cafe-hopping? pfft. in York, this is taken to a wayyy higher level ;)
how cool is that? ^^ haha i bet yi came up with that term herself, but i like the sound of it ;) sounds so classy and lady-like doesn’t it? :D haha. totally living the life of a tai-tai. it was quite sad that while i was in europe i didn’t find many cafes that were good for chilling in. in italy, that was definitely not the case. but in UK, it’s a different story altogether! and York is the perfect place for tea ^^ so many places to go!
Tea-rooms in York
what’s the difference between tea-rooms and cafes you may ask? i guess the best way to distinguish between them would be their focus – tea, obviously, for tea rooms. and for cafes, i suppose they have a bigger focus on coffee? and the decor is strikingly different. it’s hard to explain, but it’s just a feeling that you get. when you step into a tea-room, you just feel that it’s so…pretty (: it’s whimsical, it’s dainty, it’s lady-like. it feels like it’s fit to serve the royal ladies of the palace, who would enjoy a pot of tea in the afternoons, as opposed to coffee which was considered crude. okie enough introduction, it’s time for the SHOWCASE :D
btw, all these tea-rooms are in no particular order. i don’t have any particular preference for one. i loved ALL of them ^^
The Earl Grey Tea Rooms was our first-stop on our tearoom-hopping day! (: and i was so excited to have a real english afternoon tea set ^^ we ordered the traditional afternoon high tea set (£10.99) which consisted of a choice of sandwich (we chose tuna!), fruit scone with cream and preserve, fresh cake of the day and a pot of tea for one. i looooved the scones ^^ as i mentioned in my royal garden post, i first fell in love with scones when i was in york :’) scones in uk are something else altogether!!!! never really liked them in singapore, but ohgosh, they are so good here, they taste great even on their own without any condiments! :))
the tea room also has a lot of lovely merchandise for sale such as jams and stuff, which are great to look at even if you don’t want to buy them ^^
The Earl Grey Tea Rooms
York YO1 7LZ
+44 1904 654 353
next, we headed to Molly’s Tea Room! i’m SUPER devastated because i just had no fate with the apparently yummy cakes that day :( yi said that Molly’s had the best strawberry cheesecake ever, but it wasn’t for sale that day :((( i guess the way to console yourself is that the menu changes everyday, so it’s kept interesting and means that everything is baked fresh! (: we tried the lemon drizzle cake (background) and the raspberry almond cake (foreground). both were yummy! loved the lemon cake for its tangy-ness and the almond cake for its nutty crunch ^^
Molly’s Tea Room
just the first two tea-rooms kept us pretty full for quite awhile! that was our ‘lunch’ and we took a long break just shopping around while we digested our food.
and around 3pm, it was time for tea! ;) hehe. we tried a victorian sponge cake at The Vanilla Cafe! (: this cafe (and the next one) were located in a small quiet street just behind the York Minster. it’s very quaint and cosier than The Shambles, and i simply loved the atmosphere there.
The Vanilla Cafe
12 College Street, City Centre
York YO1, 7JF
Tel.: +44 1904 658 852
and for cupcakes, you should head to none other than Crumbs Cupcakery! (: they have a daily selection of cupcakes and the all look soooo pretty! we had a caramel/speculoos flavoured one and the other was peanut butter if i remember correctly! the icing was too sweet for me (seems like i don’t like the icing on cupcakes in uk much haha) but the cupcake was delicious!!
Bettys Tea Room is one of the most famous tea rooms in York and there are queues to enter the premises at almost every time of the day! we had to queue for around half an hour to get a seat and it was in the lower level of the restaurant, which is supposedly less popular! but it was worth the experience :) it’s such a pretty shop!! and their afternoon tea was yummy ^^ i would say that it could perhaps be slightly overrated/overpriced though? because there are also other tea rooms which are definitely comparable (:
we had the Bettys Afternoon Tea (£18.30). it came with a variety of sandwiches (plus points! ^^) and in interesting flavours too! scottish smoked salmon & cream cheese, roast Yorkshire ham and roast free-range chicken breast, egg mayonnaise & cress. loved loved loveeeed the sultana scone with strawberry preserve and Yorkshire clotted cream. there were a selection of miniature cakes – yummy raspberry tart! and also a pot of Tea Room Blend tea :) delicious :)
i’ve heard that Bettys has the most amazing victorian sponge cakes ever! unfortunately they’re only in whole-cake size, so we couldn’t order it because we would never be able to finish it! but do give it a try if you can!
