‘Romance in York‘
So you’re just about done with planning and organising your perfect day and feel you both deserve a well earned break before saying ‘I DO’
Need a little help and inspiration on deciding where to head off for a romantic few days? We highly recommend a visit to York! Perhaps one of the most romantic places to visit here in the UK which offers that step back in time nostalgia with a twist of modern living given the array of well known highstreet shops and luxury eateries.
When it comes to York you certainly won’t be limited on places to stay with its vast array of boutique hotels, homely b&b’s & luxury serviced apartments overlooking the river. One of my personal favorites is The Churchill It’s just a few minutes walk from the center of York, it offers customer parking, a delicious menu and is fairly priced.
We have put together some ‘must see’ sights and recommended eateries we have personally visited which won’t break the bank!
Places to eat…
York is filled with picturesque coffee shops, bars and restaurants which sit fittingly with their surroundings! Most are very reasonably priced and there is enough choice to accommodate different tastes. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, there is plenty choice at the street market tucked behind the famous ‘shambles’ cobbled street. Here you will find food on the go from around the world including, Turkish, Indian, Greek & of course the good old roast dinner wraps!
For the two mornings we were in York we decided to have breakfast at Gert & Henry’s & The Witches (both located within the street market) Gert’s didn’t disappoint with the full English breakfast (veggie for me) and of course a quaint little teapot filled with Yorkshire tea!
On the second morning we ate at ‘The Witches’ a quaint little place that resembled somewhat a tardis once you stepped inside! The first floor was ‘music inspired’ & the second floor ‘film inspired’ accessed via a nostalgic spiral staircase. We chose the ‘music floor’ which was filled with imaginative artistry, quirky decor and famous artist quotes. A comfortable, pleasant atmosphere to sit and enjoy a toasted teacake and cup of tea whilst soaking up the Sunday morning stillness prior to the mad rush once the clock struck 10am when business was ‘as usual’ I’d definitely recommend a visit here, thy also offer a good menu choice for main meals throughout the day.
There is an abundance of evening restaurants for both formal and casual diners. For the first evening we chose to eat at ZAAP which offers a Thai street food menu. The food was very tasty, well presented on colorful trays and the service was impeccable! The decor is mesmerizing and its worth popping in just to have a sneak peak!! A must visit for anyone who is a fan of Thai cuisine that wants a good choice and to eat quick! They also have a range of veggie/vegan options which ticked another box for me!
For the second evening of our stay we decided to eat at Lucia and boy are we glad that we did! The food was out of this world and we were lucky enough to get a table sat out on the terrace so we could people watch as we ate our mouth watering ‘Tapas’ and if you’re one of those people who feel the cold-don’t fear! the terrace is filled with well placed heat burners & warm blankets are provided on each chair to keep your lower region nice and warm too! The menu is large but by no means exhaustive. There are plenty of veggie/vegan options, dishes for smaller appetites and a dessert menu to die for! We opted for a Tapas selection as we fancied a few different things and are self confessed pickers when it comes to food. We stumbled across Lucia when having a wander the previous day as its tucked away off the main street. They don’t take reservations on a Saturday evening evening so you may have a little wait but don’t be put off, its worth it!
Out & About…
When it comes to York there is plenty to ‘see and do’ and if you only have a few days you will have to plan wisely to get in as much as possible without feeling more tired than before you arrived! Below I have outlined my top recommendations!
- An afternoon tea river cruise – This time of year it is ‘festive’ themed which includes an obligatory cracker and nostalgic Christmas songs as you amble down the River Ouse. A truly lovely experience and well worth the money (£57 for two) this included a selection of sandwiches (veggie option requires pre-booking), fresh scones with clotted cream & jam, a selection of fresh cakes, a small bottle of red or white wine each and unlimited tea/coffee. The main thing I liked about the cruise was the tables were spacious so you weren’t sat on top of other people (one of my pet hates) Staff were attentive & welcoming and you get to see York from a completely different perspective. City Cruises also offer evening and sight seeing cruises daily and you can pre-book online. All in all a lovely, romantic way to spend the afternoon
2. A wander round the Christmas markets- These are located in little wooden huts right in the center of York between the shops. There is a multitude of offerings at the markets and its well worth a good mooch around! They can get busy so my advice would be to try and visit them either early in the day (they open for 10am) or leave it until a little later in the evening when the afternoon rush has quietened down. There are quaint little mulled wine and chestnut stations dotted around the town if its chilly and you need warming up! They even have a merry-go-round this year, something we are never too old for and of course the famous Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop is a must visit, its enough to soften even the boldest of scrooges with its decadent array of delicate decorations and exquisite handmade products. Its not cheap but free to browse so no excuse!
3. The Shambles- A real ‘step back’ in time experience! Nestled adjacent to the street market lie a selection of individual shops on this narrow, cobbled street lined with miss-shapen buildings. Here you will find a real mix of offerings including bakeries, tea rooms, souvenirs, chocolate makers, jewelers, bars and the Hebden tea shop. Its worth paying a visit both in the daytime and of an evening to take in all its quirkiness and rustic charm. Half way down the shambles is St.Wilfrid’s church, home to the shrine of St Margaret Clitherow where mass is held every Saturday at 10am for those who wish to attend.
4. All things Harry Potter – The shambles is the ‘go to place’ for Harry Potter fans of all ages! Here you will find ‘The shop that must not be named‘ a growing number of themed shops which sell a multitude of gifts, props and souvenirs for avid fans. You can even purchase your very own wand and gown from their large selection. Once you are all shopped out you can purchase your very own bottles of ‘butter beer’ to enjoy on your return home!
5. Hebden tea shop – Located on the Shambles street is Hebden tea shop , one of my personal favorites! Here you will find a vast selection of the finest tea on the market. There is literally hundreds of loose teas to tickle your taste buds get your mouth watering… each tea can be smelt before deciding your firm favorite and they also sell beautifully designed little accessories which are gift boxed (a perfect wedding gift to self??) At the front of the shop is a large open space where you can sample a selection of teas, thoughtfully placed in glass teapots.
6. York Minster – Of course a trip to York isn’t complete without a visit to the mesmerizing Cathedral. It’s definitely a picture worth taking! The queues to enter can be quite long at times, however this can be avoided if you time it right or you can simply enjoy the stunning view sat at one of the nearby coffee shops. During this time of year of an evening it is beautifully lit up with white fairy lights which only add to its grandeur
Where romance blossoms…
As you can see York is beautifully charming and offers its visitors a truly unique experience. It’s the perfect getaway for couples wishing to take some time out and enjoy all it has to offer from its traditional, cobbled streets to the open air violin players who serenade passers by with their unwavering talent and gleaming smiles.
The perfect place to wind down and enjoy ‘together time’ a place where love can blossom with wild exuberance away from the hustle and bustle of daily life!