Happy New Year + Christmas in York!

Happy New Year! Can’t believe we’re already into our second week of 2017 – hope you’ve all had a great start to this year.

It’s been a fun one for me as I spent last weekend in Munich celebrating a friend’s birthday. It felt like we were in winter wonderland… you just don’t see this kind of snow in Australia.

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Winter wonderland

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Frolicking in the snow

Christmas seems like a distant memory now but I wanted to share with you what I got up to in case any of you visit York in England. Christmas in York is beautiful and quintessentially English. They really go all out with the decorations and the carollers singing in the streets just topped it off… it felt like we were in the movie, The Holiday, at times.

It’s a pretty part of the world and such a quaint town with cobblestone streets, plenty of shopping and pubs on every corner – a welcome reprieve from the cold!

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The streets of York

We stayed at a boutique hotel, Judges Court, for 3 nights – arriving on Christmas Eve. Taking the train from King’s Cross took about 2 hours and it was an easy journey. Train travel in the UK is one of the best modes of transport when you’re heading out of London to a specific destination as traffic isn’t a worry and you can just relax. One downside is that you’re not able to explore villages along the way, but when you’re short on time it’s best to just get to your final destination to enjoy it!

York is also great because the city is easy to walk around so you don’t need to rely on public transport or taxis. So you can wander to your heart’s content!

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One of the rooms at the Judges Court

Waking up on Christmas morning in England was pretty special. Even though it was the first Christmas away from my family for my sister and I, we were with our London ‘family’.

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Our miniature Christmas tree

Pyjamas, champagne and lots of laughter was how Christmas started, like most years! Breakfast was delivered and they had a special gluten-free meal for me… which considering I told them at 10pm the evening before was a delight to see!

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Where we had Christmas lunch

We enjoyed Christmas lunch at The Churchill which is the sister hotel to the Judges Court. They were very accommodating with my gluten and dairy free dietary requirements. I was able to enjoy the three-course meal without any hiccups which was such a relief especially on Christmas Day.

The three courses were pumpkin soup, roast beef with all the trimmings and it wouldn’t be Christmas without finishing lunch off with a traditional Christmas pudding. Lunch was then followed by trivia (which apparently is a tradition at The Churchill) and card games. Just good old-fashioned fun!

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The girls on Christmas Day

As we spent a few days in York, here are some other restaurants we dined at during our time…

Hungry tummies and cold weather brought us to Sutlers Bar & Kitchen where we were just in time to order from their breakfast menu… which didn’t disappoint. With omelettes, pancakes and a whole host of other delicious options… I chose the baked eggs with gluten-free bread. Oh boy! This really hit the spot and was just what was needed to warm up. Surprisingly they also had coconut milk, but my latte didn’t quite turn out like it does in London (or Melbourne!) but I wasn’t complaining since it’s so rare to find anything other than soya milk served at countryside cafes.

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Baked eggs at Sutlers

The food was so good we went back to Sulters again the next day… this time for lunch. I shared this antipasti platter with my sister, which they made gluten-free!

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Antipasti board… made gluten-free!

It was rather difficult to find restaurants that were still taking bookings over this time… just a side note, book in advance so you don’t miss out! Fortunately the Lamb & Lion had a dinner reservation – but for 5:15pm. We decided to take it after reading rave reviews so made sure we had a late breakfast and no lunch. By the time we ordered and settled in, we didn’t actually eat until around 6pm so it wasn’t all bad.  I ordered the roast beef, which the English do oh so well. They served a huge portion but it was seriously tasty and I highly recommend it.

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Roast beef at the Lamb & Lion

Another morning we wanted a coffee whilst strolling through the York Museum Gardens, thankfully my sister found Spring Espresso. They ran out of almond milk so we enjoyed a soya latte, however went back for a second coffee after our walk and they had actually purchased some almond milk – such service! Both coffees were really good and their treats looked delicious!

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Gluten-free treats from Spring Espresso

You definitely have to explore the York Museum Gardens, they are just beautiful and we were blessed with gorgeous weather! The City of York Walls walk is also worth doing as they are longest medieval town walls in England at 3.4km long. The views back into York are pretty stunning too!

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York Museum Gardens

York was a really wonderful place to spend Christmas and definitely many amazing memories were made. If you’ve been to York, I would love to hear of any restaurants or cafes in York that you recommend.

I’m actually heading to New York tomorrow so keep an eye on Instagram and Facebook for updates. Stay tuned for a post on foodie spots around the Big Apple!

All the best,

Emma Lauren

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