We were in Worcester for the weekend when we realised it was of only a handful of towns in England that end in cester. I say “we”. It wasn’t we at all, it was Bruce because that is how his brain works. Once we realised they were all “do-able” for a weekend we promised ourselves we would set out to visit them all this year.
We found ourselves in Worcester on a gloomy weekend in January because we havent had the most peaceful of starts to the year and after a few weekends apart Bruce said “shall we meet halfway this weekend” and then he stuck a pin in the map and though Worcester would work. I didn’t realise it would be quite so easy to get to from home, just a train from Basingstoke to Reading and then a direct train from there to one of three stations in Worcester. Total journey time three hours, total episodes of Traitors US watched: also three. Cups of tea drunk on the train. Also three.
Bruce booked us into a serviced apartment right in the centre of town in the Old Infirmary. Our first time staying in a serviced apartment but it won’t be the last. I always thought this kind of accommodation was for longer term lets rather than one or two nights but apparently it isn’t, and is easily bookable for a night or two. Perfect if you really dont want to be clock watching and worrying about breakfast ending in a hotel on a weekend away. Or to save money by not eating out for dinner. Our apartment came with a microwave and a hob so it was easy for us to self cater. Whilst our apartment in the building was quiet, the feedback on some of them is that the lorries unloading for Asda next door can be quite loud at certain times of the night. There was parking too so it made it easy for Bruce to pick me up from the station, park outside and then leave the car for the weekend so we could explore on foot.
The only place we booked (again I say “we” I had no input in finding this gem, it was all Bruce) was Friar Street Kitchen for dinner. If we had been able to get in the following night we would have gone again. Fantastic service, superb food, and a really buzzing vibe makes this a definite must visit if you find yourself in Worcester. It was fully booked and so our food was taking longer than they had anticipated (not that we had noticed, we had drinks and were catching up) but as an apology they brought a plate of home made focaccia and oils and butter on the house. Little things like that go a long way to meaning I instantly fall in love with a place because it shows they care and despite being busy are still managing all the tables.
One thing we did notice is that not many of the restaurants were bookable online, you have to call or email them. One of them I emailed I am still waiting for a response from 😂 so you will need to do a bit of forward planning if you dont want to be doing things last minute.
Wandering back from dinner we stopped off at Tortugas for a final drink and spotted the owner, Everton, dancing in exactly the same way as Bruce does so stopped for a chat with him. Not the type of bar we would probably hang out in for too long as it was too loud and young (god we really are old) for us but we are so pleased we did that night.
The next day we wandered into town and had breakfast at The Centenary Lounge before we spent a couple of hours watching the football in a bar. Having seen Man City lose we decided to go and “be tourists” for the afternoon. You must visit Worcester Cathedral, after all it’s free, warm and peaceful. Lots of small chapels, the crypt and wonderful places to stand and take in the stillness. There is also a lovely coffee shop down in the crypt that is well worth a stop. I wont repeat all the history, given it has stood on the spot since 1084 there is quite a lot of it so you can find it all on the link above, along with opening times and any events that are taking place
There is no denying that Worcester is steeped in history, going back to the Anglo Saxons so it’s well worth stopping by one of the five museums to find out all about it, especially the Tudor House Museum which is right in the centre of town on Friar Street.
Our final spot to eat was before we drove home and came courtesy of Balkan Breakfast. A huge cheesy pastry fresh out of the oven, served on a paper plate, accompanied by hot drinks in paper cups with change out of £8 for the two of us. All served with a smile. Honestly, what more do you need at 10am on a Sunday morning? It was superb and definitely gives the city an extra point on the food rating.
So on to our scale for rating these towns ending in cester:
C is for Culture: bucket loads. Art galleries, museums, history all around, book shops, markets a plenty
E is for Eating: couple of great spots. Points deducted for ease of booking being tricky but Friar Street Kitchen, The Thai Gallery and Centenary Lounge were all great
S is for Sleep: peaceful and plentiful. Despite being next to Asda and just off a busy road we both slept like logs
T is for Tea: this has to feature on my list because I drink so much of it. Tea in the Cathedral Crypt was excellent, no milk jug, it gets poured into your mug for you.
E is for Education: learned lots. Forgot most of it instantly but if you want to go away for the weekend and learn about medieval history then Worcester is a good place to start
R is for Rating overall. Solid 8/10
Get me to Worcester now!