Perky Peacock, York
Now here’s a hidden gem that the tourist guide books haven’t discovered yet. The Perky Peacock, one of our favourite coffee shops is tucked away in an 800-year-old postern house beside Lendal Bridge. Go down the steps on the south side of the River Ouse and up another flight to the little round tower opposite the rowing club. It’s tricky to find with next to no signage but persevere for the best coffee in York.
Nicola Peacock is a total coffee nut and an award-winning barista before setting up on her own. She’ll fill you in about aromas and flavours and percolating hints. More importantly, she’ll make your coffee however you like it: short black, long white, cappuccino, latte, skinny whatever. Not only that, her mum bakes cakes and supplies Perky with a changing menu of deliciousness: iced carrot cakes, coffee cakes, fruit cakes, Christmas mince pies or chewy chocolate chip cookies. There are hot bacon sarnies for breakfast and soup and sandwiches at lunch.
Most of the business is takeaway but if there’s a spare seat take it because this one-room, old guard house with its tiny windows facing up river, its sofa and old mahogany chest of drawers that serves as the counter, is the perfect little eyrie from which to sip an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or a Columbian Narino Consaca. Love it. Open Mon-Fri 7am-3.30pm Sat 10am-3pm