IN LOVE WITH YORK
There is so much to discover in this great British city.
We know the gorgeous city of York like the back of our hands, and we’re here to give you perfect pointers. As a taster, here are a few of our favourite finds.
Kiosk Coffee and Food
Head to this perfect-for-people-watching place on one of York’s most popular indie streets for coffee that’s, without doubt, some of the best in the city. Their chunky sandwiches hit the spot at any time of day. You should also download their ‘Now That’s What I Call Kitchen Dancing’ playlist on Soundcloud.
York Christmas Market
The famous alpine chalets that line Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square creating a festive wonderland will return this year from 16th November until 23rd December 2023 to offer an array of local traders and artisan products. A must-visit for any festive trip to York.
York Art Gallery
Head here to see a collection of paintings that spans more than 600 years and ranges from 14th-century Italian panels to 20th-century works by LS Lowry and David Hockney. There’s also a massive collection of British studio ceramics at the Centre of Ceramic Art on the first floor, plus a great café, gardens, shops, and a learning space. And the building itself is a gem dating back to 1879.
There’s a lot to love about Partisan – a vibrant, independent coffee shop, licensed restaurant and arts space. You can grab breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea every day of the week. It’s owned by Florencia Clifford, whose Scottish, Italian and French ancestry means she loves food and feeding others, and her partner Hugo, who has farmed in North Yorkshire for nearly forty years (and is one of the herb and vegetable suppliers to the restaurant). There are exhibitions by local and national artists, and most of the objects, art and furniture are for sale.
Tucked behind York Minster, this city centre townhouse is not as it first appears. In 1897, Frank Green (the grandson of a wealthy industrialist) bought and created a lavish show home, grand enough to impress Edward VII during his visit. He was passionate about history and indulged this by saving Treasurer’s House and other buildings in York.
Cooper King Distillery
Cooper King Distillery is England's only self-built whisky and gin distillery, and one of only a handful in the country to run on 100% green energy. Friends, family and founders have come together to build an independent distillery from the ground up. With the stills now fired up, you can enjoy fine spirits produced in small batches using the very best ingredients that England has to offer.
Visit them for a distillery tour and receive 10% off in their distillery shop after if you show them your No.1, York booking reference!
Explore one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals. Experience vast spaces and breathtaking medieval architecture, discover York’s Roman roots and learn about the Minster’s role in Viking York. The cathedral has more medieval stained glass than anywhere else in the country and in 2018, for the first time in nearly a decade, visitors are able to see one of our most famous works of art – the Great East Window – revealed following a major restoration and conservation project.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association in Naples has acknowledged this place of greatness as “a true Neapolitan pizza maker”. There are only eight pizzerias with this certification in the U.K (and this is the only one in York), so you’re in authentic hands here. Owner Berardo Caggiano uses ingredients imported from Italy, traditional methods and a pizza oven from Naples. If you fancy something to keep you going while your pizza’s in the making, they do mean pasta frittatinas (batter-fried pasta snacks).
Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe
If you like pies, pastries and sausages, you need to get yourself over to this highly charming home of handmade, crafted, quality goods made to traditional recipes that have firmly stood the taste test of time.
The City Walls
Walk the 3.4k of York’s City Walls (also known as The Bar Walls and The Roman Walls), and you’ll see this pretty city at its best (plus lots of the gorgeous gardens lovingly tended by its residents). The finest, longest and best preserved of any in England, the walls feature four big gateways and over 40 towers. Over a million people a year take a walk through 1900 years of history on these walls that were all about defences and are now all about history.
2 Many Wines
This wine shop/ bar that’s open all day, every day until late, offers an impressive array of wines from around the world. You can take away or settle in for a glass or three from an ever-changing menu based on new finds by the wine-obsessed owners. To go with that, there are small plates of deliciousness to try, plus some very carefully chosen cheeses and charcuterie.
Minster Gate Bookshop
The street on which you’ll find this shop has enjoyed a long and continuous association with books. And this traditional antiquarian and second-hand booksellers with a large general stock housed in seven rooms and over four floors is celebrating that good and proper. They have substantial sections of old children’s and illustrated books, Folklore, British and Medieval history, and they’re good for literature, art and architecture, theology, and philosophy too. There’s also a print room full of old maps and prints, with old lithographs and engravings of York and Yorkshire, as well as a good selection of decorative prints and wood engravings.
