Monday, 9 November 2015

Days Out: Chester

So, if you saw my Day Out at Chester Zoo blog post a few weeks ago, I mentioned I was going to blog about the rest of my trip. It's safe to say time has zoomed past lately and I haven't blogged about this quite as quickly as I wanted to - oops. 

Back in October the OH & I had a few days off from work and decided to get away. After a day out at Chester Zoo, we decided to have a night out in Chester. I've heard great things from people that have visited, so I wanted to see it for myself. 

Growing up on the outskirts of York, I'm used to quaint, idyllic settings and pretty towns. York is one of my favourite places for old buildings and architecture and cute, small shops and cafes. However I was still taken aback by just how pretty Chester is. There is plenty of old, beautiful architecture that is absolutely amazing. 

The high street shops have kept the old features of the buildings and even have their external signage in keeping with the rest of the town. All the signs for the shops match, which I thought was a lovely feature. Inside the shops were really well laid out which made for some brilliant shopping. I'm not sure exactly how they were so different to the shops you get here in Leeds or York, but they really were. The layouts made them much more appealing and easy to browse round - I really want to do my Christmas shopping here now because of how good the shops were.

In the center of the main town there is an 'upper level' to the shops. You can go up some old stone steps to a mezzanine level of shops, cafes and pubs. We went for a few drinks in the Sam Smith's pub on this level and on our way out we had a little nosy at the other businesses based up there - it was such a cute little nook that I probably would have missed unless the OH had pointed it out. 

little northern soul
Obviously I had to take a pic of the prettiest WH Smiths ever!

The Library - yet another beautiful building!

In the evening we dined at Upstairs at the Grill, a steak restaurant which came with an enthusiastic recommendation from my Dad. It's quite pricey, but as we were celebrating the OH's birthday we were willing to spend a little more. It truly was a fantastic meal and was probably one of the best steaks I've eaten in this country. 

I didn't get any pictures in the restaurant as it was quite dark, so they came out poor quality. We were first taken to the upstairs bar area and ordered some drinks (prosecco for me, lager for OH). The bar was beautiful with lots of dark wood paneling, fairy lights and candles. It felt cosy and intimate. The waiter asked if we wanted to see the various cuts of meat and be talked through the menu, which we said yes to. He came back with a wooden board which had each of the steak cuts on offer at the restaurant. He talked us through the different types, his recommendations and the best way for each one to be cooked. It was a great insight into what we were eating and added to the great experience. 

I decided to have a medium rare fillet with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans. The steak was tender and perfectly cooked, the potatoes creamy and garlicky - probably the best I've EVER had. The OH had a bone in rib-eye which was massive (there wasn't much bone but a whole lot of meat!) he said it was cooked excellently and was really tasty. As a side, he had the skin on fries which were delicious - crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Overall it was an amazing meal- the small, intimate setting made it perfect for couples and as it was that little bit more special than some other restaurants it was a perfect place to go and celebrate. Although expensive, it was so so worth it.  

You can find more information about Upstairs at the Grill here 

We had a fantastic time in Chester and it's certainly somewhere I want to go back to. It's the prefect place to go for some shopping, or for a relaxed few days away. It's so beautiful with plenty of pretty buildings to gawp at and lots of lovely restaurants and cafes to enjoy! 

What's your favourite place to visit in the UK? Let me know in the comments below!
L xx

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