Luxury York Guide with Visit York and The Judge’s Lodging– Review: January 2019
Founded at the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse, with an eclectic mix of Georgian, Medieval and Victorian characteristics, the wonderful walled city of York, with winding quaint, narrow streets and snickleways, has been perfectly preserved making it a picturesque location which combines historical heritage with sophisticated, contemporary amenities.
Known as Eoforwick to the Saxons, Eboracum to the Romans and then invaded by the Vikings who coined the name Jorvik, York is a city steeped in history and charm, an architectural Aladdin’s cave of all things historic, but is an ever-evolving city which offers a range of exciting events, activities, museums and restaurants. Take on the wonderful wall walk and see if you can complete the complete circuit.
Where to stay
Think relaxed luxury, charm and elegance, the Judge’s Lodging located in an enviable postcode in the centre of York, in north-east England, perfectly situated in the main hub for easy access to all the city’s main attractions.
A gorgeous Grade I listed building, a Georgian townhouse steeped in charm and history, whereby the building’s origins date back to 1710 when it was built as a private residence.
Eventually, after the passing of the owner, the building became the residence of judges attending the Assize court sessions and remained so until around 1976. This stunning residence has a restaurant, two bars and some super special character rooms.
The Clifton was a super sensational cosy classy room rich in detail and historic charm. Décor a mix of subtle neutral shades, quality furnishings, fine fabrics with a touch of chic added with the fab vintage telephone.
Immediately, walking into a lovely lounge, well appointed, with some super scrummy shortbread, water, tea, coffee and also fresh milk.
The beautiful bedroom, the perfect place to rest your head after a busy day and evening in York city. With a writing desk, wardrobe, standalone full-length mirror and a super sung bed.
The bathroom a superb space including stand up shower until, whirlpool bath, light up vanity mirror and a range of plush complimentary toiletries for you to pamper and beautify.
Pop this place on your must stay list and Judge for yourself!
Afford yourself the luxury of visiting all York’s top tourist attraction with ease, by saving money and time, by not having to pay separately at each activity by pre-purchasing your yellow York passes. Then you are good to go, but if you would like to buy once in York just pop over to the Visit York office and the fabulous friendly team will get you on your way to exploring York.
The marvellous Mansion House, one of York’s hidden treasures, a real gem. Located within the heart of the city, Mansion House is a purpose-built house for the Lord Mayor.
2018 was the Year of Grandeur for York’s Mansion House, after undergoing the biggest restoration since it was built in 1732. The house contains impressive and exciting civic collections which was a pleasure to view.#
Use the self-guided interactive I-pad tour, to make your way around the home, starting at the hallway, talk in the exquisite state room, the Georgian kitchen and see how each Lord Mayor has entertained and lavished guests in style.
A National Trust property, Treasurer’s House, once the former home of the fascinating wealthy Yorkshireman, Frank Green. This was the first house to be donated to the National Trust and came complete with all its contents.
Nestled just behind York Minster, see the lavish interiors of the house, which has an amazing collection including ceramics, textiles, antique furniture and paintings from a period spanning 300 years.
At one time the house was divided into three houses, but in the late 1900’s Frank Green demolished parts of the house not to his liking, transforming the buildings into a luxurious property.
An iconic York landmark, the York Minster Cathedral with its Gothic architecture, is a breath-taking sight and the beating heart of York. Marvel in the Minsters magnificence, a sanctuary of worship, a place of calm, peace and tranquillity.
Nearly burnt down, deliberately in 1829 by Jonathan Martin and the mysterious fire of 1984, but now meticulously restored, the Minster basks in all its glory, where visitors can view key highlights including the nave, medieval stained glass, the under croft, chapter house, memorials, the kings screen and the central tower.
Take yourself to the top and climb up the 275 steps to the very top of York Minster’s Central Tower. See marvellous medieval stonework and gothic grotesques, as you climb high.
The highest point in York, whereby climbers are rewarded, with amazingly breath-taking panoramic views over York city
The Yorkshire Museum houses some of the finest collections of archaeological and geological finds in Europe and includes a new exciting award-wining exhibit – Jurassic World.
