Are you considering a trip to the historic city of York? If you are I can’t blame you, and if you’re not – well why not?

Besides the magnificent York Minster, a cathedral that dominates the skyline of the city which is encircled by ancient walls, it also boasts over 30 world-class museums, one of the best race courses in the country, a vibrant city centre which is fantastic for shopping, dining out and enjoying the odd cocktail in a stylish bar – York has it all. There is so much to discover around York’s merriment of colliding cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, it is the perfect city break destination (not to mention having the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales right on the doorstep).

York’s History

Established in AD 71 when the Romans erected a fort at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, York, originally named Eboracum, which in time evolved into a bustling metropolis within the Roman Empire, serving as a base for two Roman emperors and witnessing significant architectural advancements including formidable walls that still partly encircle York. Sophisticated craftsmanship you can experience and appreciate still today.

The medieval tapestry of York is richly woven with the threads of Viking and Norman influences, each shaping the city’s character in enduring ways. The arrival of the Vikings in the 9th century marked a transformative era as they established Jorvik, a thriving trade hub that showcased their sophisticated urban planning and cultural assimilation. Now a museum where you are taken through the dioramas in small carriages equipped with speakers and transported back to life of a Viking.

This Norse chapter laid foundational aspects of York’s identity, only to be further sculpted by the Normans following the 1066 conquest. The Normans fortified York with imposing structures like Clifford’s Tower, embedding their architectural and administrative prowess into the cityscape.

This ancient city now thrives with innovative industries and vibrant cultural life. Yet, amidst this progress, York’s commitment to heritage is unwavering. Landmark buildings and medieval streets are meticulously maintained, ensuring that history remains a living part of the urban landscape, while embracing the future, making history an integral component of its identity and growth.

Hotel indigo

Arrival at Hotel Indigo

We were lucky enough to be hosted by Hotel Indigo during our stay in York which is ideally located and less than a ten-minute walk from the centre of town. You won’t have to go far to find York’s most famous street (The Shambles) which is home to an abundance of indie bars and restaurants, stylish boutiques and quirky cafes. Hotel Indigo resides in an imposing building which dates back over 900 years, however, you would never know – it has been ingeniously transformed into a modern hotel with a super stylish glass facade and an inviting lobby – it also, of course, has very purposeful nods to a time gone by.

On arrival, the staff were friendly and welcoming and more than happy to store our luggage until the room was available – usually around 1pm, so ample time to enjoy a spot of lunch in the bright and airy hotel restaurant. Indigo are not a food-focused hotel group, its mantra is to fit into and be part of the local community, and to encourage their guests to explore all it has to offer, that said, they do have a relatively simple offering of casual food, and what they do offer is really very good – I’m not kidding, their pizza is heaven on a plate, and the breakfast is great too with a cracking cold food buffet and hot options available to order.

Also if you are, like us, dining with a group, various options can be arranged before visiting, we were treated to a huge buffet lunch comprising those delicious gooey pizzas with a cheese pull to die for, sticky chicken wings, mozzarella bites, tasty wraps and plenty of fresh salad and dips. Also – they have cake. Lots and lots of cake. Enough said.

Indigo hotels are very reasonably priced, for such a luxury vibe, so if you fancy staying in and enjoying what they have to offer, the quality is good and the food is fresh and tasty. If you want to go out and break the bank on fine dining, or you’re really craving a big juicy steak, however, the staff are more than happy to make recommendations and I like that about Indigo, easy going is the name of the game.

Hotel Indigo

Accommodation at Hotel Indigo

We finished our meal with a cold glass of blush and our rooms were ready for check in. The staff were accommodating and it took no time to be handed our luggage and key cards. We were on the first floor and so opted for the stairway, which was situated to the rear of the building, nicely carpeted and spacious. Our room was easy to locate unlike other hotels, where you have to cross a fort and pass through a maze to get to your room.

We entered our room which was clean, roomy and inviting. To the left as you enter is the door to the bathroom, which is brightly decorated, with an abstract tiled shower wall, dual head power shower, heated towel rail and large shower gel, shampoo and conditioner – all the home comforts of your own bathroom but obviously much less messy…..

Venturing further into the room, we are met with two very comfortable twin beds of good size with crisp white bedding, framed artwork and photo’s of York’s ancestry decoratively placed above the headboard, a nice little nod to the city’s heritage. A large window to the far side of the room, by a desk, mirror and plush chair, gives a light and airy feel.

