Festival of Angels

While rushing around York this weekend trying to nail the last bit of Christmas shopping, I was stopped in my tracks in The Quarter.  Hordes of people surrounded a glittering pair of angel's wings, all vying for a position to take a picture. It quickly dawned on me that it must be the annual Festival of Angels, when local businesses each sponsor an ice sculpture to thank their customers. As a rule I don't go into town on the weekend, there's always too many people and shopping's always simpler mid-week, so although I'd often been told about this event, I'd never actually seen it.  Hadn't realised what a fabulous feast I was missing!
P couldn't resist the perfect photo opportunity of me standing in front of the wings - the closest I'll ever get to being an angel I fear! We got completely side-tracked from the shopping, taking pics of the rest of the other sculptures around the Quarter. As you can imagine from the name, there were many angels...

...but also bats
 ... and dogs

...an ice bar, to warm up with a shot of vodka, straight from the ice optic.
One of the streets in the Quarter is called Swinegate, so of course there was a pig...
When we eventually got round to doing some of the shopping we'd come into town to do, we stumbled upon one of the sculptors at work, creating a bear in Kings Square.
Also along the way we saw a snowflake...
...beautiful stars
...Xmas trees

 ... a Viking king sitting on his ice throne outside Betty's
...and of course, many more angels

I'd been dreading jostling through the crowds, but what a great afternoon we had, with York in full festive spirit. We even managed to achieve everything we came in to do, which is a minor miracle in itself.
There was time on our way back for a steaming glass of mulled wine in a favourite pub under the bar walls. Before you start wondering what I'm on about, think I'd better explain the terminology here.  In York bar means gate, and gate means street, all very confusing for the visitor, but it dates back to the days when the entrances to York were barred by toll collectors. So... when I say under the bar walls, I don't mean we had a drink in a subterranean dungeon, but in a pub nestling beneath one of the gates of York's medieval wall.

We got back home just in time for a TV supper in front of the fire, watching the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing, which has become somewhat of a winter ritual with us. Love the OTT costumes, hair and make-up, sets, judges and of course the dance. Have to say I'm not really bothered who wins this year, but if pressed Kimberley Walsh is the one to watch. 

A cool Yule to you all!


  1. Wow, those sculptures are amazing, lucky you, the picture of you in front of the wings is great, profile pic maybe?
    I think strictly has been great this year, and if pushed I too would go for Kimberley.

  2. You look absolutely adorable in wings !!!

  3. Dear Jean, thank you for sharing those wonderful pictures! Wish I was there...

  4. Looks like a really great festive time was had by all! Love the ice sculptures!!


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