What better way to spend a Sunday than eating an amazing roast dinner with your parents in sunny York, knowing no-one has to get up to work the next day?
This was our Sunday just gone. We’d headed over to York for the afternoon to sample the new menu at The Refectory, a restaurant within the Principal Hotel. You might remember my last trip involved a whole lot of afternoon tea and I fell in love with the impressive decor – The Principal is easily one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve been in period. The Refectory, set within the Grade II listed building dating back to 1878, had a lot to live up to.
I needn’t have worried – from the industrial pendant lighting to the botanical garden style plant displays, exposed brickwork and beaten leather chairs, this place was equally as stylish, with a completely relaxed atmosphere from the second you entered the room.
Just as it was previously, the service was second to none as our waitress Emily showed us to our table by the window. Surrounding by potted plants, with the sun shining through the floor to ceiling windows, it felt like you were in a summer house deep in the countryside – not a stone’s throw from York train station.
The food was served and mum and I had the most delicious mackerel pate on melba toast, with an apple and lime purée, while dad enjoyed the Harrogate Blue cheese, pear and candied walnut salad, honey and mustard dressing. With all produce sourced locally, as well as a range of Yorkshire beers and ales, it definitely feels like you’re eating the freshest of ingredients.
We followed with a Sunday lunch, mum with chicken and Dad and I with the roast beef. What a gorgeous. gorgeous main. I wish I had a taste button so you were able to sample the flavours we did but from the crispy roast potatoes to the melt in your mouth beef and rich, red wine gravy, this wasn’t any standard roast dinner. I get a little excited when it comes to food, can you tell?
Settling on sorbet to finish and a cheese board for my dad, including a selection of Yorkshire cheeses, we were all stuffed to the brim. The service continued to be excellent throughout the meal, and as the restaurant filled up, it was clear to see The Refectory had already grown into a popular option to eat.
With menu prices set at £17.99 for 2 courses and £21.95 for three, I would highly recommend trying The Refectory if you’re in York or you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a beautiful roast dinner away from the usual Carvery settings. Serving Sunday Lunch from 12 pm – 3 pm, there’s still plenty of time to walk over the bridge and discover more of York city centre.
Thank you to the team of The Refectory for inviting me to try the new menu – as always, opinions (especially my mum and dads) are honest.