A lovely hotel, an amazing dinner and a curious cat… all made for a fabulous weekend in the city of York
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
From £80 per night
Find out more about the Mount Royale Hotel & Spa and book a room here
York is a city of contrasts – the hustle and bustle of the centre where tourists and shoppers vie for pavement space and the quietude of its ancient buildings, where visitors talk in hushed whispers and you can almost feel the history that came before you.
As UK breaks go, York has pretty much everything my boyfriend and I could wish for - a Murder Mystery to solve at the National Railway Museum this summer (two ticks from me) and a castle, Roman Baths and a museum devoted to York's chocolate history (tick, tick, tick from him!).
Continuing the train theme, we walked up from the station to our hotel, the Mount Royale. Our Garden room was charming and looked out onto the hotel grounds, which were a surprisingly peaceful haven, considering the Mount Royale is just a short stroll from the city centre.
If we'd had more time (history was beckoning) we would've taken a dip in the outdoor heated pool and tried the spa facilities (sauna, hot tub), but we'll definitely be back next time we're in the city - it was the perfect combination of modernity and character. The hotel cat was the star of the show and very chatty on the terrace at breakfast-time!
With our York Pass in-hand, we made the most of the best the city has to offer, from the Clifford's Tower and Castle Museum (with its incredible journey through British history) to the National Rail Museum. With the Missing Passenger exhibition we had a fun couple of hours trying to work out whodunnit… and got it right!
After all this activity we had a well-deserved sit-down on the hop on, hop off bus (York City Sightseeing) and enjoyed a tour of the other sights, including a glimpse the famous racecourse and the magnificent original home of Terry's chocolates. Sadly no smell of chocolate wafts from it today!
Dinner was at the Lamb & Lion Inn, conveniently located next to the city walls. This chic but laid-back restaurant is cosy and intimate and the food truly mouth-watering! It's just as well-suited to a quick pop-in dinner as a romantic meal for two, partly down to the friendly staff for whom nothing is too much trouble.
We ordered from the Signature menu – from the brown shrimp and beetroot-cured salmon to the fabulously tasty strawberries and puff pastry shard dessert, we enjoyed every mouthful. Neither was it 'too much' or too rich, we both left feeling ready for the walk home!
Plan your own visit!
Coming up in September is the York National Book Fair and the Food and Drink Festival, so this is a great time to visit. In November and December you'll find the St Nicholas Christmas Fair when the city is beautifully decorated for the Christmas season.
www.visityork.org should be your first port of call - it's a great resource of information on where to go.
The York Pass: Free entry to more than 30 York attractions and tours as well as restaurant and shopping offers. To buy a Pass contact York Visitor Information Centre on 01904 550099 or visit www.yorkpass.com
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