Stunning new bar, restaurant and games room opening at one of York’s top hotels

All new… an artist's impression of the new Refectory Restaurant
All new… an artist's impression of the new Refectory Restaurant

All new… an artist’s impression of the new Refectory Restaurant

It’s swish and very contemporary. But can you guess where this is? The biggest clue can be seen by peering through the glass roof.

It’s the Royal York Hotel – as you’ve never seen it before.

You could be forgiven for not spotting it straight away. A York landmark since 1878, its splendour has faded a little in recent years.

But now the Victorian edifice is being brought bang up to date with a multi-million investment featuring a new restaurant, bar and games room.

Owner Starwood Capital wants to bring back its glory years whilst creating new, destination restaurant and bar concepts for hotel guests and York residents.

And we’ll get to see the first fruits of this work next week.

New bar and games room

Very civilised – how the Chapter House Bar will look at the Royal York

Very civilised – how the Chapter House Bar will look at the Royal York

The Chapter House bar and games room will open on October 26 and be serving a menu of classic cocktails, spirits, wines, craft ales and bar nibbles.

Food options will include black pudding sausage roll with HP Sauce, Fountains Gold toastie with Branston – made with Fountains Gold cheddar from the Wensleydale Creamery – and Bridlington scampi with tartare sauce

Cocktails mix classics with some local flavour, such as

the Duke of York –Lanson Pere et Fils champagne, suffused with mandarin liqueur and grenadine, and
the Yorkshire Twister – rum, maraschino, grapefruit and ginger.

The wood-panelled games room will feature a half-size pool table, tables with a chess board decoration, cards and board games.

The Chapter House Bar and Games Room will be open every day from 10.30am to 1am

New restaurant

Landmark transformed… the Royal York Hotel. Photograph © Allan Harris on Facebook

Landmark transformed… the Royal York Hotel. Photograph © Allan Harris on Facebook

The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace will open on November 12, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Both the Refectory and the Chapter House bar have been conceived and developed by London restaurateur Des McDonald.

Executive chef Nick Evans – who has joined The Refectory from Middlethorpe Hall Hotel – has worked with Des and his team to create a “moreish, seasonal menu that is packed with local produce”.

This will include Yorkshire Dales lamb and Whitby cod to Yorkshire cheeses and stem ginger Parkin.

The light-flooded dining room seats 126 guests with a further 35 on the outdoor terrace.

We set out to create seasonal dishes that are bursting with flavour and make use of the world-class quality of ingredients found across Yorkshire.

– Des McDonald

The Refectory will be open every day from 7am to 10.30pm.

New garden room

Both the Refectory and the Chapter House have been designed by award-winning architects Michaelis Boyd, whose clients range from London’s Groucho Club and Soho House Group through chef Tom Aikens to the Byron restaurant chain. 

The multi-million pound Royal York Hotel investment will also include:

  • refurbishment of all 159 bedrooms and suites
  • refurbishment of the hotel lobby, and
  • the creation of a Garden Room looking out to York Minster.

The work is due to be completed in December, and has created up to 90 new local jobs.

Halifax born Stephen Carter has joined The Royal York Hotel having overseen a similarly ambitious, multi-million pound investment at Cameron House in Scotland.

“The city’s world-class heritage attracts visitors from across the UK and around the world,” said Stephen.

“We hope to put The Royal York Hotel ‘back on the map’ by working closely with local businesses, suppliers and cultural partners.”

royal-york-hotel-stephen-carter

‘We are investing millions of pounds in The Royal York Hotel to restore it to its original glory whilst creating new restaurant and bar concepts that we believe will appeal equally to hotel guests and people who have made York their home’

– Stephen Carter

The history of the Royal York Hotel

Station Road and what was the Royal Station Hotel in 1955. Photograph © Ben Brooksbank on Wikipedia

Station Road and what was the Royal Station Hotel in 1955. Photograph © Ben Brooksbank on Wikipedia

A five-storey building of yellow Scarborough brick, the Royal Station Hotel was completed in 1878, a year after the new station opened.

It featured elegant, high-ceilinged banqueting rooms and 100 large bedrooms for anyone who could afford 14 shillings a night.

A 27-room west wing was added in 1896, named Klondyke after the US gold rush of the time. The hotel was later renamed the Royal York.

Source: History Of York