Christmas dinner in York

The UK-based Automatticians got together last night for an ugly jumper Christmas dinner in York. Last year we went to Keswick which was really nice. This year we went to one of my favourite cities, York.

Dinner was at the Guy Fawkes Inn which is very old and characterful and supposedly the birth place of Guido Fawkes in 1570. The food was great and the atmosphere perfect. Here’s a group photo:


Before dinner we stopped at Trembling Madness which is also an intriguing place and well worth visiting if you go to York. I think I read that it’s the oldest, or one of the oldest, beer halls in York.


You can order and drink a yard of ale which looks like this:


A sign on the wall says the record for downing a yard of ale is less than 5 seconds (I think it was 4.8s but I can’t remember exactly). However I can’t see how that’s possible? A yard of ale is two and a half pints and there’s no way anyone could drink that in 5 seconds or less.

The River Ouse is flooded again:


Clifford’s Tower:



There’s a good view of the flooded river from the top of the tower in the next photo. The trees in the photo are underwater and they shouldn’t be. That’s where the bike path is that I used to cycle along:



I’m typing this on the train back to Aberdeen. It was great to go back to York and I also got to catch up with a couple of friends I haven’t seen since I was last in York in 2013. It was also great to have a Christmas dinner for all the UK-matticians and to see everyone again. I love working from home but I also really value meeting up with people in person.

15 Replies to “Christmas dinner in York”

    1. Yes, I think both Australians and Scots are known as being heavy drinkers. I’m an exception to the rule though. I only need half a pint and I’m drunk 🙂

  1. My best time for a yard of beer is around 18 seconds–but since the person timing had already had a couple..well, let’s just say that the timing couldn’t have been up to Olympic Standard.

      1. Surprisingly not–but again, I must caution against any Wows. The person doing the timing may have had too much to drink. I must also admit, that since it wasn’t in a British Pub, maybe it wasn’t a standard yard.

  2. Seen it done in about ten seconds. World record is about 5 I believe. Everyone tried it st uni. You spin it at the end or the bulb covers you. And you quite literally open your throat. You cannot swallow as such. The result however is often the beer never reaches the stomach and gets spewed out. Lovely.

      1. oh yes, value for money for sure! But then alcohol seems to have that effect

  3. Wow, do you miss York?
    What a great organisation you work for. I love a good work do, and it’s lovely the way Automattic treats and values its employees.

    1. Yes, I do miss York and it was so good to see it again. I organised the dinner this year and so I specifically chose York because I know the city and it’s also geographically central in the UK. It’s only 2 hours by train from London too. But having said that I love Aberdeen and was very happy to arrive home again on the train.

      1. Good choice, you’re right, it’s a very equitable choice in terms of travel.

  4. Thank you for organising the dinner! It was lovely to see everyone and to grab a glimpse of York.

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