Setting off to York before sun rise on the train was something I was really looking forward to. I had never been before but a few friends said they just knew it was up my street and I would love it there. So, as an early birthday present I was treated to a night in a lovely hotel and two days in York.
Walking from our hotel into the heart of York we crossed the York walls. They are 3.4 kilometres long and well maintained. No wonder they are the longest medieval walls in England, standing since roman times! They’re such a beautiful feature of York. The wall felt like a warm blanket for the city, keeping all the citizens safe.
The first day we looked around to find the minister. That was at the top of my list of things to see. It was a beautiful building with an almost gothic look about it and is described as “magnificently medieval”. It was designed to be the greatest cathedral in the United Kingdom and I think it definitely ticks that box. My favourite part of the building was the heart-shaped design windows on the west side which are known as the “Heart of Yorkshire”.
Building up an appetite from moseying around we decided it was time to eat some grub! Using the “Happy Cow” app we found goji café. It served uncommon vegetarian and vegan foods which would be hard to find usually such as a vegan quiche and a jackfruit Jamaican curry. I know… I was gobsmacked too! It was located right in the centre, so we had no trouble getting there.
We approached it thinking it was a cute little café but were pleasantly surprised when we saw lots of rooms upstairs and outdoor seating which catered for many people. Fairy lights dangling from the window gave the café that little detailed décor that made you feel warm and cosy. The windows overlooked a street of York watching people happily shopping. The staff were very attentive and the menu offered so much but the tofu mushroom burger, sweet potato wedges and quiche with salad were really screaming our names. Our second trip here the following day consisted of the quiche, spiced cauliflower,spicys beans, hummus and the most amazing wedges again.. I couldn’t resist!
After filling our belly’s, we were back on the streets of York. We found a place close to goji café that had an open mic night at the Habit on a Monday which conveniently was the night we were there. We grabbed a drink and sat among the other people that we befriended. We sat on a sofa next to the window watching the city everyone started to return home from their busy day. People from all backgrounds brought guitars and sang an odd song as they took turns in a circle. I heard one woman was a guitar teacher during the day but goes to jam here every week. Another boy played “Mr Tambourine Man” on the guitar and was brilliant. I religiously play that song now to take me back to that time.
The next day we ate at a new café after discovering it walking back from the town to our hotel the previous night. It was called “Gulp and Graze”. It was the name that really caught my attention at first. It was modern and had a lovely fresh feeling about it. Although it had non-vegan options, it also catered to vegans with plenty of juices and vegan porridge etc.
They sold many juices which I thought would be a good kick start for my day! The juice I got was called “Beet it” and it was so sweet and scrumptious. I remember it had carrot, pear, lemon and raw beetroot blended together to create a burst of natural sweetness in your mouth. I also opted for the big bowl of porridge that was topped with blueberries, syrup, desiccated coconut and apple.
Someone giving me porridge as a child would have been my worst nightmare of a breakfast because I always thought it was bland and boring! It would be prepared all plain and lumpy so I would quickly reach for my coco pops or weetos instead. I was unaware of how much you can vary it and how delicious it can be. I now consider porridge being one of my absolute favourites for breakfast. Also, after my visit to Gulp and Graze, I have a new love for topping my porridge with shavings of coconut. A great healthy fat!
That day we did some shopping. We just couldn’t resist!
I love York because although it has its historic features it has its modern touch and there’s always something going on. I enjoyed getting lost in the streets of York and ending up in places like the shambles: a quirky, mismatched street we must have walked down at least five times.
I wish I had known about how brilliant York actually was earlier because I would have gone to University there. The city suits me perfectly, however it’s not too far on the train to make many more visits!
See you soon, York!