A Night Out Drinking and Eating in York

My partner and I have really felt the pressure recently. I work full-time as a writer and he works funny shifts in the retail industry. We have seven children between us ranging from four to 21 and this is both stressful and time-consuming. Our house is a one-hundred-year-old four bedroomed house on the coast that has more holes in it than windows and we seem to spend our life repairing things. Also, both my cousin and my dad died suddenly shortly after Christmas. It was definitely time to let our hair down and have a break from the stresses and strains of life. 

At Christmas, I gave him an envelope containing a booking confirmation sheet for a night at Marmaduke’s Townhouse Hotel in York. He has often said to me he wanted to take me to York as it is a city he loves. My mum gave us money to have a nice meal while we were away.

Neither of us could wait as it is not often that we spend time on our own together, except when we are asleep. A night away together seemed like a real luxury and something that we were both looking forward to immensely.

The drive to York was lovely. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of driving through Lancashire and Yorkshire will know what lovely views you can enjoy, even from the motorway. As soon as we arrived, we were keen to check out our room and then to explore York. Neither of us had eaten all day so we were starving and finding a restaurant was our number one priority. 

me1We enjoyed perusing through the streets and reading the menus outside the restaurant while we found somewhere we fancied eating. Some of the shops were still open, including two shops selling Harry Potter memorabilia. I took great delight in trying out some of the wands. 

We finally stopped for something to eat at Cafe Rouge, of which I have written a review on this blog. I had a camembert starter while my partner had an unusual egg in red wine sauce dish. We both opted for steak as the main. Usually, I do not have a dessert. I love them, but I only have a small appetite. However, I had nothing to eat earlier in the day and was starving, so chocolate torte for two it was!

Both me and my partner like a drink (or three!) but we rarely go out drinking. We decided to make the most of a night without any children and head off on a pub crawl. The first pub we visited was huge but had just an elderly couple sitting in the corner. Although we are middle-aged, I am 38 and he is 44, there is still life in us yet and we had hoped for something a little more lively. 

me and mike york

Instead, we took the advice of the bar staff and headed off to a grungy student bar called ‘Rolling Stones’. The fact that we were the oldest people in there didn’t put us off and we were soon drinking and playing pool against the students- and we won! This pic is us sat in the grungy student bar. 

When we decided to make a move to the next bar, the students decided they wanted to tag along. Even though it was a Sunday night in January and the streets were very quiet, my other half and I still managed to make a mini party for ourselves!

The next venue was a trendy cocktail bar called ‘The Drawing Board’. Again, this had a young vibe, but we soon had everyone in the bar talking to us- my partner likes being the centre of attention. 

me and mike york

Despite the hangovers the next day, we had a fantastic time at the ‘York Castle Museum’ and I loved dressing up in all the outfits and getting involved with the interactive activities- as you can see from the pics!

Despite going on a Sunday in the middle of January, I would definitely recommend an evening out in York eating and drinking. There is a great selection of restaurants and a diverse range of drinking venues to try. 

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REVIEW: Cafe Rouge, York

cafe rouge

I recently booked a night away in York with my partner and without our children. One of the things I was looking forward to the most was our evening meal as I had been told the options for eating out were excellent and there are many outstanding restaurants in York. Having never visited this city before, I wanted to take my time choosing where to eat so we took a stroll through the city centre reading menus as we went along and looking into the restaurants trying to find somewhere with a good atmosphere. We finally returned almost to the beginning of our trek to eat at one of the first restaurants we had seen- Cafe Rouge.

The Venue

A French bistro called Cafe Rouge at The Adams House, 52 Lower Petergate, Low Petergate, York YO1 7HZ

Ambience

One of the reasons we choose this restaurant was because there were plenty of others eating there. We had walked past many restaurants that were large and almost empty. This was not the ambiance we were looking for to enjoy a romantic meal. Cafe Rouge was welcoming and warm, which was just what we needed on a cold January night. There was a mix of couples and families ranging in age, so we felt this would be a comfortable place to eat.

Starters

I opted for the breaded camembert which was served with a cranberry and redcurrant sauce. The melted cheese was delicious and my only complaint was that there wasn’t enough of the tangy sauce. My partner opted for an unusual starter which is something he had never tried before. Eggs meurette is a poached egg served with a red wine, bacon, and mushroom sauce and accompanied by chargrilled sourdough bread. He said it made a nice change from the usual starters he orders.

Main Courses

Rather unpredictably, we both ordered the 8oz sirloin steak, his cooked rare and mine cooked medium. These were served with frites and we paid extra for a peppercorn sauce each and a house salad. The steaks were cooked to perfection and were exceptionally tender. The sauce, although not much of it, had just the right amount of kick and was not too creamy as is the case with many peppercorn sauces. My one very minor complaint was that the house salad we ordered as a side dish to share was tiny and basically consisted of a quartered tomato with a few green leaves drizzled with sauce. 

Desserts

I didn’t really have room for a dessert but as this was a special treat, I decided to have one. We had looked at the set menu when we had arrived and the desserts looked delicious. However, we had decided to order off the main menu. When we asked for a dessert menu, it consisted of completely different desserts from the set menu. My partner called the waiter and asked if we could choose a dessert from the set menu and he reassured us that this was fine. We both opted for the chocolate torte served with a vanilla creme fraiche. It was absolutely divine! 

Service

Our waiter was called Raffa (apologies if the spelling of his name is incorrect!) and he was welcoming and courteous as soon as we arrived. He even put two tables together as we had ordered side dishes so we would have more room for our food. He was attentive when needed but disappeared when we were enjoying our meals and conversation. He was especially accommodating with regards to our request about the dessert menu. At the end of the meal, we were asking him about the area and for recommendations of places to enjoy a drink where there was a good atmosphere. He was very chatty and helpful. 

Cost

The prices at Cafe Rouge were a little more than I am usually willing to pay, but this was a special treat. If you look at the online menu there are no prices on it and there is a reason for this, I suspect. The cost of a very average bottle of cabernet sauvignon was £22 before we even started on the food. However, looking at other venues in York, it is quite a pricey place to eat out no matter which venue you choose. The total cost of the meal came to just short of £92 for the two of use. Was it worth the cost? Just about!

Overall Rating

four stars

Overall, I would give Cafe Rouge in York a four out of five-star rating. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and there was a great atmosphere. There were just a few minor points that let it down, such as the cost, the tiny side salad and the lack of sauce. Other than that, I would highly recommend this restaurant.