6-8 St Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QP
Tel.: +44 1904 659 142
Restaurants in York
i got my ribs fix in york!!!!! WOOTS! The Slug and Lettuce is a restaurant chain that can be found in many parts of UK. they have amazing deals every single day of the week, and on Mondays, the food goes for half price!! which means that a rack of ribs (originally £11.25) costs less than £6!!! :O i wouldn’t say the quality is very good, but for that price, it’s definitely worth it ;)
one of the best meals that i had in York was at Rustique. it’s a french restaurant! (: again, love how UK has such a wide variety of cuisines :D they have a set menu – two courses £12.95, three courses £14.95. we opted for two courses each so that we wouldn’t be exploding after that. haha we were still super full, but it was so worth it ;) we ordered one appetizer, two mains and a dessert between the two of us. started with the cromesquis de crabe which was a lovely deep fried crab cake with fluffy meat inside and served with a sweet chili salsa.
for mains, we had the beef bourguignon which was pieces of super tender meat in a lovely red wine casserole.
we also had the jarret de porc an cidre which is a slow cooked pork shank braised with cider. loved the coarse grain mustard mash that came with it!! it’s much more interesting than your average mash ;)
our dessert was so yummy!!! always go ga-ga over chocolate hehe ^^ we had the pot au chocolat which was this lovely little bowl of rich, creamy, luscious chocolate with a piece of shortbread to top it off!! SO DELICIOUS. i can’t resist chocolate for nuts *hee*
York YO1 9RP
Tel.: +44 1904 612 744
i had spanish tapas in York too! ^^ and guess what, it was better than my experience in Barcelona. #theirony -.- we had the introduction to tapas set at £25 for two people at Ambiente. i wished i could have chosen stuff i really wanted, but i guess it was just easier to order the set. anyway, there were just so many to choose from that i was completely bewildered :p the introduction set includes the Pan (mediterranean bread & dipping oil) – simple & good, Chorizo patatas (caramelized chorizo and potato) – the sauce was da bombz!! you have to order this and just dip everything inside haha, Albondigas (meatballs in a chili and lemongrass sauce) – loved the texture of the meatballs ^^ , Caldosa (seafood risotto) – wish it was a bigger portion!, Championes (mushrooms with caramelized shallots) – simply addictive, Gambasal pil pil (shelled prawns cooked with garlic and chili) – can’t really remember how this tasted, Patatas bravas (crispy potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce) – this was really super spicy!!!!
overall a good meal (:
Ambiente Tapas Restaurant
14 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LQ
Tel.: +44 1904 689 784
scream with me!!! JAMIE OLIVER!!!!!! :D :D :D heehee so happy to be here!!! and omg it’s in singapore now~ woohoo! haha i’m just quite a big fan of him – always so fascinated by his cooking shows where he looks like he’s just plucking and throwing in random ingredients to come up with a dish which looks and tastes so awesome.
Jamie’s Italian is known for its pasta, and so that’s what we ordered. i was really excited for both our crab spaghettini (£7.75) and black angel spaghetti (£8.20). there are two choices for sizes – the appetizer and main course size. we opted for the appetizer size for both, so that we wouldn’t overeat. i think it was a little small, but just nice (: the crab spaghettini had fluffy pieces of meat in it ^^ yumms! i loved the black angel spaghetti, most importantly because it didn’t stain our teeth haha. and it was sooo delicious! it had a pretty generous amount of fresh, fat scallops, and was well-flavoured with a wine/parsley/garlic/chili sauce. delicious!
we also had a serving of posh chips (£3.25) which was basically truffle fries with parmesan. unfortunately, i felt that it was just lacking in both :/ could have been better.
i can’t wait to try the outlet in singapore!!!! :D
26 Lendal, York YO1 8AA
Tel.: +44 1904 283 979
cornwall pastys are the yummiest snacks ever!!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!! and West Crornwall Pasty sells the best ever :D they look pretty much like our curry puffs, with a thicker crust that is more crumbly, kinda feels less oily (or maybe not haha) and has a variety of fillings which i had so much joy choosing from.
Milkshack has over 180 flavours of milkshakes!!!!! :O :O :O :O does the *hands on face with mouth open emoticon* expression. sooooo shiok!!!! i had the hardest time choosing a flavour because they all sounded so awesome. yi dabao one back for me please!! haha. this place is a great stop to drop by in the midst of your shopping in the shambles. the perfect sugar rush to perk you up for more shopping! ;)
14A Church Street, York YO1 8BE
so you see, there are really lots of things you can do in york! (: i stayed there for around…4-5 days if i remember correctly? and it was just perfect. so many things to see/shop, and eat! this little town is really a hidden find worth visiting ^^