York: My City Guide


Located in North Yorkshire, England. With a pub for every day of the year, you’d be daft not to come and visit my city! We pride ourselves on being a great tourist city, especially at Christmas time…read on to hear my thoughts on our renowned Christmas Market.

Top tip: bring your walking shoes. We’ve got city walls which will take you all around the city and give you fantastic views of all the best places, including York Minster. Ooh, and don’t forget to pop to Coney Street and Stonegate – that’s where all of our main shops are!

P.S: I have not been asked to talk about any of these brands or shops featured in this post, I’m just a big fan!


Favourite Brunch Spot

The Balloon Tree Farm Shop and Café, Gate Helmsley

All of my family adore this little hidden away treasure, it offers so much considering I think it’s a little cafe. York is full of little finds such as this place and it’s really worth a visit multiple times throughout the year. They do Pick Your Own for each season, Josh and I are yet to go pick our own pumpkin around October time. We went last year loads of times for brunch and really enjoyed ourselves, my parents and I often arrange to meet the other Darbys there too – it’s just LUSH! I’m surprised they don’t know our orders yet…I mean Josh and I have loyalty cards, oops!

Don’t just go for the café though, the farm shop has some quirky gifts that you won’t be able to get elsewhere – like cheese and biscuit sets from local businesses, perfect for a birthday or Christmas present. There’s also a massive farm-themed play area for littl’uns. Bradley adored it when he sat on the tractor and played with the sand along with Grandad and me.


Favourite Place for Coffee

Plush Café, Stonegate

I only visited Plush a few weeks back before all this lockdown business and it was really good. I did a blog post on it last week as the lockdown was announced so that was a bit daft of me, but it is really worth a visit – even for the Instagram swing photo, like Marty and I got. It’s a nice environment to be in and even better, it does student discount…which I can only use until October now, waah.

They offer food too, with vegan and gluten-free options and they have a little shop where you can buy reusable cups and cutlery. It was delayed opening due to a baby arrival but it is a family-owned and run business and it is so welcoming and friendly. I will be planning my next visit when lockdown is over.


Favourite Restaurant

Gusto Italian, Little Stonegate

Gusto has become a firm favourite with the Darbys (…and Bickerstaffe). It’s ended up being the ONLY location for date nights and family celebrations, there’s something for everyone to eat and drink. It is quite an expensive establishment so smart casual is the dress code. So a simple jeans and blazer combo is a must. I recommend having the a la carte menu instead of the set menus as they tend to ramp the prices up A LOT when it’s a special occasion.

Josh and I are probably going to go for our second anniversary and many date nights before then…as it is only April and our anniversary is in October, ha! If you do visit York, this is a must for your night if you are staying over, especially in the summer as they do an AMAZING Frozé cocktail. I recommend the calamari and the stonebaked pizzas, they are LUSH. I tend to use that word a lot, ha!


Favourite Bar

Lucia, Swinegate

Aw, this place holds so many memories from when Josh and I first met. It was FOUR YEARS since we met the other week, scary stuff. Time flies when you’re having fun. Lucia…I always call it Lucia’s for some reason…is the best place to go for a fancy cocktail. Josh and I recommend the Mojitos and our ultimate fave ‘Paradise in Yorkshire’. Unfortunately, they don’t do pitchers anymore but that doesn’t stop us going.

You can spend hours in this bar, it’s never mega busy. They always have deals on their cocktails too, so it is well worth the visit. They also have a restaurant downstairs which I think I’ve been to before, Josh says he thinks he has been before as well. I would like to visit and try out the food, it would be a cheap date night. They do set menus and cheap cocktails, why wouldn’t you want to visit?


Favourite Event

Christmas Market, Parliament Street, Coppergate & St Sampsons Square

If you have been a loyal reader since 2018 or know me personally, you’ll know how obsessed I am with Christmas. I LOVE IT. I have all my Blogmas posts planned for this year…yes, I am insane but back to the post. I do love our Christmas market. We have two GIANT trees and a massive ceremony to turn on the lights with panto favourites. We also have two market locations covered with tons of pine cones, wreaths, gins and all things Christmassy.

I loved going to the market with Josh’s family last year as it was the first time we had done something festive together. We walked along the market on Parliament Street to the Tipi, which is always busy but it is worth it. I spent many nights after work in there with Chris and Alice from work until they kicked us out! It is the best place to go for a quick (or many) gins with friends and family. There’s a massive fire pit as well, basically, it’s the best place to go after a day of Christmas shopping. Oh, did I mention everything is Viking themed too?


Stay safe.

See you soon,





  1. 03/04/2020 / 1:00 pm

    This made me want to visit York even more. The Christmas Market sounds amazing! Rosie

    • Niamh Darby
      03/04/2020 / 7:50 pm

      It’s the best place live! Lived here for nearly 16 years and it never fails to show me something new! Hope you visit soon! Stay safe! X

  2. 03/04/2020 / 8:31 pm

    I’ve never been to York but Plush sounds lovely. I like that they have vegan options and reusable cups

    • Niamh Darby
      03/04/2020 / 8:55 pm

      Honestly, couldn’t fault it. It was such a lovely place to be, the staff were fab too! X

  3. 24/05/2020 / 5:40 pm

    I’m so down with this city guide! never been to York but really looking for it x


    • Niamh Darby
      24/05/2020 / 5:41 pm

      Ah thanks! It really is the best, even though I might be a bit bias as I live here but there is always something new to discover! X

  4. 01/06/2020 / 10:42 pm

    I love york!! This had really made me want to visit again :))

    • Niamh Darby
      01/06/2020 / 10:45 pm

      It’s lush! I feel very lucky to live here, I think ew made the right choice moving here! X

  5. 04/06/2020 / 10:22 am

    Great post! I love going to York especially around Christmas time! The Christmas markets are really good and I love going to the cafés.

    • Niamh Darby
      04/06/2020 / 10:23 am

      Ah! It’s my favourite time in the city! X

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: