Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro

On one of the very last days during Summer term last year Nat and I came across a discount offer for Oscar’s Wine Bar & Bistro ; combined with our sudden craving for burgers we decided that it was ripe time to give this grill restaurant a try, though we had heard little about it up until that very day!

 

It was early evening when I arrived early and waited for Nat ; I really liked the interior of the place and the atmosphere it exuded. It’s a big space but it felt private and cosy enough, and all the decorations gave this bistro a homely feeling that made us feel comfortable enough to just sit at a table over our meals, musing about life.

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York Cocoa House

York certainly deserves its reputation for chocolate ; after all, Rowntree’s, the first Nestle company was started up here eons ago, and we’ve been in love with the smooth, milky texture of even off-the-counter chocolate bars sold at Tesco’s or Costcutters for cheap ever since we got here. York Cocoa House boasts a name for being a one-step destination for chocolate lovers ; they’ve got chocolate workshops, coffee, hot chocolate and an assorted array of chocolate cakes, chocolates that you can take home and even chocolate-influenced savoury dishes!

At the beginning of the summer term after Easter break we strolled into town with Meryl on a rainy Sunday, wanting to see if it really lives up to its name or not (:

I had originally envisioned an old-school , cosy cafe atmosphere to this place, but the interior was more like an interesting confluence of sorts – it’s bright, airy and modern with fluorescent lighting making everything come into sharp relief. The goods are worth examining, albeit a little touristy, but for the weekend wanderer who just wants to take home a little reminder of York this will be a good place to stop by for a bit.

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Filmore & Union

We’ve heard so much about Filmore & Union in York and gone past its beautiful shop front multiple times on our countless traipses around town ; we finally found time during one of our last weeks to take a look, and boy were we impressed. Filmore & Union is one of those sustainable, gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly places that makes you feel like you’re eating as part of a greater movement (okay, exaggerations but you get my drift). Everything feels wholesome and there are all these small touches to the place that make you feel right at home. The interior is lovely, as you can see – perfect for just nursing a drink or a bowl of soup, lounging on the quaint furnishings and watching the world go by.

The place occupies two levels, and if you go up to the top floor and sit right by the window the sunlight will filter in, in a very perfect way (:

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Postcard from Paris: La Pâtisserie Viennoise

La Pâtisserie Viennoise is a small, unassuming cake and coffee shop tucked away in a corner off the Parisian tourist area of St. Michel. We just happened to be walking by and could not help but marvel at the array of cakes and tarts on display: huge slabs of chocolate cake, exquisite almond tarts as well as all sorts of other delights. It is pretty well-known, filled with a good mix of both locals and tourists, and settling in the cosy coffee shop seems like the perfect thing to do on a slightly chilly winter’s day.

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Patisserie Valerie

Word has gotten around that Patisserie Valerie has a new franchise in York. I’ve passed by the patisserie several times but have never gotten round to trying their food. With an extensive display of delicately decorated cakes and pastries it is nearly impossible to give this bakery a miss. What’s more their service crew have these cute baking outfits on, that includes the likes of an apron and boaty hat.

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Barbakan

Barbakan was the first cafe we visited when the Spring term started and it could possibly be our favourite cafe in York by far. Serving up delicious authentic Polish cuisine for lunch and dinner, it is a small cosy establishment located along Walmgate (right beside the popular Il Paradiso del Cibo, and not too far from The Blue Bicycle as well).

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Howies Scottish Restaurant (Edinburgh)

I love stumbling into unexpectedly great finds for meals–especially while you’re travelling and completely unfamiliar with the surroundings (save for the saving grace of Google Maps, that is). Judith and I had about an hour to spare before exploring Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh last Sunday afternoon, and we were freezing and absolutely ravenous for lunch after a morning spent at Portobello Beach. We walked along Grassmarket (Victoria Street) near the main High Street and found something that looked promising: Howies Restaurant. Best. Decision. Ever.

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Postcard from Paris: Blé Sucré

While planning for my Paris itinerary in December, I came across so many raving reviews of Blé Sucré that it was virtually impossible attempting to resist paying a visit to the famed patisserie.

It is an unassuming, friendly bakery overlooking the scenic Square Trousseau in the 12th district of Paris. The pastry chef, Fabrice Le Bourdat, was working at a three-Michelin starred restaurant (no kidding) before he decided to set up his own shop, delivering fluffy croissants, savoury buttery Madeleines and exquisite desserts to customers all day. At about 3-5 euros for each item, the prices are reasonable too, considering the high quality that they are produced in!

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