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Terry’s Bar; Carluccio’s York

Last month, an invitation to the northern flagship store of Carluccio’s came my way.  Located on the premises of the legendary Terry’s chocolate shop and café on St Helen’s Square in York city centre, it is the largest and ‘most beautiful’ Carluccio’s restaurant to date.

Having already written about the Ilkley restaurant (purely because it happens to be our home town), I was inclined to turn down, however given the historical building that happens to be involved – accepted.

As part of the new site and exclusive to York, Carlucci’s have launched Terry’s Bar a new Italian cocktail and wine bar, it has undergone a detailed and meticulous refurbishment!  Sat supping our gin, we exchanged the thought that this doesn’t feel like a Carluccio’s… or indeed the UK for that matter – we could’ve be anywhere (and I like that!).

Recognise the dome above a la The Titanic movie?  Had we had more time, I would have taken more photos of the building because personally, that’s where the beauty lies.

Photo’s of other peoples’ food generally doesn’t interest me, so will keep these to a minimum.  Our hosts were excellent (Dominic and Sebastian are charm itself) though we had to wait half an hour for mains to be served which tarnished the evening somewhat having to promptly throw a spoonful or two of dessert down our necks before rushing out for the train.  Have fed this back to the team there who could only apologise – we’ve all been there, it happens!

 

Delays aside, will we return?  Absolutely (I have a thing for their paté)!  Most of you will know the Carluccio’s vibe so if you’re ever in York, would recommend a visit to this stunning building – if only for a G&T or two!

~O~

A Country Pub Lunch

There’s something quite comforting about going to a country pub for Sunday lunch.  The tradition of a roast, the smell of a roaring fire, no plans to hurry anywhere afterwards, it’s all rather a splendid affair and more so when it’s cold out!

Recently we visited The Dunsforth, a truly superb gastro-pub in North Yorkshire.    penultimatefullsizerender-4fullsizerender-214

The only pub in Yorkshire to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, owners Paul and Janine Cunliffe have a simple ethic of serving quality food using the best ingredients.  The proof is in the pudding (oh Dad joke, I’m sorry … do I leave it in?).

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For me it all starts with the wine, a place has got to get their chardonnay right – it was perfect!  Four of us had three courses and other than the edge of the beef being a little tough, were completely satisfied.  The starters were incredible; my tomatoes with sorbet and goats cheese was delightfully unusual!

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As you’ve probably gathered, I’m no food blogger, but us Braithwaite’s do enjoy our food and would absolutely return here owing to our excellent first visit.

You can visit The Dunsforth Website here (I think they’re developing a new one at present but the basic info’s there).

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~O~

 

 

 

The Botanist York

If a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content, then The Botanist, York is the perfect setting.  Visitors to York will no doubt know of the iconic Mulberry Hall on Stonegate which closed earlier this year after 60 years of trading. The Botanist now sits on these premises in the beautiful 1943 building on one of the most picturesque cobbled streets in the city.

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Having seen friends’ shenanigans at the Leeds restaurant in my social media feeds, I was excited to be invited to the pre-opening launch of the York venue last week.
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The Botanist vibe is laid-back living.  Expect comfort-food classics accompanied by botanically-infused cocktails and beers whilst listening to live music sets; a country pub in the city if you will.  It’s the kind of place you forget the world outside as the hours while away… it’s ‘a third-place’, kind of place.

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Our food and drinks experience matched the setting.  There are few places we visit about which can be said “I wouldn’t change a thing” but The Botanist was an exception.  The cocktails and wines were amazing, every dish of our three-courses was bang-on (probably not a food writer term); the service, impeccable.  The hanging skewers shown (jerk salmon & lamb) are a Botanist signature dish we’re told, and they were something to brag about.  The prices are reasonable with starters from £4.95 and mains from £9.95.

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We’re already looking forward to returning, no doubt now there’s the Christmas Decorations up… (even more reason to go!)

When the composition of place, product and people is as well-matched as this, the result will always be a little bit special for those party to it.  One can only hope that everyone will have the same experience!

You can visit The Botanist Website here.

Out on a school night!

~O~

Feversham Arms Hotel Helmsley

The Feversham Arms Hotel has long been on my ‘must visit’ list.  Anywhere that has an outdoor pool, in Yorkshire, has me intrigued!

