Mandy, our friend from Manchester University came to visit Ji and I in Lancaster today. After meeting her at the train station, we had a walk around Lancaster Castle and then made our way through the town. From the castle, we spotted the Ashton Memorial standing tall upon the hill and realised that despite being in Lancaster for seven months, we still haven’t visited the place. We decided to make the steep trek up the hill to see this magnificent building up close. Apparently, the Ashton Memorial cost over £4.5 million to build (in today’s money) and it is described by some as the “Taj Mahal of the North”. I walked up the stairs to reach the top, and you can see for absolutely miles around – it offers some great views. I looked through the windows, and it looks like they hold weddings in there. I’m sure it’s even better in the summer, and I wouldn’t mind returning again sometime in the future.
After making our way back down to the city centre, we decided to have lunch at the Blue Moon restaurant which offers Thai cuisine. I started with the chicken satay, and then had the red curry for entrée. Thai curry is a lot different to Chinese or Indian; it was quite spicy, but had a creamy coconut taste along with plenty of vegetables. I soaked it up with some boiled rice. I’d really like to eat here again – the food was great, and the decorations were beautiful. They had an exquisite cleanliness.
After finishing our meal at Blue Moon, we headed back to the campus and showed Mandy around the university. We just seemed to be pointing out the college bars all afternoon, which is probably quite worrying. We also managed to get inside one of the study pods that are located up amongst the trees behind LICA; the door was open, and it’s quite like getting inside a spaceship as the door opens upwards. It’s a big sphere-shaped pod, with comfy chairs and a big table in the middle. It’s coloured so that it blends in with the trees. It must be a great place to do some revision, and it has a glass ceiling so you can peer up into the stars too. I’d quite like to visit again.
Ji and I went out for dinner at Moghuls Indian Restaurant in Lancaster on Wednesday evening too. I’ve already eaten here with my parents (and Michelle, Phil, and Laura) when they visited last year, but it was the first time for Ji. When you’re seated in the dining area, you feel like you’re sitting in the owner’s front room, as the kitchen is just towards the back of the house. I started with chicken tikka and popadom, before having the lamb biryani and garlic bread for entrée. Last time, we found that Mum’s chicken korma was quite watery but the biryanis were fine; this time, it seemed to be the other way around! The food was still really good, but I think they make a conscious effort to be conservative with salt and spices. It’s probably more healthy that way, but it could have been made slightly better.
That’s not all! A new Subway branch has opened on the Lancaster University campus too, and it’s absolutely packed every time I walk past. There’s been quite a lot of debate between students about whether it’s going to be a good idea or not. It’s situated right next to the Bowland College accommodation (some of which includes family flats) so there are worries that late-night diners may disrupt the peace. I, personally, don’t think it will be a problem and I’m happy to have somewhere new to try on campus. It is employing students from the university too, which can only be a good thing. I was really surprised with how quickly they managed to get it established too. They seemed to have construction walls up for quite a while, but suddenly they came down and we could see it being furnished so very quickly. Strangely enough, I was doing a campus tour last year, and one of the students asked whether we had a Subway on campus – they’d heard that there was a new one. This was long before any of us knew about it, so I’m not sure how rumours spread that far. Still, it’s a nice little restaurant.
Finally, I also came across a photo from our meal at the Wibbly Wobbly Burger Bar last Sunday. This restaurant is quite cool because you’re able to design your own burger. I had a pretty standard double beef burger with salad and sauce. I also asked for fries, mushrooms, and onion rings… covered in cheese. Delicious.