It's not exactly a state secret but thousands must pass by the Minster, the Treasurer's House and the city walls without discovering Grays Court a gorgeous hidden gem, tucked away down the cobbles of Chapter House Street.
The stunning Jacobean manor house is worthy of a banker's bonus and indeed once belonged to the money men. From the 12th century onwards Grays Court was home to the treasurers of York Minster and then a succession of Dukes and Archbishops. It is steeped in history - a long gallery, oak floors, yards of panelling, an oriel window with window seat overlooking the garden, a winding staircase and a priceless painted sun dial in one of the window panes. It was done by the last 17th glass painter in York and is one of only a handful left in the country.
The all-day menus are far less exclusive: breakfast has croissants, toast, scones or a full English. By lunch move on to soup, sandwiches and light dishes like Yorkshire rarebit with chutney, gnocchi with spinach and cream sauce or a warm salad of aubergine, courgette and peppers. In the afternoon there's a varied tea selection along with toasted tea cake, fruit cake and cheese and fruited cinnamon toast or trade up with lemon drizzle or the full monty afternoon tea – at £20 it’s almost a bargain in this setting. No evening meals but a late bar and seven stunning bedrooms
Meanwhile, there some grand rooms to settle in for a civilised retreat from the tourist/shopping round and a great place to settle into for afternoon tea or a light snack and views across the lovely garden, the only one in York with access to the city walls.
Chapter House Street, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7JHTel 01904 612613
Review by Jill, 17 November 2011blog comments powered by Disqus