The Grand, York, hotel review, Scotland on Sunday travel
The Grand, York
Sometimes the name just says it all, and The Grand, York, is a perfect example of that. It is a rather majestic and somewhat imposing building on the outside, and step inside and you are transported to a bygone era of elegance and style. Built in 1906, it was the headquarters of the wealthy North Eastern Railway Company for over 80 years. The Edwardian elegance of light-filled, high-ceilinged, spacious rooms and hallways blends beautifully with the luxurious contemporary style of the furnishings and décor. Centrally situated, near the railway station, within sight of the medieval city walls, and with views of the spectacular York Minster, The Grand is perfect for any type of visit to York.
Budget or boutique?It’s way beyond boutique. Everything is very august and stylish, befitting the five-star luxury on offer.
Room serviceThe hotel has 207 rooms and suites, all impeccably kitted out right down to the Molton Brown products in the bathrooms. Room service food and drinks are available, but why would you when there are stunning restaurants and bars downstairs to explore?The Rise is the main dining area for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and the afternoon tea at The Grand is not to be missed. Start with a glass of fizz, then choose from a vast selection of speciality teas, before the arrival of the savoury and sweet miniature creations of perfection. The lightest chocolate gateau decorated with gold leaf and the honey financier with honeycomb and bee pollen were amazing – maybe the honey only travelled from the beehives on the roof of the hotel to the kitchen. You can watch the bees buzzing in and out of the trendy green beehives through the glass walls on the top floor. Head to the 1906 Bar for fabulous cocktails, fine wines or perhaps something from the well-stocked whisky library. A bit of pampering required? The Spa is located in the basement of the hotel, with a 14-metre pool, gym, whirlpool spa, Nordic sauna and a good choice of beauty treatments.
Worth getting out of bed forYork has plenty to offer the visitor, whether you want culture and history or great restaurants and shopping. A must see is Shambles, of course, the medieval cobbled street of quaint little shops. Pop into the Market Cat for a glass of something cold or a quick lunch upstairs so you can look down over the bustling Shambles Market. Walk on the walls and learn the history of the city as you go, stroll along the River Ouse – there are always canoes out or a rowing race to watch – or take one of the river cruises from King’s Staith or Lendal Bridge Landings.Tickle your tastebuds at York’s Chocolate Story, followed by a visit to York Gin or York Brewery. There are so many attractions to visit across the city, from the gothic-style masterpiece that is York Minster, the National Railway Museum, Jorvik Viking Centre, Air and Army Museums, theatres and the Grand Opera House to any number of historical mansion houses – or perhaps queuing round the block to get into the famous Bettys tea rooms is more your cup of char. So boredom is never an option.
Wining and dining The city is certainly not short on dining options to suit every purse, but one of York’s best foodie destinations is Le Cochon Aveugle on Walmgate, with its fabulous blind tasting menu from owner/chef Josh Overington, and matching wines an additional option. The stripped-back aesthetic of the small restaurant, the open kitchen and super-knowledgeable staff all go to ensure it’s all about the food, which is mostly sourced locally, with quality as the main priority.We had 14 courses, each one expertly cooked and presented so beautifully that you really don’t want to spoil the piece of art in front of you, but spoil it you must as every dish delivers the most flavoursome morsels.Alternatively, The Rattle Owl on Micklegate is a fine choice for lunch or supper. It is a rather trendy, casual bistro, serving small dishes, like tapas but so much more refined thanks to the skill of head chef Tom Heywood.
Little extrasThere are complimentary robes, slippers, pillow gifts, dry cleaning service and free wifi, all as standard with valet parking for a small fee.
Guest book commentsFabulous. Sonja Marshall
207 rooms/suites and prices start at £189 B&B (£20 supplement for second person) or £169 room only Sun-Thurs. The Grand, York, Station Rise, North Yorkshire YO1 6GD (01904 898961, www.thegrandyork.co.uk)