Officially opened by Sir David Attenborough on 23 March 2018, take a journey back in time through 150 million years, to see what life would have been like. Why not have a go at feeding Alan, their resident dinosaur, thanks to the modern-day wonder of virtual reality.
The lovely Emma helped pop on my Virtual Headset allowing me to experience a dangerous dinosaur adventure, all in the safety and comfort of the museum.
The York Museum Gardens are stunning and the perfect place to sit back and relax. Also, I would highly recommend exploring the ruins of St Mary’s.
Departing from Bus Stop RE Daily, right outside York train station, why walk around the spooky parts of town, when you go on a brilliant bus. The Ghost Bus Tours York, takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, in which you will have a Spooktacular time, I am sure.
Dorian Deathly, a colourful character, provided a terrific theatrical tour, that was immersive, exciting and entertaining. Lot’s of fun facts and laugh out loud moments.
Take in the sights such as Clifford’s Tower, York Minster, Dick Turpins Grave and Treasurers House along with a few other surprises or two.
Where to have Afternoon Tea
A York institution, a visit to Betty’s famous tea rooms on St Helen’s square is a must. First served in the 1920’s Betty’s have refined and evolved their exquisite Afternoon tea experience.
Lavish in the Lady Betty Afternoon tea, men are welcome too – this is not just an indulgent treat for the ladies, served in the tranquil setting of the Belmont room, with interiors inspired by the Queen Mary Ocean liner, and a perfect pianist playing an assortment of musical melodies, you would be mistaken for stepping back in time to a bygone era of elegance and opulence.
Proceedings at Bettys begin with the most amazing pea, cucumber & tomato cocktail appetiser. Along with some the sensational savouries, including the Smoked salmon Romanov with beetroot and lemon crème fraîche, on a wholemeal croute and the miniature pork & apple pie. Also, the vegetarian offerings including miniature spring onion & herb frittata and the super sun-dried tomato & basil roulade with rocket leaves served on a wholemeal croute.
The main Afternoon Tea, a selection of delightful, delicious and dainty offerings, served on sensational stylish silver tea stands, included a range of fresh and fabulous finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream & jam and lovely pretty pastries all perfectly presented.
Why not get fizzy with it and add on some champs or opt for the non-alcoholic Elderflower bubbly which was just as royally refreshing. The lovely Libby looked after us well and we went away feeling fun and refreshed for sure.
Location National Railway Museum, #OnlyInYork can you dine aboard the super sophisticated Countess of York. Indulge in a luxurious Afternoon tea in the comfort of a beautifully restored rail carriage, as you let the staff take care of your every requirement.
Their Afternoon Tea was amazing, starting off with a lovely mini tart and soup served in a rather cute china cup. The main offerings included fabulous finger sandwiches, and sensational scones, that are baked to a traditional Yorkshire recipe, served with vanilla infused cream a and homemade preserve, along with a finale of super scrummy sweet treats.
Wash this down with some lovely loose-leaf tea or opt for a cold refreshment such as the marvellous Matcha iced tea. A unique afternoon tea #OnlyInYork
See the sights the stylish way and get yourself down to the King’s Staith Landing location, on the picturesque river Ouse in York, is where City Cruises York depart for their amazing Afternoon Tea cruise.
Their fully roofed brilliant boat will protect you from natures elements and allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy. All aboard! Let Captain James Cook and his team of loyal skippers, sail you down the river Ouse in style, for a full 1 hour and 45 minutes, ship ahoy.
Onboard the setting was lovely with gorgeous gingham lemon and white clothed tables, blue covered seating and fabulous floral centre pieces. I loved that the afternoon tea had been wrapped over in clingfilm to keep all your goodies fresh and fabulous.
Afternoon tea included fantastic finger sandwiches, fruit scone with jam & cream, an array of dainty sweet treats, tea and coffee. Also, you can add on prosecco, if you fancy getting fizzy with some bubbles.
The York Chocolate Story, onsite chocolate café, serve up the most amazing chocolate afternoon tea.