An especially nice touch from Hotel Indigo York was the bottle of red wine, personally written card and two wine glasses. But the hotel didn’t stop there with their complimentary touches. A message on our mirror greeting us and York’s very own Wizards Magic chocolate. We were provided with extra pillows, a hairdryer, robes and slippers for our stay. The mini fridge was stocked with complimentary bottled water and of course there was a plentiful hot drinks station – what more could one need?

York’s Attractions

We head out to experience Yorks chocolate story with a guided tour through the era’s and production of Rowntree’s. Sampling chocolate along the way with a tour guide who was engaging and personable, not to mention she really knew her history. We ended the tour by making our own chocolate lollipop and it has to be said this is one of the only tour’s I have experienced that is interactive and I didn’t find myself looking at my watch once. I was captivated and fully invested throughout the tour.

We headed off for a little sight seeing of York’s outdoor markets, street food and shopping before enjoying a drink on the balcony of Tank & Paddle, overlooking the river ouse watching cruises sail by in springtime sun.

We head back to Hotel Indigo York to freshen up for dinner reservation at the Fat Badger. Along the way, we stumbled across the charming and gracefully lit building that was home to The Ivy and a gust of wind edged us inside. Is any city break complete without a visit to the Ivy though? Welcomed by polite staff we were shown to the bar, where bartenders were on hand to serve us a nice glass of bubbles before sending us on our way to The Fat Badger.

Dinner Reservations at The Fat Badger

The Fat Badger is located past the York Grand Theatre and a dark green building with large windows showcasing the bar with mood lighting. We enter the bar and are promptly served with yet another glass of bubbles, before we head through toward the restaurant. The building instantly boasts character with two dining spaces, a snug that caters for a more intimate gathering and a larger dining space with antique fireplace and floor length curtains. The leather sofa seating, wooden benches, dark green and panelled walls create a mixture of vintage and modern styled decor that compliments one another perfectly.

To the rear of the building is an outdoor space; signposted The Secret Garden. Outside, you approach steps leading up to the garden and are guided by delicate fairy lighting. A huge hidden space is uncovered and once more elegantly decorated, with lighting, fire pits, heaters and greenery. At night this provides a relaxed and enchanting ambience.

Having pre-ordered, it didn’t take long for our dinner choices to arrive. I chose the Tapas selection of the BBQ Chicken Wings and Brie Wedges, the tender and juicy chicken complimented the crisp and gooey brie wedges perfectly; a great combination on the Tapas selection. Joanne @ Crave Mag opted for the Beef Burger and Chips; the handmade beef burger was cooked superbly and encased in a warm and slightly toasted bun with salad and tomato with a side of fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside Fat chips. A staple beef burger win!

For dessert I opted for the Rhubarb & Apple Crumble with custard; a generous portion cooked in its own pot, kept hot with a side of creamy custard. Wonderfully sweet with heaps of apple and rhubarb chunks and jus. Joanne @ Crave Mag opted for the Salted Caramel Ice cream; classic and creamy, which went down a treat. Overall, a captivating and distinctive space different from the rest, prompt and friendly service and indulgent food, which I will happily be returning for.

The Morning After At Hotel Indigo York

We head on back across town to our hotel for the evening; feeling full and slightly merry, time to sink into our comfortable beds for a very good night’s sleep! Morning arrives and having had what felt like the best sleep in a long while, we woke fresh faced. We helped ourselves to the tea and coffee and opened up the laptops to catch up on some work. A well worth mention is the WIFI here, the ease of connecting and the internet speed really cannot be faulted, making Indigo Hotel the leading hotel for a business stay.

hotel Indigo

After a rejuvenating power shower with Hotel Indigo‘s fragrant bathroom shampoos and gels we packed up and head on down to breakfast, where staff were only too happy to store our luggage once more, while we enjoyed breakfast. I must just mention here, the towels at Indigo are huge – it is one of my pet peeves when a towel will not wrap around me entirely and you won’t believe how often that is the case! It might be a detail, but as we all know, the devil is in the detail.

And so to breakfast – after being served with hot fresh coffee we help ourselves to continental breakfast buffet bursting at the seams with with delicious croissants, breads, cereals, yoghurts, jams and plenty more, together with cold fresh juices. Of course, I ordered the staple bacon butty which was brought out in no time, crisp hot and very satisfying, a blinding start to the day.

In Summary

To summarise the hotel in three words I would say accommodating, very clean and comfortable. The staff here clearly care about their customers and they go above and beyond to ensure your stay is a happy one and is a great base at a reasonable price.

The Exclusive London Member’s Club Owned by Richard Caring and Wife

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