Feversham Arms 16Though I’m sure this is THE place in Summer (outdoor dining and poolside drinks), it was  on a slightly fresher, but beautiful Autumn day when we went for a self-invited visit.Feversham Arms 3Feversham Arms 14

Quite tucked away off the main through-road, the hotel will appeal to those wanting a country retreat in unspoiled setting.  Helmsley is quaint, charming and naturally, restful.   Feversham Arms 7

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Thirty-three bedrooms and the Verbena Spa make it a great place to retreat for those looking to go away without anything too taxing on the agenda.  Day packages at the spa will also appeal to ladies seeking a luxury hang-out.  

Six individual treatment rooms and one double, with plenty of softly-lit space for relaxing on comfy sofas is going to appeal in the colder months.  The outdoor space… speaks for itself!

We ate in the Weathervane restaurant.  Though the food was excellent, there was not enough on the plate for either of us and a tad pricey at that, so a meal wouldn’t be a reason we’d return.   That said, the outdoor space is such a delight that I can absolutely see us returning in the Summer months for a glass of wine and perhaps a few nibbles on the terrace…

You can visit The Feversham Arms Hotel Website here.

~O~

Quarmby’s Deli & Coffee House

Coffee, it’s a biggie for me.  I will go out of my way for a good coffee, engineer meetings to take place in favourite coffee houses (‘hello Toast House‘) and will travel substantial miles when away from home in order to ensure that my daily cup is going to tick the satisfaction box for me.  It’s not rocket science but it’s surprising how many places serve up average.

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Quarmby’s Deli and Coffee House serves a GOOD coffee.  According to Will (Mr Quarmby), that was the starting point; if they could get the quality of their coffee right, everything else would follow… and it has.

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Quarmby’s, Sherrif Hutton (on the outskirts of York),  is in a perfect ‘corner shop’ location attracting a real mix of locals and passers-by.  During our time there, cyclists, business folk and ladies-who-lunch all stopped to reside in the feel-good setting that husband and wife team, Emma and Will, have created.

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Being able to cater for the increasingly varied diets and demands of consumers these days must be quite a challenge for eateries.  Quarmby’s clearly has a bent towards healthier eating and I would bet that few people would be able to visit and not be thoroughly satisfied.  Our meal was first class; quality ingredients and food combinations made every mouthful something to linger over.  Though neither of us ‘do’ desserts, both did quite simply because up on the specials board they looked too good to miss… and they were!   I savoured the marmalade and chocolate pannetone pudding all the way home.

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Finest local Yorkshire produce is available for purchase for those wishing to extend their experience further.  There’s a real sense that this is a deli for the people, by the people and should we be in this neck of the woods again, we will definitely return.    Find out more about Quarmby’s hereQuarmby's 19Quarmby's 9

~O~

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds

Banyan Leeds is the fourth ‘Banyan Bar & Kitchen’ to be opened in Yorkshire.  Though you wouldn’t know from the exotic name, the ingredients are sourced from local suppliers; Banyan is very much a Yorkshire affair (and there’s 20% off for Lifestyle Yorkshire readers at the end of the post!)

Situated on the site of the Old Post Office in Leeds City Square, (directly opposite The Queens Hotel), it is in a fantastic location.  Outdoor seating is always a must when the warmer temperatures arrive and there’s 120 covers to ensure not a moments rays will be missed.

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Ahead of it’s launch on April 22nd I was invited to a blogger event which involved tasting bite-sized food and sampling cocktails.  My taste buds were delighted!

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The restaurant is split over two levels, downstairs has a simple industrial feel; upstairs is dark and decadent.

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As the blogger event began, it became quickly apparent that they know what they’re talking about. From navigating the industry they’re in (hospitality/catering), to the details of the cocktails, wine and food… there’s thought gone into Banyan.

What results for you and I is a tantalising (and may I add, affordable) menu for breakfast, lunch, evening meal and late-night drinks.

Fussy eaters welcomed (my words not theirs); CEO Martin Wolstencroft reiterated the need to be on the ball with ever-increasing spectrum of dietary requirements.  For example, at breakfast you could have a Full English, or pancakes.  If neither of those is to your liking, there’s smashed avocado on toast, or you could go for Super Granola (No grains, no dairy, no gluten, no wheat, no sulphites)!

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 4Our arrival drink, a pea and mint bellini.