Scrummy scones, jam, strawberry’s and cream, sweet caramel slices, chocolate slabs, mouth-watering macaroons, chocolate dip with mini marshmallows and the most dainty and delightful, expertly made in house, chocolates. All washed down with tea, hot chocolate and some of the fizzy stuff.
Make sure you don’t miss out on your chocolate fix the next time you’re in York and while you’re stopping by book into York’s chocolate Story, a must see attraction.
Food & Drink Activities
The lovely Love Cheese brand, are a small independent shop at café, located on Gillygate York, situated in the heart of the minster quarter right at the city walls.
Harry and Phoebe Baines took over Love Cheese in September 2015 and since have created a little gem of a place. A homely hub where tourists and locals alike can sample the very best cheese.
Lucky enough to be invited round, for a fabulous cheeseboard, it was great to meetup with Harry for an informal chat while chowing down on some cheesy offerings which got wolfed down in record time.
Their super selection of scrummy cheese made for the perfect pitstop in York, to refuel and relax before heading back out into the city to explore.
York Cocoa House, opened in November 2011, by owner and creator Sophie. Sophie a passionate chocolate enthusiast who wanted a place where true chocolate lovers could enjoy and indulge. Since opening, the brand has seen success with an ever-growing team of chocolate enthusiasts, who have created the most yummy chocolatey delights.
The Chocolate Truffle Making Class was an absolute delight, a delicious and informative class, including the origins of chocolate a tasting and yes you get to make your own chocolate truffles!!
During the class, we were shown how to create our own chocolate truffles, by professionally tempering chocolate and then packing them into the cute cello bags with hand tied ribbon. My results were pretty impressive, if I don’t say so myself, and we had a lovely group on the day. A fabulous indulgent activity for any chocolate lover.
Get your Fudge on with a Fudge Making Experience, at Fudge Kitchen, nestled away in the quaint Shambles area of York, produces fabulous flavoursome fudge daily, that is for between 1-3 people, around an hour in duration and as well as participating in a demonstration with your fudge expert, you also receive six slices of fudge while on site, a further 6 slice box to take away with you and a Make Fudge At Home Skills Kit, so you can put your skills and newly found expertise to good use when you arrive back home.
We prepared ourselves for a fudge making extravaganza and donned the wonderful wicker traditional straw hats aka a natty boater, with the amazing Apron embossed with the Fudge Kitchen logo and could not wait to enjoy the hour-long Fudge Making Experience.
Darren and Dawn a delightful duo and our team leaders for the amazing Fudge Making Experience, both absolute super stars! While working the fudge, defiantly a time to flex the arm muscles for sure, we learned about the interesting history, science and techniques of fudge making.
Then it was time to put the fun into overdrive, go wild and make our very own fudge fountains which was an absolute giggle. Learning to ‘slab & loaf’ and create our very own beautiful fudge baguette ready to set, slice and most importantly taste.
Botanist Mocktail Making
Shake things up a little, at the Botanist York located on the corner of the lovely Little Stonegate York, with a private group cocktail or mocktail making class at the Botanist York.
On our arrival everything was ready, Ed aka our cocktail connoisseur and mixologist, was a blooming pleasure to meet. A lovely lad, with bags of energy and enthusiasm along with passion, drive and an in-depth expert knowledge of the cocktail industry.
Ed raring to go taking us through a step by step process of how to pour, the measuring and counting system, which was so much fun, as we got to give this a whirl and my volume was pretty much spot on, so I was feeling pretty smug.
The mocktail making class was a real dream, super fun and provided plenty of giggles and laugh out loud moments.We tried our hand at making two mocktails; the first a new addition to the menu, Juniper Garden, used making the herbal blend of Seedlip Garden a non-alcoholic spirit and the second a Botanist classic the Berry Good Times.
Located in the heart of York city centre, opposite Clifford’s Tower, MindLock Escape Rooms, offers a unique and immersive experience. Games are designed for 2 – 6 players and offer a variety of fabulous fun themes. Your team must escape within 60 minutes. Ryan our games master on the day was amazing!!
