As we often mention one of our favourite places in York for coffee is the Perky Peacock near Lendal Bridge. Our only complaint about it is the steps to get in which can make it difficult when you have a pushchair. This week they have solved that problem by opening another branch in Gillygate. Read the rest of this entry »
We usually try to eat at independent restaurants and cafe – except when we have money off vouchers or as in this case we are offered the chance to eat for free.
My last memory of a trip to a Harvester was a couple of years ago when we went to one near Temple Newsam near Leeds. I had always thought it was strange we didn’t have one in York so was quite pleased when we were invited to try the new one at Clifton Moor (near the Vue cinema).
We visited early on a week day evening when the restaurant was busy without being crowded. We were shown to a booth at the back of the restaurant – but still close enough to the salad cart.
The children liked the idea of sitting in the booth as it meant we felt like we were in our own private area. Menus, with colouring activities for the children, were excitedly pounced on and our server for the evening introduced herself.
I was slightly daunted by the selection on the adult menu and the idea that you choose a dish and then added a sauce and a side but husband and eldest child, who declared herself too big for the children’s menu, made their choices easily.
Middle child chose a nice selection from the children’s menu and smallest child was pleased to find that ordering just a portion of chips was fine. The children’s menu had a nice selection but I was a bit disappointed that the pasta couldn’t be served without sauce as fussy smallest child would have preferred.
Bowls quickly arrived for us to visit the salad cart – I would like to apologise to other customers there that evening as my children seemed to think helping themselves to salad actually meant filling their bowl with croutons. Our starters quickly arrived after that and the nachos and potato skins were very tasty. When we finished those our plates were promptly cleared away and our main courses arrived without delay.
Three members of the family went for a variety of chicken dishes served with sauces and chips. Having tried to between decide which combination of meat and sauce I went for something completely different and had the very nice plate of scampi and chips. The bigger children had refillable fizzy drinks with their meals which you refilled yourself meaning they had no waiting around to order another drink but due to the very attentive staff even ordering a drink was a very quick process. Our meal was rounded off with huge yummy ice cream sundaes.
We had a very enjoyable trip to the Harvester; the highlights for us were the lovely staff and very attentive service. The food was very nice but my only complaint would be the pre-prepared nature of some of the dishes that meant we couldn’t order the pasta without sauce.
The eating area and the toilets were extremely clean which we often find a problem in some chain restaurants. On the whole we would probably make a return trip to the Harvester but with a bill of just over £70 for our family we would either be looking out for vouchers or saving it for a very special occasion.
Generally we prefer to visit independent cafes and restaurants as we find the service and attention to detail is better and we prefer to show our support towards them.
One exception to this is Pret a Manger in Parliament Street in York which is staffed by the nicest collection of people we have ever met in a chain cafe and is great for a coffee and croissant when you are in a hurry.
The menu in Pret is fairly basic – sandwiches, croissants (chocolate, plain and almond), cake, crisps, soup and hot drinks.
There is a handy ground floor seating area which although small is perfect if you have a little one asleep in the pushchair. Upstairs there is more seating including comfy armchairs and sofas.
When it isn’t raining and there isn’t a special market on there is also seating outside.
We tend to use Pret as a handy place to grab a quick drink and a snack. The 3 year old is particularly partial to popping in for a babycino and a plain croissant – if we are served by the lovely Claudio and he gets a balloon to take home that makes the trip even better.
Proof that being a chain doesn’t have to mean impersonal service.
Pret a Manger, 33 Parliament Street, York, YO1 8RU
Hidden away in a 13th century tower at the side of Lendal Bridge is this little gem of a cafe.
The flight of stairs and small interior don’t make it the most pushchair friendly place to visit but if you like good coffee and a nice environment in which to drink it it is well worth the effort.
The staff are very friendly and serve a selection of tea, coffee and cold drinks along with sandwiches and homemade cakes and biscuits. Worth a particular mention are the ginger biscuits and the bacon rolls served in bread from Vie Vecchia on The Shambles.
There are no baby changing facilities or toilets due to the size of the cafe but being so close to town there are plenty of places close by with suitable facilites. There are tables outside at street level that would be a lovely place to sit on nice sunny days.
The Perky Peacock, North Street Postern Tower, Under Lendal Bridge, York, YO1 6HU
Tel: 01904 613511
I have to confess, when I first visited the Old Foundry Kitchen in Boroughbridge I didn’t actually have my kids with me. I know, shocking eh?
But this is a genuinely child friendly cafe tucked away in a small yard off New Row in the centre of the town. Inside it’s clean and bright with plenty of room and a children’s play area towards the back. The walls are full of things for sale: arts, crafts and handmade jewellery.
The menu is straightforward, with a good range of breakfast food (I had a great bacon sandwich) as well as plenty of lunchtime fare such as jacket potatoes, sandwiches, a tasty looking Greek salad and a ploughman’s platter. They also have daily specials.
I sat myself down and made good use of the free wi-fi and enjoyed a strong coffee or two (or was it three?). It’s certainly somewhere I’ll be returning to with the family in tow in the future.
They also provide activities and events for children. These include:
Oh and if you’re wondering why the panoramic picture shows the place to be rather empty, we always try not to take other people’s pictures when we’re out and about. Privacy and all that.
Old Foundry Kitchen, New Row, Boroughbridge, YO51 9AX
I realise that we are a few weeks behind, as this opened at the end of November, but we have just discovered York Cocoa House on Blake Street. Run by Sophie, whose Chocolate Workshop we went to at the Mansion House last year, the new venture is a place where chocolate workshops are held and a cafe where the emphasis is firmly on chocolate.
Yes, we realise we used the C word three times there, but this is the Cocoa House we’re talking about…
The cafe area is a really pleasant space with high chairs available but as with a lot of York’s historic buildings there isn’t a huge amount of room for pushchairs so it’s worth folding them down if you are able. Baby changing facilities are also available.
The drinks menu includes the usual offering of tea and coffee but also adds hot chocolate with a difference – the difference being you get a cup of milk and then stir your choice of dark, milk or white in to make your own.
All drinks come with a chocolate on the side and small child was particularly thrilled by his Babycinno which came with a large white chocolate button.
If you fancy a snack to go with your drink then chocolate brownies and cake are available – I can highly recommend the Chocolate Orange cake.
Details of the Chocolate Workshops are available from the website (http://www.yorkcocoahouse.co.uk/) and they can also host parties.
York Cocoa House, 3 Blake Street, York Tel: 01904 675787
I’m sitting with a ridiculously large cappuccino and a spanking new notebook and pen, jotting down all the ideas that are going to make me a fortune. On the other side of the café there’s a mother and daughter, quietly enjoying a post-school milkshake and muffin. It’s all very peaceful and café-chic. Read the rest of this entry »
Tucked away in the Market Place in Easingwold is Tea Hee. The cafe’s website describes it as a Cheesemonger and Espresso Bar but that description doesn’t really do it justice. Nearly every time I visit I have to queue for a table but that isn’t off putting, more a sign of the food and drink being worth the wait. Read the rest of this entry »