GO FOR COFFEE >>
Myself and my travelling companion start our morning with a coffee at York’s newest uber-cool hangout, SOPHiE. This stunning coffee shop and cocktail bar is located in the heart of the city on Lendal Bridge, just a stone’s throw away from York Station.
For me, it’s a traditional steaming cup of Yorkshire tea (£2.50) and a latte (£2.90) for my caffeine loving partner. We don’t tuck into the drool-worthy cake just yet, but we can’t resist taking a slice for the road. Stop by for the creamiest lattes, fluffiest cakes and gorgeous views.
CHECK IN >>
After our delicious morning beverages, we head for The City Escape. Located just off Bootham, this newly refurbished Victorian townhouse makes for the perfect home away from home.
The 5-star luxury holiday let, located a ten-minute walk from the centre, has many original features and has been extensively refurbished in order to create a wonderful escape within the city.
The house has been interior-designed with bespoke headboards, curtains, roman blinds, valances and even cushions from designers such as Clarke & Clarke, Charlotte Gaisford, Harlequin and Zoffany. Burlington bathroom and lighting products have been used throughout as well as original paintings and photography by local artists.
The house has been furnished using as many local suppliers as possible, and using local tradespeople. The vast majority of fixtures and fittings have come from Yorkshire suppliers or have been tailor-made in the county.
The property has four double bedrooms, three bathroom facilities and a spacious open plan sitting room/dining room, as well as a secure walled patio garden. A concierge service can be provided as well as chefs and housekeeping. Comfortable, quirky and oh-so luxe, we love it here.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP >>
It wouldn’t be a city break without checking out the local shopping scene. We head for the busy city centre which is filled with big-name stores we all know and love, but a slight detour off track and we’re standing in one of the most picturesque streets in Britain.
With its cobbled streets and overhanging timber-framed buildings, the Shambles is a must-visit for any shopping lover. These beautiful old buildings, steeped in history, have now been restored to house cheerful cafés and quirky boutiques. Think traditional sweet shops, independent clothing stores and gift shops aplenty.
STOP FOR LUNCH >>
After working up an appetite, we stop for lunch at Cafè 21 located in Fenwick. We settle in at this bright, modern and effortlessly stylish space and are instantly greeted with a smiley face.
I kick off our post-shopping trip feast with the Chicken Club sandwich (£11.50), succulent chicken breast paired with dry-cured bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise. Simple, yet delicious.
The other half opts for the Truffle Burger (£14), a prime rump steak burger topped with dreamy truffle mayonnaise, fig jam and raclette cheese. A seriously tasty dish packed full of flavour. We leave with full bellies and cheerful taste buds.
GO FOR A STROLL >>
From exploring the Museum Gardens to a walk around Knavesmire or a stroll along the river, you aren’t short of options when it comes to stretching your legs in this gorgeous city.
For us, we work off our lunch with a stroll around The City Walls. With the weather on our side, we take the opportunity to walk the full circular route around the city. This historic walking route can be accessed on foot, for free, throughout the year.
GO BACK IN TIME >>
Before our dinner plans, it’s a visit to The York Dungeon. This thrilling journey takes us back in time, telling the story of 2000 years of York’s dark history.
We laugh, scream and grip on to one another as we meander our way through the dungeons. With nine live actor shows, immersive sets, special effects, gripping storytelling and iconic characters from York’s dark past, including Guy Fawkes, this spooky experience is a must.
DINE OUT >>
After a busy day exploring the city, The Whippet Inn is up next on our agenda. We’re seated at a cosy corner table and greeted with a smile and exceptional service.
We browse through the menu under candlelight and the welcoming ambience, as our waiter brings water for the table and pours a bottle of Inzolia Le Rovole (£20) into our wine glasses.
For starters, we both tuck into the Shell baked Queen Scallops with chorizo, caramelised cauliflower purée, topped with mature cheddar cheese and Japanese breadcrumbs (£11.50). Packed with flavour and cooked to perfection, we both smile at our choice of starter.
It’s the 9oz Ribeye (£25) for the main event served medium-rare. For my dinner date, it’s the 21oz Himalayan Pink Salt Aged T-Bone steak (£30) served medium-rare. Both steaks are served with deliciously crunchy, yet fluffy hand-cut chips and our selection of butter and sauces including chimichurri sauce, smoked garlic butter and truffle butter (all £2.50 each). Mouth-wateringly juicy and perfectly tender, it’s a match made in steak heaven.
We sweeten the deal with classic sticky toffee pudding with molasses toffee sauce served with vanilla ice cream and the rose panna cotta with caramelised white chocolate, pistachios and freeze-dried raspberries (£6.50 each). The sticky toffee pudding is traditionally sweet, while the rose panna cotta packs a punch, perfect for any dessert lover.
FINISH THE DAY WITH >>
Cocktails at Manahatta seal the deal on our perfect day out in York. We sit at a stylish booth in this glamorous New York-inspired cocktail bar sipping on flavoursome, Instagram worthy cocktails.
For me, the Manahatta Spritz (£12.95) catches my eye – Tanqueray gin, Campari, lemon, sugar and grapefruit soda. Delicious. My cocktail-sipping buddy goes for the Sailor’s Punch (£10.95) made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Caribbean pineapple liqueur, ginger, maple syrup, lime, pineapple. Vibrant and exotic.
The perfect end to the perfect day.
NEXT TIME >>
During our trip, The Principal York Hotel caught our eye. Just moments away from York Station, this grand venue is one of the city’s most impressive and eye-wateringly glorious places to lay your head and fill your bellies.
When it comes to accommodation, you’re spoilt for choice with a range of modern, mauve-painted boudoirs, decked out with polished marble bathrooms, oodles of wardrobe space and beds made up with the finest Egyptian cotton.
The food here is exceptional. The chefs proudly use regional ingredients to create classic British dishes and local favourites. Think bold flavours and the finest ingredients Yorkshire has to offer.
Relax and indulge in a little ‘me time’ with their range of fitness and leisure facilities including a swimming pool, sauna room, steam room and jacuzzi, along with a state of the art gym. A perfect base for exploring this historic city.