Home Is Where The Art Is: A Three Day Break In My Hometown, Hull.

Last week I made the quick train trip home for 3 days in between work. My mum got three days off too so we made plans to do and see as much as possible!

On Tuesday we ate breakfast at home and made plans to head over to Beverly, a nearby East Riding of Yorkshire historical/market town. We hadn’t been in years and with a VERY quick train ride (around 15 mins) just around the corner at the station, it seemed like a great and very easy day trip to take. Beverly is very similar to York, it has a beautiful Minster and has that ‘not changed in hundreds of years’ feel. There are trees everywhere in Beverly, not to mention the Westwood which is only a quick walk out of the town center, it is a truly beautiful place during autumn.

When we first got to Beverly we wandered around the shops, I treat myself to a fox head shaped mug from Laura Ashley and my mum splashed out and treat us both in the Seasalt store there. Then we decided to get lunch sorted… We hadn’t been to Bev together in ages (like 10 years) so neither of us knew a good place for food or coffee. So we decided to be a little unimaginative and head to Carluccio’s for their lunchtime set menu. I’d never actually been to a Carluccio’s for anything but pastries and coffee so had no idea if it was actually any good. BUT I’ll tell you this, as far as chains go, the food was very impressive! We opted for the two course set menu and somehow ended up ordering exactly the same meal. The bread and butter pudding using panettone was especially good.

After food we headed to a bookshop that I’ve been rummaging around in since I was 8 maybe? It is a beautiful, old fashioned bookshop with a rambling higgledy piggledy set of rooms that are packed with books.

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My mum found me the perfect purchase of the day: a Folio edition of an Autumn poetry collection. Which seeing as I’m a little (understatement) obsessed with the current season made me very happy. And at £5 for a Folio edition, you can’t complain…

After swinging by the bookshop we headed out to the Westwood.

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Along the way you can enjoy a plethora of old tudor style buildings, Inns, pubs and scenic streets, lined with trees.

Approaching the westwood you will find the recreation of the ‘Rules and Bye Laws’.

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The Westwood is kind of an odd place where farmers or ‘Pasture Freeman’  can basically leave their cattle to roam about, they look after them, feed them etc and the land is open to the public. To the right of the Westwood (coming from the town centre) there is a racecourse, there’s wide sprawling fields and of course a woodland area, hence the name.

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The area around the Westwood in Autumn really is beautiful. The floor carpeted with golden, orange and rich brown leaves, conkers scattered amongst them. We were there on a weekday too so it was wonderfully quiet.

 

 

Feeling like a sufficient amount of ‘Forest Bathing’ (a Japanese therapy method involving being in the presence of trees, check it out) had taken place, we headed back into town to check out the Minster.

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Beverly Minster is beautiful, nestled in amongst a residential area and surrounded by grass and trees, it truly is York Minster’s little sister.

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With as much Autumn as one can experience in one day (with the exception of pumpkin picking) we headed back to the train station. That evening my Brother and his partner came over for dinner and we eat pie, peak autumn food.

On the Wednesday, myself and my mum met my grandma (or Chow Chow as I call her: long story) for lunch and to see the Turner paintings at the Maritime museum in Victoria Square in Hull, then me and my mum were to head to Ferens Art Gallery to see this year’s Turner Prize which is being housed in Hull this year.

First though, we checked out the installation in Queens Gardens, the ‘Solar Gate’. Well worth seeing, I wish I had seen it in the sun so I could see it really at work. The sculpture itself is an exposed, cast metal, VERY tall structure with various holes cut out of it that are matched to the corresponding plaques on the floor, engraved with famous civil rights activists, scientists, Hull’s very own William Wilberforce, who brought on the abolishment of slavery and many more.

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Both of the exhibitions are FREE and definitely worth seeing. The turner paintings at the Maritime Museum are (unfortunately) about whaling, but still, are ever as impressive as Turner’s paintings always are. My personal favourite at this exhibition was a Turner that was in fact unfinished.

The Maritime Museum is also a must if you’re visiting Hull for the first time, as well as being one of the worst bombed cities, next to only London, during the blitz in the War, Hull has a long and tragic history with it’s trawlermen; Maritime Museum will teach you all you need to know about this.

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The Turner Prize exhibition, like many modern/contemporary art exhibitions, for me was full of polarised experience, where in one room or one half of a room I intensely enjoy and appreciate what an artist is doing, the next I spend tutting and especially after reading the small print of the whole POINT of the collection/installation I find myself lamenting aspects of the state of modern art.

However, one artist really came to the rescue for this specific experience. Hurvin Anderson, a British artist who currently resides in London but who is originally from Birmingham, presents the viewer with a wondrous and magical peek into his perspective on the places he has seen, those he sees every day and the fluid and abstract nature of our relation as humans to our setting, surroundings, habitats and our sense of place. Matched with all of the colours I absolutely adore, safe to say he was my favourite.

#hurvinandersontowin

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After leaving Ferens we headed over to another installation in my beautiful home city, in Trinity Square, also where Hull Minster is.

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After spending ample time taking photos, admiring the architecture, the installation and the reflection pools that mirror their surroundings from the ground, we headed into Trinity indoor market so I could get some coffee from ‘Caffeinated’ a little cafe in the market that sells Blending Room coffee, the best coffee in Hull (and beyond in my opinion) and they grind it to whatever specification you wish!

After purchasing the precious coffee we headed home to chill before walking to Hull Fair that evening.
Growing up in Hull, you’re really lucky for tradition and things to look forward to throughout the year. In summer you have the festivals: Humber Street, Newland Ave closes off for a local festival, pearson park hosts an arts festival and Freedom Fest. Then going into autumn you have Hull Fair in October and then in November you have a FREE fireworks display in the city centre marking the 5th, the Christmas lights being turned on is always a pretty big deal…

By far one of my favourites of these events has always been Hull Fair.

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Dating back to 1278 (I AM NOT KIDDING) this fair is firmly set in our cities tradition. So when i realised that me coming home coincided with Fair? Happy doesn’t even cover it, try childish excitement.

Why is it so good you ask? Well, its kinda cheesy, kinda chavy, kinda festive, kinda old fashioned and it just is so intrinsically tied to growing up in Hull. Plus; sweets, brandy snap, cinder toffee, candy floss, burgers, carvery, chips, not to mention neon lights, hilariously outdated music: whats not to love?

As usual I scouted out the entirety of Walton street (the food street) for the best offer on brandy snap, and as always i found it. Oh yeah. And with a list of must haves for Jordan, my partner I had work to do. It was definitely a successful trip and i left with a plastic bag weighed down by goodies of all kinds to rott your teeth.

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Thursday was my last day at home so me and my mum got up early for breakfast before I got picked up by my grandad so I could see my grandparents before travelling back to York.

We decided on somewhere local, which luckily enough for us with my mum living off Newland Ave, doesn’t restrict choice. We went for ‘Zoo’, a veggie and vegan cafe that’s always been a staple of Newland, but that had a makeover and came back better than ever this year. It is definitely a new firm favourite for both of us, a super cool vibe, really friendly staff, GREAT food for such a reasonable price, I can’t sing it’s praises enough. They’ve even chosen to add 50p onto an item on the menu (the breakfast french toast) to give to a children’s charity, which is what I ordered and I don’t know about you but when charity is done in that way I am always happy to give.

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I’m always sad to wave Hull goodbye, but now more than ever since it’s title of UK City of Culture,and the amazing efforts by everyone to make the city as brilliant as it can be. The potential was always there and I think anyone who lived and grew up there who got involved in the right things always knew that.

Hull, I’m always proud to call you my hometown.

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