails too - could it get any better?

    Looking lovely ladies!

    I want one of those elephants in my back garden.

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. Cocktails and Christmas?! NOPE!
      Who doesn't want an elephant with a bum like that?! xx

  2. Looks like you had good fun! Love the pics and feel like visiting Durham in future :)

    Do drop by my blog Aidashar Abdul - Life From My Perspective


  3. Wow! How incredible, those dresses are amazing! And the elephant, how mesmerising!!

    Is it on every year? I want to go!

    Katie <3

  4. Woooaaah this looks so pretty, I love the whole thing, especially the miners themed one!xx

  5. Wow this looks amazing, I had no idea there was such a thing! So clever1


  6. Congratulations with your essay!
    I remember the feeling, so amazing when you finally hand in something. The relief!

    Looks like you're in a right festive mood now =)

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

    1. Thanks Teffy- a ridiculous weight off of my shoulders so it's so nice to put my feet up for once! xx

  7. This looks completely and utterly magical. I wish I had visited my friends in Durham this weekend too! Think my favourite is the little stick men, or the dresses! What a wonderful event, you clever thing going then! Beaaautiful photos as always XX

    1. Aww thanks India :) I'm going for pure luck! I can't recommend it enough though India- it's such a merry atmosphere too! xx

  8. YAY am so happy those essays are now out of your hair and you can start to get well and truly excited for christmas without feeling too guilty.
    I've got my fingers crossed that you've got plenty of delicious baked goods in store for us too...
    Such a lovely occasion to escape from uni trouble too
    x x x

    1. I'm well and truly free!! (Well until exams in January that is!)
      You are going to LOVE one of my next posts then! xx

  9. Gorgeous pictures! I used to visit Durham a lot when I was at uni in York, it's beautiful :)


    1. Thanks Sophie :) It's such a beautiful little town isn't it?! (Having said that York is just as stunning!) xx


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