A Taste of Great Britain: York & Glasgow
On my second press trip with Visit Britain, I visited the three countries that make up Great Britain! The first time I went to Great Britain with them, I was on a solo trip to Edinburgh. It was there that I got a small glimpse into Scottish cuisine and culture, one rooted in history and regionality. I was thrilled to be invited back because this trip would mean I would visit York, Glasgow and Cardiff — three cities with distinct cultures and cuisines. Three cities that I’d be visiting for the first time.
I was joined by five other influencers, all of whom were girls (!!!), and we ended up getting super close and having the best time with each other. It’s really rare to mesh well within press groups. Each one of us brought a new perspective and voice, which was refreshing because I often find myself in the same circles here in New York.
The trip, in its entirety, was nine days long, give and take travel days. Below I outlined where we went, stayed, ate, drank and explored in York and Glasgow. Wales will be a separate blog post purely for length reasons. I have so much content!! Looking back, we did SO much and yet only scratched the surface of what Great Britain has to offer.
The Principle York
This was the hotel we stayed in! Just steps from the train station, this hotel is housed in a grand late-Victorian building and has 155 refurbished rooms. The location is perfect — just ten minutes from the city center. Breakfast in the Refectory every morning was delightful. I had a classic English breakfast every morning and everything was always fresh.
To Eat + Drink:
Bettys Cafe Tea Room
Long-standing Tea Room with delightful afternoon tea and iconic pastries. Be sure to get their fat rascal, Yorkshire’s native plump, fruity scones that are hand-decorated cherries and almonds.
Filmore & Union
A bit of California in York! This bright and airy cafe has juices, smoothies and healthy, seasonal plant-based fare for a colorful meal.
The highlight meal in York! British celebrity chef Tommy Banks uses only the freshest, seasonal ingredients from his family farm in Oldstead, a site that houses his Michelin-starred tasting menu-only restaurant, Black Swan at Olstead. Chef prepared us seven course tasting menu that focused mainly on vegetables and produce — fitting for the restaurant it is!
Brew & Brownie
Cafe and pastry shop in the city center.
We ate here on our last day in York right before our train ride to Glasgow. I am so glad we were able to make it here in our short time in York. Partisan is a French cafe by day and cozy dinner spot by night. The interior is homey antique shop meets your aunt’s humble abode that always smells like food.
To Do + See:
Visit the streets that inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. These streets look like they’re straight out of a medieval fiction story, complete with one-of-a-kind storefronts that sell very specific things, from cauldrons (actually) to fine rare teas to Viking paraphernalia.
The York Minster
York was once a city ruled by the Romans so it’s only fitting that the city center has a gothic revival cathedral that can be seen at any point in the city. The structure is truly breathtaking.
The Cookery School at The Grand York
Our group was one of the first to test out the new cooking school at The Grand York hotel. The space is brand new, expansive and BEAUTIFUL. A dream kitchen space, really. It was here where we made our epic lunch of classic English fish ‘n chips complete with mushy peas. Our chef and teacher, Andy Dixon, was a pro at laying down the steps for a group that rarely cooks! (yes, I cook but I was in no way equipped to deep fry fish fillets.) By the end of the trip, we all collectively agreed that this meal was the most memorable and delicious one!
Love Cheese is a small specialty cheese shop, cafe and tasting room in the heart of York’s city centre. The shop has over 100 cheeses and a range of artisanal snacks, beers and wines to accompany. We did a cheese tasting with tea pairings (odd but actually very fitting!) here and everything was so very tasty.
Radisson RED is the Radisson chain’s line of boutique-inspired lifestyle hotels. The design of the hotel was youthful and fun, a total contrast to our hotel in York. The rooms have everything you need — a large space and bed, a big table/desk that could easily fit four people, a spacious bathroom and ample lighting throughout. Located just a few minutes walking from Argyle Street, this is a great hotel for those looking for convenience without splurging.
To Eat + Drink:
This meal was epic. The gorgeous wooden, minimalist space accented by pops of color combined with small, veggie-forward sharing plates paired with natural wine (!!!) made it one of the most memorable stops of the trip. We ordered almost every dish on the menu, dessert included, and can confirm that they were all incredible. We got a lil’ rowdy and ended the night at Ben Nevis, the bar across the street that played traditional Scottish bangers.
A tasting menu restaurant that focuses on modern Scottish food. We weren’t able to make it here on our trip but I have heard great things.
On a dreary and foggy morning, all six of us girls braved the cold and sat outside for the breakfast spread of our dreams. Egg soldiers, french toast, granola and yogurt… this may not have been a traditional Scottish breakfast but it was freaking tasty and well worth the wait in the cold.
Cottonrake is a delightful bakery located in the heart of the West End with a pastry display that will make you squeal.
The Willow Tea Rooms
A long-standing afternoon tea room with a full lunch and dinner menu for those on the hungrier side.
Blackpine Coffee Co.
Take a caffeine break after walking around the West End in this bring, compact coffee shop.
A vegan restaurant with an extensive menu of food, juices and smoothies. The space is incredibly bright and airy with plants and colors galore. Everything you’d normally expect out of a vegan restaurant.
Modern comfort food is how I would describe this all-day cafe in an up-and-coming neighborhood south of the river in Glasgow.
To Do + See:
Walk through Kelvingrove Park & The University of Glasgow
The park is kind of like Glasgow’s very own Central Park. It’s smack in the middle of the city and is home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, which is a must! The north side of the park also leads to the University of Glasgow, which has a beautiful campus atop a hill and exudes major Hogwarts vibes.
The West End in Glasgow has some of the best vintage shopping in the UK, outside of London. I bought a perfect little baby yellow sweater at The Glasgow Vintage Co. for ten pounds!!!
Tennent’s Brewery Tour
Scotland’s iconic brewery in Wellpark. The brewery includes a tasting room and a school for youth to learn cooking.
In partnership with Visit Britain