Viking relics, a roast dinner in a wrap – and vibrant city sights were the highlights of my latest visit to York.
On Saturday, Amy and I visited this historically-rich city as a belated birthday treat. It’s been a while since I took a trip here, so we wanted to make the most of it and explore as much as possible.
I will admit one of the main reasons I wanted to go was to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, after binge-watching Vikings on Amazon Prime (it’s awesome – if you haven’t watched it, check it out).
YorkyPud Wrap time
After our hotel pit stop we made our way to Stonegate, where one of the five York Roast Co eateries is based. Coming here has been on my ‘to-do’ list for a long time since it made headlines and went viral on social media with its famous YorkyPud Wrap. This is essentially a roast dinner in a giant Yorkshire Pudding which has been flattened.
A couple of years ago, their wrap and brand were talked about everywhere – across TV and the national press. Celebrities were also raving about how they must try their unique roast wrap, and they were sharing the concept with their social followers. While ordering a couple of YorkyPud Wraps for lunch, I asked the lady who served us about what the exposure did for them. She told me that they originally placed the wraps on the menu in March 2017, and it wasn’t until later that year in September that their unique take on a classic went viral. I was told how people were queuing for around five hours just to get their hands on one of these famous wraps. The woman went on to say they even had famous people queuing too. It just goes to show that the right idea, combined with the right post, can give a company staggering exposure.
After visiting the York Roast Co, we ventured into the city for a walk around its unique blend of well-known high street shops and independents. The Shambles marketplace is definitely somewhere I recommend visiting, if you haven’t already.
A Viking adventure
Next, it was onto the main event of the day – the Jorvik Viking Centre.
My only knowledge about the Vikings had come from watching the television series I mentioned earlier. Therefore, I was keen to learn more to separate fact from fiction.
Upon entering the centre, you are thrown into history. As you look down below, you can actually see the excavations which were carried out in the late seventies. This fantastic entry leads onto a ride which guides you through what Jorvik would have looked and smelt like all those years ago. It also gives you fascinating insights into how the Vikings lived. After the ride you get the opportunity to learn even more in their museum of artefacts. I found out all about the trade routes which the Vikings established here, and it simply blew my mind. With evidence of trade routes as far as Africa and the Middle East, some trade routes were actually a little closer to home – including Stamford, Lincolnshire. One of the exhibits mentioned how crucibles were made near Stamford and were mostly used for melting silver. This was one of the many fascinating insights into how the Vikings lived. With even more information about diet, hygiene, religion and also relaxation. Afterwards, I came away with a new appreciation for the Vikings. It’s clear why the Jorvik Centre is one of Yorkshire’s favourite attractions.
Dinner and drinks
For dinner, we visited a great Indian restaurant called the Bengal Brasserie. The food and service were top-notch. I even got a complimentary birthday drink, although I did have to go through the traditional embarrassment of being serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ by the waiting staff (thanks Amy!). We finished the evening by visiting a cocktail bar Johnny Depp is known to have frequented while filming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in York. What a brilliant way to finish our evening. So, all-in-all a jammed packed day for us in York. It was both educational and entertaining. I’m definitely not going to leave it so long before I visit again.