WHEN I first moved to Leeds five years ago, I was a bit bemused by the look of the place. It was just like America but with everyone driving on the wrong side of the road and way more Subway sandwich shops.
My first trip to York was a relief – this is what England was supposed to look like. Even though I grew to love Leeds, I still have a crush on York, which is lucky since I commute from Leeds to work here five days a week.
"This would be a perfect place to stock up for a romantic picnic in the museum gardens."
I have a few favourite places, which I’ll write about in good time, but today I tried something new – De’Clare, a deli and takeaway café on Lendal, across from the York Museum Gardens.
No new ground is being broken here. They do exactly what you’d expect, but they do it well. Sandwiches, cakes, salads and coffee fulfil the takeaway café aspect of the place, and fancy nibbles and relishes and an excellent selection of cheese cover the deli duties. They also sell a small but carefully-chosen selection of wine – every bottle has a little tag with tasting notes. There are also a few tables for those who want to spend the extra 20 per cent to eat in.
PicnicThis would be a perfect place to stock up for a romantic picnic in the museum gardens. Unfortunately I was just there to pick up something for an early supper. My eyes lingered over the salad bar, still fresh and tasty-looking at 4pm, but in the end I had to go for a ham, cheddar, and onion marmalade pannini on ciabatta (£2.85 to take away), a piece of chocolate cake (a steal at £1) and a bottle of Fentiman’s Ginger Beer (£1.50). An excellent supper for just over a fiver.
I had a few minutes to spare, so I crossed the street to the museum gardens and set up my picnic on a large stone. The verdict: the sandwich was delicious and full of my favourite kind of ham – the slightly dry (in a good way), chewy, extra-salty kind. The cheese tasted recognisably of quality, mature cheddar and there was just the right amount of savoury-sweet marmalade. The cake was moist and super-chocolaty with shiny, sticky, fudgy frosting.
I devoured the sandwich and managed to eat a couple of bites of cake before the most brazen pigeon I have ever encountered landed right next to it and managed to flap his wings all over it before I shooed him away. No more cake for me, but at least he didn’t get my ginger beer. I love that stuff (especially with dark rum and a squeeze of fresh lime, but that’s another story).
York YO1 8AQ
ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE. £1000 to the reader who can prove otherwise, and dismissal for the staff member who wrote a review scored out of twenty on a freebie from the restaurant.
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