THE Royal York Hotel took my breath away.
And that’s not something I say lightly. (At. All.)
I was invited to stay by the hotel, a couple of weeks ago to check out their huge refurbishment which has recently seen the hotel restored to it’s fine glory.
And to also check out their new restaurant and shiny craft ale and cocktails bar (a perfect pairing for the husband and I.)
So on a wet and cold Saturday, earlier in the month, the husband and I drove to York, for a very special and luxurious night away.
Excited to spend some quality time together, we were even more excited when we arrived at this historic, five storey hotel, as it is absolutely beautiful.
Jaw-droppingly elegant and luxurious, yet in no way intimidating, as soon as I stepped foot inside the hotel, I just knew I was going to love it and oh, how I did.
Featuring calming grey tones, elegant chandeliers, charming stylish touches and the most stunning staircase I have ever seen, The Royal York impresses and in a big way too.
And if all of this wasn’t enough to make me do a large intake of breathe, in the most loveliest of ways, well there was always the huge Christmas tree, which made me feel incredibly festive.
Our deluxe double bedroom was gorgeous, chic and incredibly comfortable, with an impressive and beautifully appointed bathroom that featured the most wonderful shower and homely touches such as guest robes and slippers.
You can tell it’s been recently refurbished as it was immaculate.
We also had a good view of Yorkminster from our window too, which was really appreciated. A must for tourists unfamiliar with this historic city. (Any American relatives would adore this!)
After dumping our bags and spending a couple of soggy hours in York doing some bits of Christmas shopping, it was soon time to get back to the hotel, freshen up and get ready for dinner in the hotel’s new restaurant.
The Refectory Restaurant and Terrace is a charming place that has a contemporary yet rustic feel. Perfect for casual dining.
And the food is just divine!
The menu, created by executive chef Nick Evans, celebrates local, seasonal produce from God’s own county (AKA Yorkshire!) and the food is both delicious and hearty.
As dishes go, this is one restaurant that somehow manages to deliver incredibly tasty food and generous portion sizes. (Any special man in your life will love this place!)
For starters, I eventually opted for a simple yet classic dish of smoked salmon, avocado and granary toast…
while the husband was a little more adventurous, choosing on recommendation, the hand-picked Whitby crab, mayonnaise and sieved egg.
Both starters were incredible, with mine being so generous in size, that I had to actually ask the husband to help me out and share the food with me, because it was so tasty I didn’t want to waste a morsel.
Our main dishes also did not disappoint. Far from it.
My delicious rump of Yorkshire Dales lamb came with pickled red cabbage and it’s very own mini hot pot! Cute huh?
Whilst the husband’s Josper grilled Buccleuch rib eye streak with béarnaise sauce was just an epic dish in every way!
Somehow, after tucking into two immense dishes, we still found a little room to share a desert…(well, you just have to right?!)
And what a desert it was!
This dark chocolate and salted caramel ‘pot’ was a big dose of calorific heaven and plenty enough for both of us to share. Or should that be demolish? ;-)
To finish off our fabulous evening, we were invited to try a couple cocktails in the new Chapter House Bar and naturally, I being a cocktail lover, could not refuse!
The bar is really stunning.
With a darker interior than the rest of the hotel, it’s appropriately moody and the perfect setting for a hot date or drinks with friends.
While the cocktails themselves were fantastic, if a little different!
The husband opted for the hottest cocktail known to mankind (!) and chose the Spiced Mule which was very tasty but bloomin’ hot! (Only for the brave, this one folks.)
Whilst the bar man kindly made me a Cosmo Royale (a cosmopolitan topped with champagne) after I asked for a cosmo with a difference.
Featuring two of my favourite drinks in one, this went down an an absolute treat!
Finally, we finished the night in style with a nightcap. I opted for a calming and really lovely Apple Camomile Martini (created with camomile syrup made in house) whilst Jamie enjoyed a twisted mojito. (His favourite.)
As the husband ‘moonwalked’ back to our room (I blame the spiced mule!), I let my eyes feast on the grandeur of the hotel, feeling comfortably full and more than a little tipsy.
And after a good night’s sleep in an incredibly comfy bed, it was time for breakfast before saying farewell.
As I was expecting, after experiencing the most delicious meal the night before, breakfast was another treat, with the hotel catering for all tastes – from the traditional to more modern choices, perfect for the health conscious.
After a delicious start to the day, it was time to pack up our belongings and head for home, blissfully happy and satisfied but sad to be leaving.
As we walked up the stunning staircase to our room on the second floor for the final time, I suddenly realised that we hadn’t once taken the lift. Unusual when you’re a couple of floors up.
And to me, this behaviour of ours kind of sums up what the hotel is really all about.
Because you see, when you’re staying at The Royal York, walking within it’s grand, historic walls and across it’s beautiful floors, you just want to savour every single moment.
You don’t want to take the shortcuts.
You just want to revel in it and enjoy it all – every step up the staircase, every mouthful of delicious food, every sip of a boozy drink.
Swept along by the elegant grandeur and luxurious comfort and catered to by the friendliest and most gracious staff I have come across in a long time, The Royal York is a place you don’t want to leave in a hurry.
Or indeed at all.
So special and so welcoming, that I for one, am already wondering when I can make another trip back.
Many thanks to The Royal York Hotel for our kind invitation and to all the staff who looked after us so professionally and perfectly.