104 people found this review helpful
My wife and I travelled down to Derby on the train on a busy Saturday, and upon arrival we made our way to the Cathedral Quarter hotel, a fine designer boutique hotel set in the old police station. The hotel, as its name implies, is in the shadow of Derby’s fabulously impressive Cathedral, and a mere stone’s throw from the city centre. Katy had spotted an outdoor market on our way to the hotel, so we headed there first. Within minutes we had bought Christmas gifts galore, and had to go to Bennett’s department store for a sit down and a spot of afternoon tea. Bennetts is an amazing place, rather like The Paradise transported to the 21st century. The tea rooms were truly sumptuous, rather like stepping into a rococo painting, and are highly recommended, should you ever find yourself in Derby. Refreshed, we made our way to the museum and art gallery. This building looks somewhat unprepossessing from the outside, but contains far more treasures than you might imagine. For a start, they have the world’s largest collection of Joseph Wright paintings, which are a treat to behold, and then they have the most incredible museum of artefacts, which could easily keep anyone enthralled for days. I was particularly impressed with the natural history displays. So far, so good, you might say, but what about the ghost festival? Well, this was scheduled for the evening in the market place, an outdoor event. As it was an incredibly cold night, we left it till the last minute before taking our seats. Wrapped up in our winter coats, complete with woolly hat, scarf, and gloves we sat back waiting to be entertained. The event was billed as a night like no other, with readings from Derek Acorah, theories from Richard Felix, séances, table tipping, glass divination, a lone vigil, and a human pendulum. I was expecting something along the lines of the circus of horrors, but it was nothing like that at all. The night began with Derek Acorah wandering around the audience, picking out some poor soul, and telling them that he had a message from the other side! Now, maybe I’m just cynical, but I could not believe any of this stuff, and after half a dozen of these readings, I was starting to get rather fidgety. Next came the glass divination, where volunteers were plucked from the shivering audience, to stand around a table on the makeshift stage, with one finger on an upturned glass. Suddenly the glass moved towards some helpless individual, which Derek Acorah insisted was yet another message from someone recently passed over. I don’t think I have ever been more bored at any stage show in my life, but then, I am really more of an Oklahoma man, if truth be told! The readings from Richard Felix would have sent me to sleep had I been in a warm theatre, but as the temperature continued to plummet, I just sat there shivering. Shivering with the cold weather I hasten to add, and not with fright! Needless to say, we did a runner at the interval. I was hoping for a quiet drink back at the hotel, but as another guest so aptly wrote on Trip Advisor “Saturday night was party night…. I know this because I was made startlingly aware of the music as I turned into the hotel road by the cathedral, about 100m away”. The tiny resident’s bar was packed, as was the cocktail lounge, and partygoers spilled out into the foyer area. Our trendy boutique hotel turned out to be as busy and noisy as any Bigg Market pub in Newcastle’s city centre, on a typical Saturday night out. Not only that, but when I finally got to the bar, I discovered that they didn’t sell blended whisky, so my hopes of a warming whisky mac were quickly dashed! The following morning had us very confused as the clocks had gone back, and we couldn’t for the life of us figure out what time it was. Nevertheless, we made it down to the restaurant in time for breakfast, and had time to look round Derby one last time, before our train was due.
104 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.