With Summer finally here and reasonable looking weather forecast for this week, I thought it was time to share some of my favourite places in York to head for a cocktail or two.
Your girl B has over 7 years experience sipping her away across this fair city, so I like to think I know a thing or two about where makes the best damn martini. Also this was a welcome excuse to go back into the depths of my Instagram history...
So without further ado, here are, in no particular order, the places in York that will satisfy your cocktail cravings.
(P.S. I know we are all adults here, but please drink responsibly etc.)
1. Chapter House Bar, Royal York Hotel, Station Rd, YO24 1AA
Conveniently right outside the station, the Chapter House Bar has become a bit of a haven of mine after a long rail trip. Especially the kind that has been delayed by hours due to rain (thanks Northern Rail).
The atmosphere and decor is suitably sophisticated and the bar staff have had some serious cocktail training, which is evident in their pricey (but worth it) creations.
The bar snacks menu is also damn worth trying too, especially the pork scratchings on there.
Due to location, it's also a great place for people watching and generally de-stressing whilst the world goes by.
P.S. If I were still the type of girl to go out on first dates, this would be an obvious pick.
Cocktail to try: Bramble, (Tanqueray gin, crème de mûre, lemon, sugar), £8.95
2. Evil Eye, 42 Stonegate,YO1 8AS
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Evil Eye. Back when I was a student, I thought it was literally the best bar ever, working my way through every cocktail on the menu (even the seven rum shot Shed Seven... I was a student after all)
Now I'm a bit older and bit more immune to the "charms" (read: arrogance) of the staff, I generally avoid Evil Eye during peak times (Friday and Saturday evenings), as the long queues can wear a girl down.
However it still is somewhere I go occasionally with friends and I still enjoy it, despite my old age.
I also used to highly rate their Thai food offering, however this seems to have disappeared lately, which is a real shame!
Generally, the decor has a distinct far eastern influence and the "beds" upstairs are usually extremely popular, so grab one if you can.
Cocktail to try: Evil mojito (Wray and Nephew Rum, Cointreau, Almond Syrup, Lime) £6.50
3. Dusk, 8 New St, YO1 8RA
(I have no pictures of me *actually* in Dusk, but this is from an evening that involved it.. bonus points if you know the stamp.)
I'm going to be straight with you here - this is the place to head if you're looking for the best deal over the best made cocktails.
Frequented by many students, Dusk has gained a solid reputation for no fuss cocktails and an excellent 241 deal, which used to be £5 back in 2013... (perhaps I need to use this excuse to go there again soon...)
The atmosphere is usually lively on a Friday/Saturday night, which is perfect if you're out to meet new people. During the day Dusk also serves decent food at reasonable prices and again can usually found full of students grabbing brunch/lunch.
Cocktail to try: Milky Bar Kid (Milk, other milky/alcoholic things. It tastes kind of like white chocolate). Great value on the 241 deal.
4. Fossgate social, 25 Fossgate, YO1 9TA
Cafe by day, bar by night. The Fossgate Social has been one of my favourite places to eat and drink in York for a couple of years now.
My bezzie Harrie and I always meet up here. It's is arguably the most hipster joint in town (not because we are there, I bring down the tone if anything.)
Alongside a small, but well made range of cocktails, Ithe FS also has a good range of beers on tap, bottles and a decent wine selection. The coffee is also on point if you need something to perk you up.
Cocktail to try: Peach Bellini, around £6 from memory
5. Sotanos, 1 Little Stonegate, YO1 8AX
Sotanos is currently one of my favourite places to grab a drink in the evening and is a bit of a hidden gem.
The bar come charcuterie is neatly tucked away off Little Stonegate, down a flight of stairs, which means it is usually a tad quieter than the rest of York on a Friday/Saturday evening. It's a small space down there, but it's also intimate and welcoming.
The staff make a mean cocktail and are extremely friendly. Ask for their recommendations based on the flavours/drinks you enjoy. You sometimes have to wait a bit at peak times, but just settle in and relax, because it's well worth it!
Sotanos also hold live Jazz evenings on Tuesdays (Ruby Tuesdays) which are well worth attending if you are a live music fan (in fact, this is where I'm off to after I finish writing this post.)
Cocktail to try: Ok, I’m going to be a bit cheeky here and recommend that you order from their *extensive* gin and tonic menu (the cocktails are also excellent!).
6. Cut & Chase, 39 Goodramgate, YO1 7LS
Last year I attending Cut and Chase's launch event and was pleasantly surprised buy the quality of their cocktails!
Technically they are a bar and restaurant, however I'm sure they would not begrudge you sitting downstairs in the bar area for a drink or two. Again this is a prime people watching spot with modern, fresh decor.
The cocktail menu is quite large and reasonably experimental - favouring sweet mainly conceptions. The staff again are friendly here and usually happy to talk you through the menu!
Cut and Chase also have a private dining room, perfect if you wanted to book something out for a small party (cocktails followed by dinner, that's a winning formula for me!)
Cocktail to try: Parma Violet, (chilli and lime jam shaken up with tequilla and creme de violette briottet for a spicy floral flavour) £7.50
7. Mr P’s Curious Tavern, 71 Low Petergate, YO1 7HY
This again is a bit of a cheat, as Mr P’s does not offer cocktails.
I have included it in this list just incase you are looking for a lovely space to relax in, rather than to satisfy a particular cocktail craving.
Mr P’s does have an extensive Gin list, alongside an impressive small plates menu. If you’re looking for somewhere to start off your cocktail exploration evening with a bite to eat, this would be my recommendation.
Cocktail to try: Gin. and lots of it.