Feel and embrace your inner Viking as you take on the Viking Valhalla room. Your strong army of Vikings have battled courageously to earn their right to be dining with the Gods in Valhalla, but upon awakening your hord are in limbo. Please the gods, like we did, and crack the critical tasks to earn your place alongside them in Valhalla where Thor and Odin await your Viking army.
Trapped within the office of a large lavish mansion house, a killer running wild, whodunit? Well that is up to you and your team of detectives to work out in the killer game Cluedo. Ask yourselves Who, What and Where – identify the killer, find the murder weapon and location of the crime before your 60 minutes countdown ends and the murderer returns to the house to finish you off too.
Viking or Detective, can’t decide, well why not take on both challenges at Mindlock York.
Located at the corner of Bootham and Gillygate, a few minute’s walk from the Minster and just a short walk from York train station, the amazing Award-winning Rainbow ceramics is the perfect place to pop by and brighten up your day.
Providing a relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental hub, for all ages, whereby you can unleash your inner artist, grab a brush, stroke and splash your inner creative all over a piece of pottery and paint your way to an individual bespoke piece of you expressed in paint and pottery.
Ceramic costs available to suit every pocket, with items currently starting from £6 and then just add a studio fee of £4 per painter which covers costs of paints, glazing and firing. Once you have finished painting your pottery piece, the item will be ready to be glazed and fired, then will be ready for collection in 1 week or for an extra fee postage of your item can be arranged.
My personally thought theme, of our lovely pottery session, was Piggy’s and Peace, both myself and my plus one painted with pizzazz to create our peaceful piggy pottery masterpieces. This was a fabulous and affordable way to create a bespoke piece in a fun and friendly environment.
Located on Blake Street, right in the heart of York city centre, British brand TONI&GUY hair salon, official sponsor of London fashion week for over 12 years, and Beauty York provide a high quality bespoke fashionable hub for all your hair and beauty needs.
Entrepreneurs and owners, Nick and Claire, have vast business and industry experience, delivering their clients the ultimate salon experience. My blow dry experience had bounce, body and a beautiful look consistently delivered on two separate visits.
Blending both beauty and hair together, without compromising on quality, Nick and Claire have created a space whereby you can combine both a blow dry and a nail pampering session, without having to zip around town to various hair and beauty outlets, so not feeling pushed for time or stressed out.
The lovely Lorraine and Ren, my beauty therapists had considerable experience, provided me with nail treatments on two separate visits. Both had personalities that suit the business making me feel relaxed, warmly welcomed and most importantly happy with the final finish.
Also, I must add the nail treatments are excellent and mine lasted the longest any nail treatment has ever lasted me, so I was seriously impressed! They also offer other beauty services such as massage and facials, so these are now on my must try list.
Pamper, feel fab and have a little you time at TONI& GUY York and York Beauty.
Take in a Show
Taking a lead role in the theatre scene, for over 270 years, York Theatre Royal reopened in 2016 after a six million development. Creating a state of the art 21st century theatre.
The bespoke décor, that combines traditional with the contemporary, while remaining sympathetic to the building’s original features, has created a warm, welcoming hub with an airy feel.
Make memorable moments, as on select days at York Theatre Royal, you can snap up the chance for a behind the scenes tour whereby you get the inside scoop on all the backstage action.
The Colonnade café was ideal for a pre-theatre bite to eat offering simple, honest and yummy homely food.
See their exciting calendar of events right here and get ready to be entertained.
With its opulent and ornate Edwardian décor the Grand Opera House York, located in the centre of York, is a real gem. The ideal theatre for an outing with family, friends or loved ones.
Whether you fancy the classical or contemporary, The Grand Opera House York has a performance to suit everyone’s genre preference. Why not take in a ballet, Pantomime, or fast forward into modern musical beats of the 90’s, touring direct from London’s West End, with the performance of Fastlove – A Tribute to George Michael.
Check out their current ‘What’s On’ section to decide which show you are going to see.
Start your day with a beautiful breakfast at the Judge’s lodging. Located within one of their exquisite dining rooms, with a courtyard view that overlooks the iconic York Minster in the distance, a homely hub cosy for morning offerings.
