Most people spend their time in the centre of York, patronising the very expensive eateries there. Few venture this far out and miss what is one of the hidden gems of York. Set outside the city walls near Micklegate Bar and close to the Railway Station this is one of the nicest places to eat in York. As well as providing good food there is also an interesting history of the oldest surviving Roman Catholic Convent in York.
From the outside it is a rather plain dark brick building. The main door leads into a large glass covered atrium with the cafe off on the right. There is more seating outside in the garden. It is a cosy room with a selection of pale topped tables seating either two or four people. There is a small serving area with a display of excellent home made cakes. Today this included chocolate cake, coffee and walnut cake, treacle tart, peach and coconut tart, yogurt and cranberry slice, florentines, lemon bakewell tart, chocolate brownies and what must be the largest scones I have ever seen.
It was getting near lunchtime so I settled for a bowl of soup and a cake. It was parsnip and carrot soup which was thick and very tasty and a large helping served piping hot. This came with half a baguette – a choice of brown or white. At £4.50 it was good value. The cake afterwards was sheer greed but justified on grounds of research. I was very tempted by the treacle tart which had a good deep filling but in the end chose the lemon bakewell tart.
This was a generous slice with a crisp pastry base, layer of genuine lemon cheese and a moist lemony sponge. The water icing topping was sprinkled with flaked almonds. It was very good and would in fact have served two. Again this was excellent value at £2.95,
The Bar convent has accommodation and serves breakfast from 7.45 in the morning and would be an excellent choice for people arriving early off the train. There is a varied choice of hot meals for lunch priced from £9 followed by traditional puddings at £4.25. For those wanting a smaller meal there are what are described as ‘light bites’ from £5.25 which include nachos, omelettes or sausage and onion in a bap. It also serves jacket potatoes from £5,50, sandwiches from £5.25 and salads at £9.50. You can even lash out on a Victorian vintage cream tea. There are plenty of gluten free choices too.
This is definitely worth the extra walk to find somewhere special, away from the bustle of York.