Sweet Nancy was so fancy,
To get into her pantry
Had to be the aristocracy
- Knocking at your back door, Deep Purple
Whereas Nancy appears to have been exceedingly snobbish in her selection of clientele, The Yorkshire Pantry pursues a completely different policy, ostracising no one from their charming and semi-rustic premises so perfectly fitting to its placement in the immediate vicinity of Bootham Bar. As the name so succinctly suggests The Yorkshire Pantry is a foodshop purveying local produce of various sorts, ranging from assorted condiments to teas and sweets, all orderly, yet not rigidly, arranged throughout a small, modest locale at High Petergate.
Small shops such as the Yorkshire Pantry is one of the many features I adore about the City of York, a feature that sustains the image of a city still firmly rooted in its past, a city of minor magnitude relishing in its own character and knowing that character to its fullest. In other words, these small shops are important to the cityscape, regardless of how unassumingly they find their places in it.
I first noticed this shop during my time as a student in York and I immediately found it very pleasing in its design and selection. However, I did not frequent as much as I, in hindsight, would have liked to, basically because my scanty student meals did not require such fine produce or any large variety of condiments or preserves. I nonetheless took great delight in its exquisitely British atmosphere and the culturally and historically conservative ambiance.
Modest and old-fashioned the Yorkshire Pantry offers a range of local foodstuffs, all neatly displayed with enough order to make it navigable but sufficient disorder to allow for exploration. To indulge in the travel narrator's confidence, I strongly recommend this shop to everyone with an interest in food and/or with a well-nurtured anglophilia. Not only does it offer a wide variety of items, it is also run by very cordial people who will not only treat you as a customer but as an acquaintaince in the very best English tradition. For residents the Yorkshire Pantry is a welcome addition to - or perhaps even a much needed change from - what Sainsbury's, Heron Food or any other supermarket has to offer. For visitors the shop will offer a calm oasis from the commotion of High Petergate and a pleasant window into an England many will purport to know, perhaps even intimately, but which only can be found in such small, old-fashioned shops as the Yorkshire Pantry.
A minor selection from the Yorkshire Pantry: Yorkshire tea and sherbet fruit drops from Sheffield.