Continental choices, included a plentiful buffet, with a selection of fresh fruit juices, cereals, granolas, berries, fresh fruit salad, freshly baked croissants, Ann Forshaw’s creamy low fat yoghurts, toast, assorted English perseveres along with a pot of Yorkshire tea or cafetière.
However, if you fancy a hot choice opt for the cooked breakfast, you will also get the continental choices included. The Yorkshire breakfast included poached, fried or scrambled egg, pork sausage, thick cut unsmoked grilled back bacon, grilled tomato, oven-baked field mushroom and beans.
The hot Vegetarian offering was a sheer delight, also with your choice of egg, vegetarian sausage, grilled tomato, grilled mushroom beans and a super slice of fried bread.
Escape the hustle and bustle by indulging in some private dining, at the Botanist York located on the corner of the lovely Little Stonegate York, in their aptly named Tool Shed. With enough seating for up to 10 people, this is the ideal gathering for friends, family or a corporate evening out. Emma along with Amy did an amazing job at looking after us throughout the evening.
Fabulous food includes super starters such as awesome olives with paprika and garlic, houmous with grilled flatbread and crudités and the perfectly presented creamy garlic mushrooms with a mini Hovis loaf. Mouth-watering mains included a hearty serving of fabulous Fish & Chips and the super sweet potato and quinoa salad with broccoli, spiced aubergine and tahini.
The delightful dessert was sensational and an absolute winner! The botanist allotment included millionaires shortbread, meringues, churros, jellies and amaretti crumb with a smoking almond surprise.
Fill up on fun, food, drinks and fabulous vibes at the Botanist York.
The Ivy York city centre, located in the hustle and bustle, within the St Helens square hub is a sophisticated relaxed dining spot ideal for a delicious dinner date evening.
Our corner booth was chic and cosy, with contemporary décor, while encompassed York’s historic past, with the amazing artwork adorning the walls.
A fabulous three course meal, including these super starters; brilliant Buffalo mozzarella Crispy artichokes, pear and truffle honey and the roasted scallops Grilled chorizo and ras el hanout roasted butternut squash, give you a flavour of the fabulous food offerings we enjoyed.
How To get there and further info:
How to get to York:
By car – York is situated only 20 minutes from the M1/M62 motorway network. Frequent Park and Ride bus services operate into the city centre.
By train – York is on the East Coast mainline. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. York is served by East Coast and Grand Central Trains. National Rail enquiries call 08457 48 49 50 (in the UK) or +44 (0) 20 7278 5240 (overseas) or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
Virgin Trains East Coast runs fast, frequent train services from stations along the London-Scotland East Coast route. VTEC operates 72 weekday services between London King’s Cross and York, including a non-stop service each hour through the day, taking as little as 1 hour 49 minutes to complete the journey. VTEC also has direct trains to York from Scotland, North East England and the East Midlands. York Station is a short walk from the city centre. Visit www.virgintrainseastcoast.com
Grand Central runs train services between the North East of England and London, calling at Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London. For information/reservations: call 0345 603 4852 or visit www.grandcentralrail.com
By coach – If you are travelling by coach, you will be able to get a direct service to York from many UK cities. National Express coach services call 08717 81 81 81 or visit www.nationalexpress.com
Car Hire –
Europcar – call 0871 384 1087 or visit www.europcar.co.uk
Sovereign Chauffeur Company – call 01937 541881 or visit www.sovereign-chauffeur.co.uk
By Air – York is served by three key international airports: Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Doncaster with superb routes across Europe and the rest of the world. A direct rail service operates from Manchester Airport into York. Leeds Bradford Airport: take a taxi to Horsforth, then direct train to York (1 hour).
By Ferry – Hull is the nearest ferry port served by P&O Ferries with daily overnight crossings from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge (www.poferries.com).
For any further information and your free guide to York, please contact:
York Visitor Information Centre, Tel: 01904 550099, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website
Easy to get to, exciting attractions, activities, tours, excellent eateries, have your own York Adventure and Visit York in style.
Thank you for reading