If we had to pick a cafe in York that is quintessentially English, and serves up English food that is best representative of the fine produce that the Yorkshire country has to offer, The Hairy Fig would definitely be it. Situated in Fossgate, the Hairy Fig , painted in vintage green, is quick to catch the eye, but all too readily dismissed as a butchery with the display of ham, sauces, wine and cheese. In fact, it is a foods deli shop-cum-cafe, so you would be able to sit down for a meal in the dining area, and perhaps bring home some of the produce to share with family and friends!
Of all the cafes that we have visited in Europe thus far, the historic Nowa Prowincja in Krakow could possibly be the one that fits the bill perfectly for my ideal cafe : wrapping my fingers around a cup of their unique hot chocolate, sitting at one of the rustic tables inside and soaking up the laid-back, chatty atmosphere, catching up with a good friend over meaningful conversation.
Dartmouth, Devon has just made its way to one of my favourite places in the UK. It is a charming coastal town all the way down South, a good 5 hour train ride from York (and a little under 3 hours from London Paddington station!) There are so many reasons to enjoy dining in a seaside town like Dartmouth: the fresh seafood, idyllic sea views, and just the experience of savouring a languid meal in a small , sleepy area. We made our way to Taylor’s Restaurant on Friday before HT’s Easter Ball at the Royal Naval College.
I visited Andrea in Durham last term during the amazing Lumiere Festival (a massive installation event that transforms the whole of Durham and attracts visitors from all over the Northern England region), and we were ravenous for food after waking up so early (me to catch the train, her to fetch me from the station!)
If you’re looking for a cosy, hearty brunch place in Durham, Cafe Continental is definitely the place to go. Breakfast is served 9am-12 noon, and they’ve got a great variety of dishes for other meals as well.
Everybody in Edinburgh seems to know about The Elephant House.
Then again, how can they not?
It is home to arguably the most popular global phenomenon in literature ever: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, even going so far as to proudly brandish a sign on its facade: the Birthplace of Harry Potter. Backtrack a decade or so, and you can imagine Rowling spending hours in this little place, nursing a cup of coffee, weaving the dense magical realms of the world that is Harry Potter under the scratch of her pen while looking out at the Edinburgh Castle through the window.
The other day Mary had asked me for tea at Betty’s, and in lieu of fresh scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam, we walked to town with happy hearts. & then somewhere between talking about nothing and home Mary stopped and pointed upwards. She asked “Have you heard of this cafe?” We were beneath a stone bridge, I looked around and said “Here? No…but shall we try it?” She said yes, and just like that we abandoned our plans and found ourselves at this little coffee house.
The excitement of walking up a stairwell is the ambiguity in what awaits atop.