Escape to the City of York: Part Three – Principal York Hotel

For our second night in York, we moved on to The Grande-dame of York in the heart of the City with views of the Minster.

Principal York, just steps from the train station, is the perfect base from which to discover the historic city and it is stunningly beautiful. Award-winning interior architects Goddard Littlefair have refurbished and restored the hotel, blending the grandeur of late-Victorian architecture with the comforts of modern travel.

We have stayed here before, so knew what to expect however, this hotel never fails to take our breath away with its beauty, superb service and historic grandeur. It was good to be back!

We arrived too early for our room, so we took some very comfortable seats in The Garden Room and ordered coffee, powered up the laptop to check emails, but found ourselves distracted people watching and admiring the view.

With views across sweeping manicured lawns all the way to the Minster, The Garden Room is the hotel’s relaxed lounge area, the perfect setting to read a good book, catch up with friends, indulge in Afternoon Tea or just because you can. There’s an all day menu in here so it’s a constant hub of activity.

We even saw a famous face or two, they must have been filming in the area. So you can see why we were easily distracted from emails.

We were booked into The York Dungeon experience that afternoon, so finished our coffees and set off to be entertained. More about this brilliant experience in the article which tells you which attractions we visited during our stay in York.

Our room:

Principal York suite

On our return, we checked into our stunning suite, a Junior Suite to be exact. Junior Suites at Principal York have the immediate ‘wow factor’, with listed interior details and a spacious open-plan design, they also feature a designated lounge seating area with magnificent window views of the York Minster and the hotel gardens. The facilities are what you would expect from such a fabulous hotel; a large en-suite with luxury toiletries, rainfall shower and roll top bath, iconic York City views, free Wifi, flat screen TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee, and a tuck box of local delicacies(!), laptop safe and mini fridge. Standard rooms have pretty much all of these facilities too.

The bed was huge and so comfortable, we slept a solid nine hours!


Dinner that evening was in the hotel restaurant; The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, we had purposely built an appetite  as we know they use some of the finest ingredients Yorkshire has to offer, serving classic British dishes on a very tempting menu. The restaurant is a large, open space with an outdoor terrace – perfect for summer al fresco style.

The team here are so well trained with service that is attentive without being intrusive, yet personable, fun and still professional.

We looked over the menu and chose starters of Roasted Hand Dived Scallop, pork crackling, cumin cauliflower puree, Caviar velouté and, BBQ Pork Cheek, brown onion, leeks, cime de rapa. If scallops are on a menu, we have to have them! It’s that simple and these were gorgeous, cooked to perfection and a very generous amount. The Pork Cheek was tender, succulent and everything we hoped it would be. Great start.

For our main courses; Wensleydale New Season Lamb, roasted loin, pea and broad bean tart, Shepherd’s pie and Roast Corn-fed Chicken, pea and mushrooms, black garlic, tarragon jus.

The lamb dish was tender, tasty and filling and the chicken was succulent, full of flavour and an excellent choice with tenderstem broccoli and chantonay carrots with toasted almonds on the side to share, plus a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. We had a really enjoyable dining experience, the disappointment was that we were too full for dessert!


Baring in mind the Principal York has 155 bedrooms, the only way to feed potentially more than 300 guests is by way of a buffet breakfast. There are juices, fruit, pastries, continental, cooked and also a cook to order list of options such as Eggs Benedict, Porridge etc.

We dove straight into the fresh fruit and ordered Eggs Benedict and Sourdough Toast with Smashed Avocado and Poached Eggs. We were surprised at how quickly our breakfasts arrived as the restaurant was full! Great service once again and we were ready for another day of adventure and exploring this fabulous city.


There is ample on-site parking charged at £15 for 24 hours.

All too soon it was time to check out and move on to the next hotel on our list. We would have loved to stay another night at Principal York, but don’t worry, we will be back very soon.

Principal York is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, to meet with friends, or if you just want some alone time. We guarantee one visit will never be enough.

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