Monday, 22 September 2014

Top 5 Drinks Venues to Visit in York

Let me first start off by saying; York, I officially love you! As a southerner I've always been adamant that London is the best city in the country. Two weeks ago, however, my perception of the greatest city on Earth was definitely challenged.

Everyone knows York for its rich history, beautiful buildings and a big ol' Minster, but this tiny city is also a drinker's paradise! I only had 3 days in this wonderful city but found some absolutely astounding places that are worth necking 4 pints and standing on a table to shout about.
In no particular order, here's my run down of top 5 places to visit when inside the wonderful walls.

1: Demijohn.

One of 4 branches throughout the UK, Demijohn is an independent spirits boutique boasting a massive range of weird and wonderful liqueurs and spirits.

Upon entry you're greeted by a site that would be more at home in an alchemists lab than a shop. Huge boiling flasks filled with liquids of all different colours adorn the walls with empty potion bottles of all different shapes and sizes line up just waiting to be filled.

Now, most places will let you sample something as long as you have the intention of buying lots of it. This is where Demijohns not only stands out from the crowd, but makes the crowd look like one big gelatinous blob behind a shining example of brilliance. YOU CAN TRY EVERYTHING FOR FREE!!

Now this doesn't mean that you can go in and get hammered for nothing, that's just not cool. Their passion is in what they sell and they want everyone else to share in that. A few highlights include rhubarb vodka liqueur, bramble scotch liqueur, ginger wine and some of the finest mead to have ever graced my palate. Find them on Museum Street just over Lendal Bridge.

2: The Whippet Inn.

A cosy yet contemporary feel with some down right hilarious wallpaper choices, this bar and restaurant (located right next to the river just off Mickelgate) offers only the finest in Great British produce paired with a cracking wine list, a great choice of real ales and a spirits list including 30 different gins!

I thought 30 was a bit excessive but then I thought, gin is brilliant so the more the merrier. Literally! With a menu that includes 40 day aged rib eye steak, it's no wonder this place has won restaurant of the year 2014 after just one year of trading.

This place is in high demand so if you do want a table here, make sure to book at least a couple of weeks in advance! If you're just looking to while away a few hours in the cosy bar, pop in for a real Yorkshire ale or a glass of Nyetimber to carry on the Great British theme.

3: Milkshack

One for the tee-totals, or those that just fancy something sweet to try and soothe that hangover, no trip to York is complete without heading over to Milkshack, the finest milkshake joint in the city.

Now this isn't just any milkshake place. Imagine a place that has near enough every single sweet and chocolate bar under the sun. Now imagine that you can take any combination of these and have it blended into ONE BIG AWESOME SHAKE! That's what Milkshack does and they do it well. It's not just chocolate either, I even saw someone order a Parma Violet shake. Of course I had to question them as a human being but I was still astonished that they had such things on the menu. If you're of the bodybuilding mind set then you can even add extra protein.

You can find Milkshack on Church Street.

4: The Lime House

This one is not only for the wine lovers, but for the thrifty wine lovers. Initially enticed by the outstanding menu, I then got even more excited when I saw this restaurant's wine list. Having seen that I then nearly wet myself when I saw the prices.

Usually it's customary for restaurants to put fairly ridiculous mark ups on their wine. Something that they buy for £5 will probably end up costing you closer to £20. It's true that the further down the list you go, the less the mark up. The Lime House however, seem to have hit the nail on the head.

Boasting some excellent fine wines at some utterly outstanding prices means this place is not only foodie heaven, but also drinky heaven! The two highlights for me were The Crusher Pinot Noir from Clarksburg USA, (usually around £12) on offer for £23.50 and The Chocolate Block Boekenhoutskloof from South Africa which usually sells for around £25 for £32.50! That's insane! You really do need to book to eat here as I nearly found out to my own peril. Find them on Goodramgate, just down from the Minster.

5: The House of The Trembling Madness

Last but certainly by no means least comes possibly my new favourite place in the entire world and that includes my own house.

This tiny looking shop front on Stonegate boasts an off-licence, a beer shop, a spirits shop and somehow manages to squeeze a pub in there as well. Oh, and to top it all off, they do some amazing food.

I'd heard about this place before, having received a rave review from my Dad. Naturally it was my first port of call upon arriving in the city.

Having entered the shop and bought myself tobacco for the evening I spied what looked like a modest selection of beers at the back. What actually greeted me was an enormous range of around 600 beers from all over the world. I even did a little cry.

Make your way out of the beer room and up the stairs and you will find yourself in the bar, a tiny little nook of a place with people pretty much sat on top of each other. Get to the bar and you're confronted with taps that you would never see on a high street including Brooklyn Lager, Timmerman Strawberry Beer and of course, the guest beers, which for me was Blackjack Brewery.

Not only that but you can buy any beer from downstairs and have it in the bar! Go back downstairs - and then down again - and you'll find the spirits range, or as I like to call it, El Dorado. A glittering wall of the finest amber colours shining out like beacons of deliciousness.

This truly is a place you have to experience for yourself. Whenever you're in York, head to Stonegate and find them there, you will not be disappointed.

These are just a few of the amazing places that this city has to offer. York is a place that is begging to be explored so once you do, you will unearth some absolute gems.

York, it was a pleasure.

Found anywhere else awesome? Let us know in the comments.

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