So all I know about Hull? It’s where the Housemartins are from. And they have a football team currently struggling in the Premiership. We decided to go anyway, got cheap tickets to a match (£27 each – not bad for EPL footie…) and drove up the A1 on a gloomy Saturday morning, expecting very little.
Cum On Feel The Noize by Slade
Posh Katsu curry
Sound System Records
We were wrong. Very wrong. Hull is not quite there yet in terms of a renaissance (the 2017 City of Culture tag is definitely helping), but it’s a lively, buzzing city with a big student population, a lovely historic area, friendly locals and a great selection of pubs. Lots and lots of pubs. We kind of stayed away from the centre on a Saturday night and had lots of fun in the quirky boozers in Old Town.
There’s history (the docks, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce’s house, maritime museum), plenty of art and installations all over the city and lots of pride in a town that’s unfairly labelled as a bit crap. Philip Larkin was from Hull, for Gawd’s sake. There’s even a Larkin trail you can follow. Plus all the pavements have fish paving stones everywhere. It’s a great place for a weekend because, even though it was a bit grey and gloomy weather-wise, we still had a laugh. Plus the vintage shops are cheap and the beer is £3 a pint. Get in, Hull!
The Sailmakers’ Arms
Tucked away down a little court in Old Town is this brick-lined pub, complete with friendly staff and lots of good ciders on tap. Including Flat Tyre! Rhubarb flavour! Which made me very happy. Buzzing and lively with a great jukebox, too.
The Lion And Key
Just down the street from the Sailmaker’s is this lively pub with some great ales and a noisy clientele. It was Saturday night, what can we say? Good, clean Hull fun.
Oh man, this looks so shite from the outside. But inside… it’s the best rock club ever, with a punky history, low prices and a mad-for-it vibe. Go and rock out.
We really wanted Japanese food, so before we headed out drinking, we drove 20 mins out of town to Beverley and ate delicious Japanese food at this swish place just off Butcher’s Row. Amazing duck. Great gyoza and a wonderful selection of cocktails. Not cheap. But worth it.
So, not technically in Hull. But if you’re driving up the A1(M), there are three (we spotted) OK Diners along the route, and you have to stop here because the brioche French toast with strawberries is the best, and their cappuccinos are bloody good too. The Tickencote branch northbound is a ’50s kitsch-lover’s delight.
Tucked down a Victorian arcade on the edge of the Old Town is this fantastic vintage / reworked clothes shop with tons of lovely clobber including baseball jackets, t-shirts and handmade jewellery. Well worth a rummage.
Another vintage shop with some nice gear, bags, dresses… I love just poking around in the rails, seeing what comes up and this is a fab place to do just that.
Sound System Records
This was an ace little store just off the main high street – full of interesting oddities and lots of cool vinyl. So we were gutted when the owner told us he was closing the store down to concentrate on his online business. It was a gem – let’s hope it thrives online.
What we did:
The Old Town in Hull is seriously good-looking: cobbled streets, warehouses, lovely little alleyways backing on to the river Hull. We wandered round there and checked out the William Wilberforce museum (the garden there is great). Wandered through town and admired the City of Culture exhibits and the white phone boxes, plus all the grand Victorian architecture. Went to the KCom Stadium and saw Hull City get beaten by Sunderland 2-0. Arse.
Cum On Feel The Noize – Slade
Not only did we buy a Slade album in Sound System Records, but we also sang a much-altered version of Cum On Feel The Noize at the KCom, which was basically just going ‘rah, rah, rah’ while stamping our feet. So it seemed a fitting song for the weekend.
What we bought:
Slayed? by Slade, which has just about the best cover ever (Dave Hill with his chest out). A cool tote bag from Beasley’s. A Hull Pie from the football, which is basically crispy pastry, chicken, mushrooms and ham in a white sauce. YUM.
Where we stayed:
House Of The Dead / Crazy golf?:
No! But we did go to a football match, if that counts (not sure it does).