Walking Through York’s Past: The Bloomsbury

We don’t often opt for city breaks, but when we heard about The Bloomsbury Guesthouse Hotel after reading an article in the Guardian, we thought a trip up North would do us some good!

It’s not often we find ourselves wandering through a city, but then again it’s easy to forget that York is a city at times. The winding streets have largely retained many of their Georgian and Victorian features, making a visit to this small city feel like stepping into an anachronistic alternate universe. We thoroughly enjoyed wandering through ‘The Shambles’, the best example of Winchester’s mercantile past, and were surprised by just how much this small city had to offer the British visitor.

The Bloomsbury is one of those charming B&Bs that completely lives up to the hype. After stumbling across a number of articles mentioning how cosy this place was, we decided that it would be worth a drive up to see what all the fuss was about. This family-run business has been garnering favourable reviews for years now both in the hands of Paul and Matt, and Matt’s parents, Tricia and Steve. We arrive in York just a few weeks after the guard was changed once more, as Tricia and Steve came out of retirement to allow Paul and Matt to move out to New Zealand.

As far as we can tell the standards at the Bloomsbury haven’t dipped since the day it as opened. Whilst the location may be a little more out of the way than its competitors (the B&B is a good 20 minute walk from the centre of York), the detached property is on a relatively quiet road and makes for a nice enough location. Whilst the spaces in the Bloomsbury are perhaps not quite as lofty as the name suggests, there is an over-whelming feeling of comfort here that has to be experienced to be believed.

Whereas some ‘luxury’ Bed & Breakfasts make the mistake of decking their hall with a surplus of artworks and precious looking ornaments, the owners at the Bloomsbury understand that a good B&B should be a home from home, rather than an art museum with rooms. Comfort comes in the traditional form of squishy armchairs and sturdy, cosy beds, but it can also be found at the breakfast table. Although our interests had been piqued by Paul’s breakfasts, we were more than happy to tuck in to Tricia and Steve’s ample offerings.

York itself proved to be a great deal more cosmopolitan that we’d initially expected. Despite being around 2 hours away by train, it would appear that the innovation of London’s food scene has made its away up North. Although Paul and I aren’t usually suckers for overly fancy food, we’d heard that the oddly named Skosh was the best place in the city, and not too fancy for us old types. Despite having to ask for clarification on a few menu items (the ‘miso glazed cod’ had us scratching our heads), we found this restaurant to be utterly delightful.

It’s always a pleasure to be surrounded by the hubbub of young people and that’s exactly what we found at this trendy restaurant, which made both of us feel considerably younger than our years. With that being said, we were both happy to return to the Bloomsbury for a nice cup of tea after.

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