Lamb and Lion review: York’s most ‘York-esque’ pub

“Don’t look if you’re squeamish.”

Not something you expect to hear in the middle of your lunch, but I guess rare birds don’t tend to make a habit of swooping, killing and eating a pigeon in front of a crowd. Not least while the crowd is halfway through their brocolli and goat’s cheese soup, anyway.

This is why I love the Lamb & Lion. Not because hawks murder pigeons in the courtyard on a regular basis (apparently that’s only happened once, we were -ahem- lucky to catch that spectacle), but because there really is something unusual about this pub.

Lamb and Lion, High Petergate

The food isn’t the always greatest in the world- the horseradish to beef ratio on my sandwich was too disproportionate for my liking, and I’m not afraid of a good hunk of spice- but the setting is wonderful. Candles light up every cranny of the crooked ceilings, everything seems like it’s eased into the building over a period spanning centuries. It feels like a proper York pub- one you couldn’t possibly imagine in any other city.

The service, unfortunately, has let it down before. Having been twice, I was once overcharged (my maths didn’t catch up with me until later that day, too late to ask for it to be recalculated), and when visiting with my parents, they managed to forget a main ingredient on my stepdad’s order. When asked where the bacon was in the “Poached egg and bacon salad” at the end of our meal, having had no chance to catch a waitress beforehand, we were told the chef was having a bad day, and we could have a slice of bacon brought out if we really liked. We politely declined.

Despite this, I wholeheartedly recommend this pub to everyone. Yes, the staff may have sort of bumbled through service, but I genuinely think they were honest, mistakes. They’re always lovely and pleasant, and the fact I’m overlooking being charged six quid for two half pints of coke to urge you to go should speak volumes, really.

The Lamb and Lion is the most York-esque pub in the city. The building is fascinating, and all food and drink is sourced locally. The rooms are a fantastic shabby-chic, and the service is well-meaning and the atmosphere is ideal for a good catch up and a little marvel on how beautiful this city is. And you might even catch a David Attenborough-style live show out of the window.


Embarrassing sexism out of existence

It’s time for another feminism post. It seems that since my last stab at solving equality, basically NO ONE LISTENED, so I’m going in for another pop. Fingers crossed this time, I’m getting kind of tired of having to keep bringing this up.

Sexism exists. I know, I know. I’d literally rather sick up a chip than have to repeat that sentence, but there we have it. It’s like a really pungent fart on a train. No one wants to point out that they’re suffocating from it, we’re much too polite for that, and the fella that’s done it can’t even smell it- and even if he could, he’d be more outraged that you dared to call it out than accept any fault.

So, maybe it’s because I’ve been reading lots of Caitlin Moran lately, or maybe it’s because my best friend was told to “ask your dad” when questioning a cowboy plumber’s work, or perhaps it’s because there’s so much in the news right now on gang rape, rape apologists and victim blaming. Whatever the bubbling inspiration for this is, I’ve decided I want women to start calling out sexism. Routinely. Every time it happens. If you can’t beat them, beat it out of them (not literally, please.)

Calling out sexism is actually quite good fun. You feel a rush of self-respect, and are kind of satisfied that you’ve managed to embarrass someone for being a douche. Par example:

A few nights ago, I joined some friends on a night out. Wearing thick black tights and a leather skirt was apparently enough of a come on for a complete stranger, who decided he’d have a quick feel of my arse as I tried to get past him.

I genuinely cannot understand why people do that. Are you checking it if it’s ripe, or something? We’re not in the fruit aisle of Tesco, bro, you don’t get to have a feel a la Try Before You Buy. Anyway. Whatever his motivations were, I’m not particularly game for a good round of casual sexual assault in a nightclub, so I politely asked him if there was anything in particular he thought he stood to gain by groping a passing woman.

He was mortified. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me, his friend looked awkward and turned away, and he certainly didn’t give me a satisfactory answer. Hmm? Was there something you wanted to say, treacle? You’ve got my undivided attention. I don’t know if he’ll do it again, but I’m willing to bet if he was confronted that way every time he copped a feel, he’d get the message.

There’s an amazing ongoing campaign called the Everyday Sexism Project. (Their website & their twitter are well worth a read). In practice, it’s this huge database of women’s experiences of sexism. If every single one of those instances, some of them casual, some of them harrowing, and most of them relatable, were called out, then we might be half way to putting sexism to bed.

I’m not in anyway suggesting sexism is in any way women’s responsibility, or that men are naturally, stupidly sexist and we need to carefully train them out of it. It’d just be brilliant if we could sit around, having cocktails or sleepovers or whatever girls do, and laugh about the time we called out sexism, rather than sharing embarrassing and often uncomfortable anecdotes of it.

So, next time you see sexism happening, or are at the brunt of it, tell that person to piss off. Next time someone asks how you think you’ll bring up children and have a career, or when they suggest you’ll be too busy buying shoes to care about important stuff, or when they grope you in a club, call them out. We can embarrass it so much that the ground really does open up and swallow it whole.


Home for Christmas (& happy 1st birthday, ESS!)

It’s not secret that I adore being at home. Deep and meaningful chats with my mum as we wander around the supermarket, squabbling over the correct way to pronounce “pear” and getting to watch the cogs turn in my sister’s brain as she makes the tough decision between watching Made in Chelsea reruns or Big Bang Theory reruns. Who wouldn’t love it?

As we’ve downsized houses this year, I don’t technically have a bedroom anymore. Instead, Bethany has graciously lent me some floor space for my things and I tuck myself in at night on a mattress in an alcove in her room. It’s not ideal, as being a twenty year old woman who has to cut her Bill Bryson reading short each night because her little sister has turned off the light at ten pm is a tad frustrating to say the least, but it’s worth it. Full and unprecedented access to her wardrobe/make-up bag (as long as you’re subtle and she doesn’t notice), hell yeah.

When I’ve not been engaging in chase scenes with the dog, or discussing kidney removals with my stepdad, I’ve been catching up with my woefully neglected friends. Several bottles of wine and a hurtfully embarrassing game of bowling later, with plans for more hangovers in the immediate future already brewing, I’ve managed to squeeze in a little work too.

I’ve applied for a grad scheme, because that’s what responsible student apparently do. I’ve also made several decorative but not necessarily useful revision posters. I’ve been back to York for some final pre-Christmas shifts, complete with extra stress to ensure the biggest relief on returning to Huddersfield. In short, it’s been a busy, happy and welcomed week.

Walking Ralph, having a dance in Huddersfield with Liv, quality Nandos time with Beth

Happy birthday, EverySecondSong!
It’s been a year to the day since Every Second Song was born. My little corner of the internet is a whole year old.

I never actually expected anyone other than my mum to ever read my blog, so it’s pretty cool that I’ve had so many hits and won a real life internet award. It’s so weird that I can bump into people in the shop or people I haven’t seen in months, and they already know everything I’ve done because they read my blog. I’ve been introduced to people as “Every Second Song” before. I’m always subconsciously drafting my next post. It amazes me that people actually care that I’m liveblogging tidying my room, or my reviews of club nights or my opinions and attempts at humour. I’m looking forward to Year Two of Every Second Song already :)