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 9Teriyaki belly pork.  Am not a great lover of pork – these bites were incredible!

Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 10Crushed avocado & pea toasts.  Crispy duck spring rolls.Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 11 Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 12Banyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 13Vanilla cheesecake.  Salted caramel and chocolate torteBanyan Bar & Kitchen Leeds 21

When you’re left wanting more, it’s always a good sign.  My return date to Banyan is booked for a few weeks time and am looking forward to full-sized meals, hopefully sat outside!

You can visit the Banyan website to see the full menu here

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READER DISCOUNT:

Banyan Leeds have kindly offered readers of LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE 20% off.  Simply quote LIFESTYLEYORKSHIRE20.

(Code must be quoted at time of booking and booking made through http://arcinspirations.com/banyan-leeds/bookings.  All offers are subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All offers can be withdrawn at any time (without notice). Offer valid until 31st May 2016.)

~O~

 

The Royal York Hotel

Situated next to the train station, The Royal York Hotel has always been a place we’ve walked past on the way to meeting family and friends in the city centre for a great day out.  Hotels are places to stay and if you’re not going to be staying (or having a meeting), then there’s no reason to enter, right?

Time to change that old way of thinking…

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The Grade II listed building has undergone a £15 million refurbishment; I was invited for afternoon tea and promptly fell in love with the place.

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Recognised as one of the most architecturally significant railway hotels in the country (formerly The Royal Station Hotel), whilst the iconic exterior hasn’t changed much, the inside has undergone a rather epic transformation thanks to interior architects Goddard Littlefair.

Not only has it been both restored and modernised, but a new bar (Chapter House) and restaurant (Refectory Kitchen & Terrace) have been created.  These two destination concepts will attract new business, ours included.

Whilst I could tell you about the afternoon tea we were invited to taste,  I’d rather show you what really made us linger longer: the interior decor.

The sheer size of the building naturally lends itself to a lofty grandeur but the design aspects and furnishings incorporated with the refurbishing have taken 4 Star Luxury to another level.

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Having not seen the ‘before’ I am relying on my Mothers’ word who tells me ‘it was all dark wood everywhere’.  The photos below show the ‘Garden Room’; the afternoon tea takes place in here – the colour palette which adorns the Victoria architecture is perfectly balanced.  Sage greens, softest greys and mauves’ accents of aged metallic’s and crushed velvets cohere without competing.

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The afternoon tea was lovely and staff knew the menu inside out; however the most memorable food was the plate of savoury appetisers.  The detail in the flavours was exquisite.  What followed by way of the three-tier plate of sandwiches, scones and sweets, was too nondescript for my taste-buds.

As we sat among a low-level of hubbub, looking out over beautiful gardens onto York Minster, we couldn’t help thinking how calm and relaxed it was.  We settled we’d rather that any day than queuing round the block as you might do in other well-known tea rooms.

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We finished with a cup of hand-picked Jasmine tea from China, then took to exploring the hotels quiet luxury further.

A rather grand staircase ascends to the 159 bedrooms which have all been refurbished.  Whilst we didn’t get to see the rooms, a fellow blogger has, visit Pouting in Heels’ Post to see the rooms here. The Royal Hotel York 27The Royal Hotel York 23The Royal Hotel York 28The Royal Hotel York 19The Royal Hotel York 22

Things we noted; the staff were truly excellent and there was no sense of snobbery about the place.  Some places you go and you’re not sure if it’ll accommodate everyone?… The Royal, not so – we felt right at home.

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Chapter House bar and games room is open daily serving hot and cold drinks.  Bar nibbles indulge in British classics such as black pudding sausage roll with HP Sauce, Fountains Gold toast with Branston, and Bridlington scampi with tartare sauce.

The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace (below) can be seen round to the left as soon as you exit the train station doors. It’s a fabulous space, seating 126 indoors with a further 35 covers outdoors… we picked up a menu and have already seen ourselves dining here in Summer… all we need now is the weather!

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Will we return to The Royal York?  Most definitely.  Away from the bustle of the city, it will be the perfect place to get lunch and drinks in the most beautiful surroundings.  I hope the hotel will continue to see much success and a return for the sizeable investment.  Visit the hotel website here.

~Ο~

Behind the scenes...

Caught in the act – behind the scenes.

 

 

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