The British seaside has been popular since the Victorian era. Making a sandcastle with a bucket and spade, dining on fish and chips followed by an ice cream, playing in the fun fair then wasting money in the arcades, freezing your toes in the sea and even sometimes taking a stroll down a pier; the seaside is where many a Brit will flock to spend a blissful summer day.
Every year for the past decade or so, my drama group has made their annual pilgrimage to Scarborough. I have no idea who decided on this or why the hell we go in freezing February but it has become a Minstrels tradition.
We always stay in The Esplanade Hotel which is an incredibly outdated hotel which could really do with updating the old-fashioned decor and grabbing some wifi. The dinner menu usually consists of ‘tomato soup’ for starter (baked bean juice in actuality) and the dryest chicken you will ever encounter. The hotel is a running joke within the group however, every single year, it is the hotel we flock to. In fairness, it’s a comfy bed to rest our heads, cheap as chips with breathtaking views from the cliff edge so it’s not all bad. Plus this year, I was incredibly surprised to see the food had improved. There was more variety, different menus every night and everything I tried was at least edible if not nice… which honestly is a first.
Friday night is karaoke and quiz night. Everyone gathers in the main hall for exactly what is says on the tin… a bit of karaoke and a few quizzes. It’s a bonding night and people usually get a bit merry too. As we have got older, my generation of the group have started missing the Friday night instead opting for the nightlife of Scarborough town instead. This started last year which I missed due to work commitments, but this year with everyone in my age bracket finally 18, it was time to tear up the town.
We began the night in Snowy’s with £3.70 triples… lethal. It was a cute little bar which earlier in the evening would be a great place for a few laid back drinks before starting your night. However, we didn’t arrive until gone 10pm ready to party and found the venue incredibly quiet. So after one drink, we swiftly moved on to Bar2B. Last year, not everyone in the group was of age but they managed to sneak into this bar without getting asked for ID and they had a great night. It was all they discussed every time this trip was mentioned so it was only right we popped in. The bar is nothing special and wasn’t very busy but we stayed in there for quite a while, busted a few moves, drinks were fairly cheap and we had a good time. One member of the group actually messaged the Bar2B PR in advance of the trip who gave us suggestions of where else to check out which was incredibly nice of him.
Next on the list was Blue Lounge, by this point, the drinks were kicking in so I can’t give you as detailed a report on this venue but they had some banging cheesy tunes so it was the perfect location for dance… and this group of performers just love to dance! My friend then fantastically lost her phone (not unusual for her) so we spent a good 20 minutes looking for it. Upon giving up and leaving the bar, she found it… in her bra! I’ll give you a moment to roll your eyes…
By this point, it was 2am and the rest of the group were ready to go home. For me, a holiday rep and Mrs Phone Loser, a university student, this was incredibly early for us party animals and we opted to stay for a while longer. After another drink and a few shapes thrown, we popped next door into Quids Inn. Honestly, I can’t give an incredible amount of detail at this point except that ironically for a place called Quids Inn it was £2 entry.
After a fabulous time, we called it a night, grabbed a pizza and headed back to the hotel. We sat in the corridor of the hotel to eat as our roommates were all asleep and then we got up to a bit of mischief. We decided to wander round the hotel and see what we could find. The cleaners had drawers in the middle of corridors and unlocked cupboards so of course, we snooped through. There was even a laundry bin abandoned on one floor which we messed around in until we knocked it over, made a lot of noise and legged it. Obviously, we documented it all on Snapchat… as you do which only served as evidence when we got in trouble the next morning.
To be honest though, every year we get blamed for something by a certain member of our group whether we have done it or not so we may aswell have some fun and actually do something. In our defence, the only noise we made was the laundry bin falling over, the towels were left exactly as we found them and we had garlic sauce not ketchup so we are not the culprits of the stain fiasco. Our only crime was one loud bang and stealing digestives from a cupboard. If we’d been in bed by 9pm like nuns we would have been in trouble for something though, she always finds something to blame us for.
Saturday morning begins with the traditional group photo followed by a walk down to the beach for the welly toss. We draw a line in the sand, split into different categories (under 5, under 16, women and men) and whoever throws the wellington boot the furthest in each group wins. I did surprisingly well but still didn’t win. The majority of the group will then walk from South Bay to North Bay, have a coffee and then split up. We decided to detach from the group before the walk however and headed up into town for a wander through the shops. We had a typical seaside lunch of fish and chips in the famous Harry Ramsden’s which was gorgeous food but you can get equally beautiful food without the price tag from independent chip shops a few doors away. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Dessert was a lemon top from Pacitto’s. Lemon tops originated in my neck of the woods at the original Pacitto’s in Redcar. Soft-serve vanilla ice cream topped with lemon sorbet, lemon tops are now famous across the North East and a typical seaside treat. After filling our stomaches, it was then time for another seaside tradition of playing in the arcades before heading back to the hotel for a nap.
There is a tram to take you back up the cliff but rather than paying 85p, we opted for the steps. We instantly regretted this after the intense workout the first hill gave us and stumbled up the second with legs of jelly. After a nap and dinner, it was time for Saturday night’s line up of fancy dress and games. This years theme was scary so I dressed up as a dead doll. There was an incredibly dull country dancing band which played for what seemed like hours but when they finally finished, awards were given out for the previous night’s quizzes and the morning’s welly toss and then we played a few games as standard.
We are one big, happy family with quirks and all and we have incredibly random traditions but we all love it. Our annual trip to Scarborough is a great bonding experience with lots of fun and laughter… even if it is freezing cold. I’d recommend a trip to the seaside at any time of year, it’ll always destress and clean out your cobwebs.
What is your favourite seaside town? Any recommendations?
*All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.
**This blog post was not sponsored or endorsed in any way.