Sunday saw us wrap up warm from the the bitter 2 degree cold, and scoot off to nearby York for Sunday lunch at the newly opened Refectory Kitchen and Terrace in the Royal York Hotel.
Meeting my folks there, it was a real family affair, and a sweet treat for all, having been invited to sample the hotel’s just 3 week old new restaurant.
On entering the airy, light-filled dining room, you’re transported to another world-or country at the very least. Low hanging lights, a bar dressed with climbing faux ivy, pots of bright chillies, shiny lemons and fragrant herbs lining the window. this is the culinary equivalent of the magic wardrobe. You step out from the chilly streets of York to well Chile in South America.
It’s now, having read the restaurant blurb, no surprise the Refectory has been designed by award-winning architects Michaelis Boyd, whose clients include some of my most favourite London hot spots including the Groucho Club and Soho House.
…Located beside the ornate hotel reception and the also, new Chapter House bar- adjacent to a chandelier decorated corridor of dreams and a monochrome floor that would make any Instagrammer squeal/snap with delight-I was sold on the decor, so had high hopes for the food.
Warm freshly made bread with French butter was served before we orders and starters saw a delightful fresh butter lettuce, blue cheese and pear salad with light mustard dressing for me, and a crispy calamari dish, perfectly cooked-crunchy outer, soft and flavoursome inner, for Peter. Devouring every last ring of sunshine-y calamari, I pondered, ‘what winter’ as the snow threatened to fall from the window.
The kids tucked into ‘posh’ sausage rolls!
Mains for the children comprised of lightly baked cod and tasty, long fries-a mixture of the haddock fish and chips and cod and mash options (testament to how flexible the restaurant is when it comes to ordering)…and Peter opted for the Anglesey sea bass with Blue shell mussels, Mum, the rump of Yorkshire Dales lamb and myself the coal charred spatchcock chicken with a side of the refreshing, zesty coleslaw.
The not too sweet (thankfully), smartly judged (by the chef) -and opted for (by me) chocolate pot with salted caramel is frankly what chocolate-lovers’ dreams are made of. Creamy, light, salty-sweet layers of soft, plump dessert made almost felt healthy, is one I need to sample again. And again.
Sadly both Peter and I were on photo duty and we each thought the other had snapped it!
The whimsical trifle felt like an extra from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and delighted the eyes as much as the mouth with its mini meringues and strawberry sauce.
Huge vanilla ice creams for both (very lucky) boys and a stem ginger hot pudding with vanilla custard that took us all back to uni days (in a good way) made for the perfect ending to Sunday lunch.
Delicious food, beautifully presented, with attentive staff, a warm atmosphere-family friendly but also ideal for bigger parties, romantic nights out and girlie dinners, we all left suitably impressed and utterly content.
Peter and I are already plotting our return, child-free this time (so I can get a snap on that monochrome floor at the very least)- and of course to revisit that chocolate pot again-and more.
I promise you a photo next time!
The Refectory gets my ’10’.
We were given a complimentary meal, wine and drinks in return for this honest review.