This weekend we made the epic journey to Barrow – it’s 315 miles door to door, although we went for a night in Lancashire to see Mummy Cunliffe and drop off J so we had a child free evening. The drive to Barrow took us across the start of the Lake District, across beautiful rolling countryside, wonderful views and impressive scenery.
Then you get to Barrow… It’s like the start of the Wizard of Oz, all the colour is gone, a bleak and dire landscape confronts you. We made our way to our base camp for the night – The Majestic Hotel. It was a bit of a punt, Loz found it for £35 a night inc. Breakfast, the photos on the website looked okay really, it had had a relatively recent refurbishment. We were up on the 3rd Floor, the lift was broken so I had to lug our cases up lots of stairs. When we got to the room I opened the door, a wave of cold hit us, it was FREEZING.
The room itself looked very nice, modern, a bit of bespoke furniture, certainly didn’t look cheap! Loz went in to the bathroom where the net curtain was moving.
‘No wonder it’s so cold.. They’ve left the window open!’ Loz called..
‘Oh!’ she continued ‘The window IS closed!’
The windows were so old, and the wind so severe, there was a massive draft coming through, it wasn’t much better in the main room. We just agreed that we shouldn’t expect too much for £35 a night (more on that later).
The taxi we booked failed to arrive, so we took the short walk to the venue, it was FREEZING, I’ve never known weather like it. We arrived feeling very windswept, the party venue was ‘The Nines‘, it was a fab venue, sort of village hall mashed up with a bar and club. Great for a party! We were met by the beautiful Louise who proceeded to give us both massive hugs, and then introduced to her intended, Steven, lovely chap! 🙂
Loz and I grabbed a drink and found a table and took in the atmosphere while we waited for the few Barrow-folk we knew to arrive. Also proved a good opportunity to take some slightly cringy ‘Mum and Dad drinking’ photos.
Not long after Paul arrived with his lovely sister, and her husband. Loz and them clicked instantly talking about the normal ‘lady’ things, while Paul and I exchanged grunts and drank. The DJ stopped proceedings to play a great video charting 30 years of Louise’s life, and hers and Steve’s relationship, with lots of cute photos. It was very sweet. Then the moment everyone was waiting for.. (well until the Jager Train!) – THE FOOD! It was as Northern as you get, PIE AND PEAS! I must admit I passed as I was still feeling a bit stuffed from the cheeky McD’s earlier, but everyone else seemed to be knocking back ‘meat pie’ like there was no tomorrow 🙂
Finally, Mr Jones, aka MunkiMatt aka cuntface arrived, with his lovely lady Vicki, I’ve spoken to Vicki a lot but never actually met her. As I suspected, Jones is punching WELL above his weight. 🙂 I still don’t like meeting new people, but Vicki is sort of ‘not new’ so I felt fairly relaxed (the 3 pints helped too!) The night was going well, the drink was flowing nicely, and then the bar staff set up the Jager Train. It looked very impressive..Jager Shots stretched down the bar, ready to be knocked into glasses of Red Bull. The moment came for Louise to start the domino effect, and bosh the shots in.. It didn’t work quite as I think it was meant to, we all grabbed a glass and made our way to the dance floor to down them in sequence.
It all starts getting a little blurry from here on in. Loz was feeling a lot poorly, so I walked her back to the hotel, I did offer to stay, but she told me to enjoy the party, especially as we’d travelled so far.
So I did.
Beers were bought, drinks consumed, wine quaffed.. I think there was a cheeky Jager in there too. I was drunk, properly pissed.
Time seemed to move quickly, and before I knew it, the party was over. Matt and Paul wanted me to experience more of Barrow, so they took me to somewhere that was still open. I don’t remember much, but it was horrific, the clientèle were people you’d find in a Wetherspoons at opening time in the morning. The bar staff didn’t seem much better, the atmosphere was rowdy and raucous, someone slung a pint in my hand and I guzzled a bit. I remember thinking that I felt drunk, usually if you’re thinking that you’re too drunk, you normally are. I put my pint down, gave some hugs and went off in to the night, like a fat, pissed Batman.
I walked for ages, occasionally looking at Google Maps, trying to get back to the hotel.. I thought I was going the right way.
I’d somehow managed to go completely in the opposite direction, about 10 minutes so. I turned and walked back, thankfully my phone still had some charge and I was able to work out roughly the way. I looked up and saw some people coming towards me. They knew my name! It was Paul, Matt and Vicki, they were heading home via a Take Away. I couldn’t even stomach a ‘bab, I just got them to point me in the right direction and eventually found the hotel.
The night receptionist let me in and I staggered upstairs.. There seemed to be two portable radiators in the room, Loz was fast asleep under two duvets. I stripped off, took my contacts out and slunk into bed.
I woke up and my head was throbbing, my mouth was dry and I felt sick.
Loz was fully dressed and packing the suitcase. I was a bit confused.. I thought I’d done something totally terrible and she was leaving.
I hadn’t – it was about 8.30am and breakfast finished at 9.30am, she’d got up and got dressed so we didn’t miss it! I woke up slowly and she retold the events of how her night had gone.
She’d got back to the Hotel feeling dreadful, and the room utterly freezing, she went out and sat in the corridor as it was MUCH warmer than the room and rang up reception. She explained she was upstairs and that it was too cold to sleep, the night receptionist was very nice and bought up two radiators and an extra duvet. Loz said even he was shocked at the temperature of the room. The extra heat managed to get the room up to an acceptable temperature, and eventually, around 2am she was able to get some sleep!
We went down to breakfast in the adjoining restaurant, greeted by a lovely waitress, and served a lovely cooked breakfast, I was expecting a really shit breakfast for £35, but no, it was FABULOUS. I scoffed it down, and we went to collect our stuff from the room, on checking out we actually spoke to the manager who was aware of Loz’s bad night. She apologised, and did say it was because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, and very strongly, it was, but honestly, the windows need replacing or renewing. I’d have rather had a slightly shitter room that was warm, over a nice one that was cold. Still, I imagine it’d be alright in the Summer.. If Barrow GETS a Summer! 😉
I was still too pissed / hungover to drive, so thankfully Loz offered to take us the 90 miles back to Rawtenstall, she never drives on motorways and she did a sterling job! When we got back to the MiL’s I had to admit defeat and go back to bed for a few hours.. Barrow had broken me!