The War of the Roses

With my husband being an avid cricket fan, he mentioned to me in passing that Yorkshire would be playing Lancashire at Headingley Cricket Ground during the summer for the famous War of the Roses match. The game is called such because Yorkshire’s symbol is the white rose and Lancashire’s is the red rose. I did my research and saw that tickets went on sale at the beginning of February for the T20, so I set myself a reminder to purchase the tickets that morning in February for Richard’s birthday gift. He told me what stand he wanted to sit in and I did the rest.

Flash forward to Friday the 5th of June and it was time for the cricket match. I had told Richard he could take one of the guys if he preferred, but he wanted me to go, which made me really happy because I’ve actually come to enjoy cricket over the past few years. Yes, some of the matches can go on for days (literally), but as I mentioned earlier, this match was a T20, which meant each team bowled 20 overs for a total of 120 balls (6 balls in an over). T20s are fast-paced because each club bats┬átheir heart out since they have a limited amount of time to get as many runs as possible.

Roses1Warming up

The atmosphere at these matches is brilliant with the fans being extremely enthusiastic about their home county. Any event which pits Yorkshire versus Lancashire is bound to be full of banter and shows the fairly intense rivalry between the neighbouring counties.

We arrived about an hour prior to the start in order to grab a pint and some food at the grounds. It was already filling up and there was a buzz in the air, a lot of which was due to the extremely excited Yorkshireman that I am married to! He was filling me in on random facts and bits of information, and I was completely enjoying seeing him so excited.

After finishing off our dinner of sausages and our first round of pints, we made our way to our seats. As we started to come down the stairs in our sections, I was convinced we were fairly high up, but Richard just kept walking down closer and closer to the cricket pitch until we realized that we were in the front row. At that moment, I believe I scored close to 1 million wife points! Richard’s face (okay, let’s be honest…mine too!) was plastered with a giant smile.

Sitting in our seats, we were enjoying people watching when we heard an announcement stating that before the start of the match there would be a filming for one of our favorite shows, A League of Their Own. (Those of you in the U.S. may recognize the host of the show, James Corden, as the new host of The Late Late Show.) We were even more excited now to see some of the cast from the show playing cricket. It was quite hilarious to see these non-cricketers trying to bat. (Well, one of them is a cricketer, but he bowled at them…FAST.) We’re looking forward to when the episode┬áruns next season. Soon after, the match started and my favorite Yorkshireman was in rare form as he cheered loudly for his county’s cricket team.

Roses2Filming for A League of Their Own

One of the things I was looking forward to was hearing the chants from the fans. Many sports teams here have some epic chants, so Richard had said there would likely be some great ones at this match. We could not help but laugh though as the only chant coming from the Yorkshire fans was a very drawl “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire.” It was so blah and had no oomph to it, which was such a stark contrast to the energy of the match.

Roses3Love the lights in the shape of roses that encircle the grounds

Although Yorkshire put themselves in a great position to win after batting first, Lancashire ended up winning by a few runs. The result was disappointing, but we still had an amazing time. I completely enjoyed the experience and hopefully we’ll be able to catch another T20 next summer. I have always liked sports – not all, but most – and with cricket being such an iconic sport here in England, I’m happy that it is something I can enjoy watching with Richard.

Roses4

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Sushi at Sesame

I’ve always been a big sushi lover, so when I first introduced the Brit to sushi on a trip to Portugal in the summer of 2010, I was ecstatic that he loved it as much as I did. Since then, we’ve had some amazing sushi on our travels around the U.S. and Europe. So, why not learn the art of sushi-making ourselves to understand what goes into those lovely little rolls?!

I had heard from the Brit’s sister that she had seen a place near us that did sushi-making lessons and I decided I was on a mission to get him that as part of his Christmas gift. It just so happened that Groupon had a deal for a 2-hour sushi-making class at Sesame in Leeds. I scooped two of them up at a bargain price and was thrilled with my purchase!

We finally got around to booking our lesson and went last Tuesday. Sesame is mainly a deli, but also sells sushi on the side. We started our lesson with an overview from a long-winded man (I have no idea what his name was) and the Brit and I were laughing at how long it would take him to answer a simple question. We were giving each other the side eye and were both thinking, “This could be an interesting night!” After his initial welcome monologue, one of the chefs came out and she actually did most of the instruction.

We learned how to make regular rolls, inside-out rolls, and nigiri. We were both a little disappointed that we didn’t get to use raw fish. In the end though, it made sense why and that was because we weren’t set up in an actual kitchen. Instead, we used smoked salmon and loads of vegetables. The rolls were still absolutely delicious!

We could eat the sushi we made as we went along. However, we were told at the beginning of the class that there would be a little competition at the end so to save our best pieces to arrange them in a tray. I ate all the ugly ones as we went along and saved my best ones. I was taking this competition seriously. It paid off in the end (as you’ll see below) because I took 2nd out of 13 in the competition for my sushi-making and competition! Score! I’ve never been so excited to win a fruit cup in my life! Haha.

If you’re ever looking for a fun night, definitely check out the sushi-making classes at Sesame or any other place that might offer them. We really had a great time and it was fun to try out a new activity! We’re now thinking about hosting our own sushi-making party with some friends this summer!

Winner! With my sushi and my prize!

 

Pure deliciousness!

Oh my goodness! If you are in Leeds, take a little stroll through Queens Arcade and you’ll stumble upon Cupcakes by Charley. I imagine the cupcakes in the window will be enough to make you at least stop and gaze at their beauty, but you should really go inside and try one or two of their creations.

They. Are. Delicious.

On two occasions, we have had the vanilla sundae (it resembles a 99 cone with flake and all!) and the sticky toffee pudding (wow! WOW!). They are incredible. The cake is the perfect consistency and the icing, though piled high, is not overwhelmingly sweet.

Check them out next time you are in Leeds or try their original location in Harrogate, if you’re in that neck of the woods. You can grab a cup of tea or a coffee in their little cafe to enjoy alongside your treat!

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The photos don't do them justice!