lovely trip to York

York has its fair share of bustling streets – some are rows of swanky  bars and restaurants, others a shopper’s paradise, not startlingly  different to any other city. But what connects these streets is truly  unique – York is riddled with lanes, alleys and paths, known  collectively and affectionately as The Sidings. Tourists rarely find  them, so their contents have a wonderful air of secrecy and discovery.  They hide a plethora of independent bookshops, cafes, boutiques and  restaurants that are begging to be stumbled upon, and fallen in love  with. Here is my guide to just a few of these magnificent hidden gems…



Tucked away on Grape Lane and overlooked by the princely Clifford’s Tower is vintage boutique, One [link]. With the tag line ‘Responsibly Gorgeous,’ One combines unique  vintage pieces with fairly manufactured garments in unusual fabrics such  as bamboo (a brilliant and ethical alternative to cotton). The store  itself is beautiful; softly lit with baroque chandeliers and antique  bird cages hanging from the ceiling. If you’re dying to escape the same  old high street stores, and find somewhere with real character and stock  you’ve never seen before, it’s well deserving of a visit.



If you’re feeling painfully virtuous after all that ethical fashion,  it must be time to indulge in something sweet and guilt-ridden. De Clare coffee shop is sandwiched between two of York’s busiest streets – Coney St and Parliament St – on a siding named Peter Lane.  Stepping inside transports you from the hustle and bustle into a place  of calm and serenity – but the real star of the place isn’t the sleek  white decor, or the local art on the walls, but the incredible homemade  cakes. Gooseberry and elderflower, ginger with rhubarb compote,  butterscotch and pecan cheesecake, gluten free lemon polenta… My  personal recommendation would be the rich and silky chocolate and Guinness cake,  but truly, make it your mission to try every one on the list at some  point, and you won’t regret it. Myself and a friend recently stumbled  upon this place when desperately in need of a mid-shopping trip  pick-me-up, and the moreish food and delightful service has seen it fast  become our favourite haunt. “Shop ‘til you drop” is for weaklings –  shop ‘til you drop, have a piece of cake, then carry on!



Stonegate is  one of York’s most famous streets, with a host of high end shops and  bars inside the charmingly crooked Tudor-beamed buildings. Down a secret  side street, opposite the infamous Evil Eye Lounge, is a new and wonderful restaurant, Kuja Lounge.  In York’s inimitable style the restaurant overlooks a medieval cobbled  courtyard, complete with its own set of stocks. Inside, the modern food  is served either upstairs in the stylish dining area, or below in the  romantic, candlelit basement. Of course, it wouldn’t be real dining in  York without an unbelievable snippet of history, and sitting in Kuja’s  basement you can admire York’s first ever coffee roasting oven,  unchanged since the 18th century. The food is contemporary British, and  it is phenomenal – the Haunch of Venison and the Fish Pie (from the  specials menu) come especially highly recommended.

In a place like York, it’s easy to look no further than the pages of a  guide book. The city can be admired from above on the stunning ancient  walls, but if you want to feel the real history, and the magic of York’s  community, dip into the next side street you come across – you might  just unearth your very own hidden gem.


4 responses to “lovely trip to York

  1. I simply want to say I’m very new to weblog and honestly loved you’re page. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your site . You amazingly have really good article content. Bless you for revealing your website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s