Some places just feel like returning home, and for me I think York will always be one of those places. As the city where I spent my student days, and some time afterwards, I got to know it very well and have some fantastic memories of my time there. Even though I feel completely comfortable in York, it still felt slightly odd returning after a little while and seeing the things that had changed. Whilst I had limited time to spend in the actual city (I was primarily there for a dance competition) I still managed to fit in some of my old haunts.
I love Christmas markets. The food, the decorations, the gifts on offer… the whole atmosphere is wonderful. There is nothing quite like being wrapped up against the cold weather, enjoying mulled wine under a giant Christmas tree. Christmas markets in the UK have taken off in a big way, and it seems like almost every town has a fair or market in the lead up to Christmas, but they quite often promise more than they deliver. If you want a proper Christmas market, something that you will cherish the memory of for longer than the drive back home, I would urge you to go abroad.
In honour of the York Food and Drink Festival which takes place from the 23rd September – 2nd October this year, I thought I’d give a quick round up of my top ten places to go for food in York. The Food and Drink Festival is well worth a visit. Parliament Street is taken over by a fantastic food market, and a range of tastings, demonstrations and workshops take place throughout the week. I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to make it this year, so I’ve reminisced about some of my favourite places to go for food in York for the purpose of this quick guide.
I was once a very fussy eater. Now I enjoy food much more and am considerably less fussy and more open to trying new things than I ever was as a child. However, I’m still not a fan of spicy food. Sometimes even something classified as ‘medium’ is a little too much for me, and I’m always cautious of anything that contains chilli. For this reason, I have pretty much avoided Thai food as I had heard of its reputation for being spicy. Khao San Road had been recommended to me by a variety of people, so when a friend suggested going, I decided that it was worth a shot.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Anybody who knows me well, or who follows this blog, will know of my love for York. It is a place I began to call home four years ago when I started university, and somewhere that I never expected to get so deeply under my skin. I love the history which surrounds the city, the restaurants within it and the fact that there is always something going on. I love its size (not too big or too small), and I love its location in comparison to the rest of the UK, with most places being fairly easily accessible by train. A year ago I thought I was saying goodbye to York, but was lucky enough to find employment which meant I could stay in the city. This year I am saying goodbye to York, but hopefully not for good.
Since a very young age, I have associated National Trust properties with fun days out. My parents had membership, so growing up it was a cheap and easy way to have a good day out which usually included some history, a walk and some tasty cakes! Over the past couple of years I have resisted buying membership, thinking it to be expensive and unnecessary as I don’t have a car and wouldn’t be able to reach many properties. However, I was wrong. I recently caved in and bought Young Person’s membership and have already made my money back, making it good value as I still have the rest of the year ahead. The car thing is still a bit of an issue, so I’d recommend checking which sites are accessible without a car in your area so you can still get full use of it. If you are visiting York (or are located nearby), here are the sites I would recommend visiting.
The Yak and Yeti is one of those restaurants that since my first visit, I have found myself returning to for a variety of occasions. It is a Gurkha restaurant, run by a former Gurkha, and was the first Nepalese restaurant in York. It looks quite humble – you walk up a narrow and slightly dubious looking staircase to reach the restaurant where you can decide whether to sit at a table, or on cushions on the floor. Despite the restaurant appearing quite small, they are happy to serve large parties if booked in advance. For my most recent visit, we were a party of 16.
York Minster is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and is regularly listed as a top thing to do in York. I’ve visited the Minster numerous times during the time that I have lived here, and I’ve never failed to be impressed by its grandeur. However, up until yesterday I had never been up the Tower and I am so glad it is something that I have now ticked off my bucket list.
Recently I was lucky enough to get a discounted County Stand ticket for the Races in York. I’d never been to the Races before so was looking forward to trying something new, and having the opportunity to dress up a bit! I went with a group of friends, having decided that it would be a good alternative to the annual university summer ball, which also happens to be held at York Racecourse. Whilst I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the day, I had a great time and would thoroughly recommend it.
It appears that Thursdays are not the night to go on a date. Who knew? Taking advantage of the fact I couldn’t dance for a week due to an injury, James decided to take me out for a meal as we were overdue a date. We both thought Thursday would be a quieter night to go out somewhere, and it fitted in with other plans, so James booked a table. We had a great time and some delicious food, but it certainly wasn’t what we had expected!