Yorkshire Museum & Gardens
Established in the 1830s, Museum Gardens is a botanical wonderland. But there’s more than greenery to enjoy. Among other things, there’s The Yorkshire Museum and its ancient artefacts. There are the remains of St Mary’s Abbey, built in 1088 and bursting with stories of William the Conqueror and Henry the Eighth. And there’s The Hospitium – a sort of early hotel for merchants who were not allowed to stay in the main abbey with the monks.
Clifford’s Tower is one of the best-loved landmarks in York. It is the largest remaining part of York Castle, once the centre of government for the north of England. Climb to the top of the tower to explore the spectacular new roof deck and take in the amazing 360° views over the heart of the ancient city. On a clear day you can see as far as the North York Moors!
If you can, be sure to get a lunch or dinner table at this Michelin-starred restaurant by chef Tommy Banks. Set in a characterful 19th-century building, Roots’ menus are inspired by the constantly evolving palate of produce grown on the Banks’ family farm and kitchen garden. A specially curated drinks pairing is offered alongside the tasting menu.
Concept store Snowhome offers a carefully selected range of homewares and lifestyle products to bring joy to both home and life. With a focus on small spaces and slower living, the store offers a regularly changing collection aimed at elevating simple, everyday pleasures with well designed, beautifully made and thoughtfully created objects. With a strong ethical set of values behind their sourcing and a belief that everyone’s home should inspire and delight; this much loved York independent is one to visit.
Tea drinkers – you will love this shop. Their philosophy is that every person who walks through their door is unique and that there’s a corresponding infusion to meet their requirements. Delicate and aromatic, rich and fruity, or light and refreshing, there’s something for everyone. They stock an impressive selection of black and green teas, chai, oolong, pu-erh, herbal infusions, Ayurveda blends, rooibos and all the accessories you need to brew like a pro.
Fun fact: this shop bursting with practical and sustainable household products is named after a documentary about the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Owner/shopkeeper/knife-sharpener/general helpful chap Maff Punton is a third-generation hardware store owner; he practically cut his teeth on garden hoses and broom handles whilst growing up in the environs of the family hardware shop. He’ll happily help with any of your queries and is a font of knowledge on many home-related subjects.
A little neighbourhood bakery based just off Bishy Road. ‘Simple things made well’ is their motto and they definitely live up to it. We recommend getting their early as there tends to be a queue. Oh and follow them on Instagram; you’ll not only want to eat all the buttery, flaky pastry goodness they make but you’ll also totally want to be in their gang! Just sooo cool.
This modern North African restaurant with a beautiful, covered, and heated garden is a delicious dream of a place. The chef and owner, Tarik, serves up a range of small and big plates influenced by his culinary journey that began in his native Algiers and continued throughout the Mediterranean Basin.
York’s last surviving windmill is also the oldest 5-sailed windmill in the country. Despite having worked since 1770, it’s still hard at it, producing traditional stone-ground flour thanks to some sturdy restoration work. It’s a real hidden gem worth taking a wanderout of town for. And while you’re out that way, there’s the gorgeous West Bank Park to enjoy too.
SPARK:York is a hive of integrity and activity. It’s a heady mix of street food, bars, shops, co-working and event spaces. All the businesses in there are independent, local to York, and all driven by a social purpose. It’s family and dog-friendly, with regular events going on for all ages.
Pairings Independent Wine Bar
Award-Winning Independent Wine Bar Run by Sisters
Centrally located on Castlegate, a stone's throw from Clifford's Tower, Pairings, run by sisters Kate & Kelly, is a relaxed, friendly table service bar with an appreciation for fine wines, beer, whisky, gin and cocktails. Choose from a selection of small plates and sharing boards, featuring the absolute best in locally sourced charcuterie and artisan cheese. Join us daily to explore a selection of the finest wines and spirits alongside each other in the form of flights. Or for the true experience, accompany your wines with the recommended food pairings. Reservations and walk-ins welcome. Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-free options available. Children and dogs welcome until 6pm.