Sunday, 17 June 2012

~York Minster Trip~

As part of her A level Textiles, daughter L is currently looking at the 800 celebrations in York (1212 - 2012) and has chosen to explore stained glass patterns, so on a (very) rainy Saturday morning we tootled off into York. Not living more than 45 minutes from York for all of my 42 years,  I am ashamed to admit I have never been in the Minster before, so I was quite excited...
  An entry fee has been payable for the last few years (although free to York residents).  This caused a bit of a hoo-ha when it was introduced as previously it was free to look around.  After visiting you do realise the enormous amount of renovation and upkeep that is ongoing (currently the Great East Window is removed for years of releading and cleaning) and I think £9 to visit the Minster and Chapter House was more than worth it.  We took advantage of one of the free guided tours, in a small group of 6, with one of the knowlegeable volunteer Minster guides.  This was brilliant for L, with lots of history, facts, figures and explanations about the stained glass windows...

                                                     The Great West Window known as 'Heart of Yorkshire'
                                       with the Semaphore Saints below

The Rose Window above the South Door
commemorating the union of York and Lancaster
and the start of the Tudor dynasty

Our 2 hour visit was also accompanied by the beautiful rehearsal of a choir and concert orchestra as there was  a Jubilee concert on Saturday night.
What a fantastic experience and very calming and uplifting it was too!

When we were soaked and in need of a hot chocolate we visited a little cafe behind the Minster on College Street; The Vanilla Cafe, where you can sit outside in Summer (haha if only) The sideways rain forced us inside - it's one of those places where you walk in and think 'oooh I wish this shop was mine!'
Illy coffee and Crystal teabags, homemade food and cakes, homemade cards, bunting and gifts...
Gorgeously decorated with floral wallpapers and green paint...
Vintage china for sale...

Even the loo had my favourite Cath Kidston wallpaper!
Good prices for a City Centre cafe too- there are a couple of additional rooms upstairs too with a sofa and lovely vintage floral pictures on the walls. Very nicely done. I will be back!
The Vanilla Cafe
Open every day from 10am
12 College Street
York YO1 7JF


  1. It's years since I've been in York Minster. The windows are stunning, aren't they? Is L enjoying her A level course? Eleanor's taken textiles as one of her GCSE options and is loving it.

  2. My daughter is also doing art and textiles for her A levels and loving it!
    It's a couple of years since our visit to York minster, it's a beautiful place to visit and so is York for pretty shops too!
    I am thinking you did a little shopping also..
    Have a happy Monday!
    Maria x

  3. Looks as if you had a lovely day. I think it's great that your daughter's teacher has linked the course with a significant local event. It would be lovely to see some of your daughter's work in a future post. Jx

  4. It's a great place to go for inspiration, I think I've only been twice in all my 40 odd years! I'm sure your daughter will come up with some fab work for her textile course.
    Sally x

  5. Just popping in to say hello, I'm your new follower.

    Bye for now.

    Julie x

  6. Thanks for a wee fix of York, I do miss it and when I eventually make it back for a visit, will most certainly go to the Vanilla Cafe. Kx

  7. Ooh this sounds like my kind of place. Will try to remember to check it out next time I'm in York!


Please feel welcome to get in touch or leave a comment - I really appreciate it. Sally x