And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

fredag 30. desember 2011


When he finishes refection,
Knife and fork he never lays
Cross-wise, to my recollection
- Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, Robert Browning

We'll pray for her soul...after pudding.
- Adele Goffe, Inspector Lewis (S5E2)

Although my main purpose of returning to York this September was to reunite with my friends I was also mindful of the English cuisine which I had become so fond of during my student days. Despite its rather dubious reputation I find English cooking both tasteful and enjoyable and I looked forward to taste things new and old, some in the company of friends, others in solitude. This time around I have included pictures of the venues in question so that it might be easier to locate for anyone intent on meandering the streets of York to acquire some of these delicacies.

From The Hole in the Wall, High Petergate

Yorkshire pudding

I fear that we shall be obliged to leave this pudding
- The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, Beatrix Potter

This classic dish is an obligatory implement of a culinary excursion in York, consisting of a bread-like bowl filled with gravy, meat - in this case presumably hog - and a ball of sage and onion stuffing, accompanied - if I remember correctly - by the ubiquitous side-dish of chips.

It is a very filling meal and I fell short of consuming all of it, especially because the heavy gravy soaks the pudding and makes it excessively soggy. Additionally I have to add that despite my outspoken fondness for sage and onion stuffing, this marvellous invention becomes too compressed and dry when served like a ball. Consequently I did not enjoy the pudding as much as I could have, and despite my well-established faith in kitchen of the Hole in the Wall, I cannot recommend its Yorkshire pudding. For those who would like to try this I direct you to the Yorkshire Hogroast in Stonegate. It should, however, be noted that there are good alternatives at the Hole in the Wall, one of which is my long-time favourite as seen below.

Ham and eggs

The Hole in the Wall ham and eggs was the first warm meal I consumed on the day of my arrival in York as a student January this year, and although the taste is nothing spectacular - it is rather bland - I kept coming back for it on a number of occasions, partly owing to it being perhaps the cheapest on the menu, partly due to the fact that I am a person who very quickly establishes traditions and sometimes has a hard time breaking free from them. This particular tradition, however, is not something I have a strong urge to break free from in any case.

From Uppercrust, Lendal

Uppercrust was a relatively late discovery for me as it came to my attention only in the last few weeks of my stay in York this spring, but after I had discovered their excellent pork sandwiches - of which I have spoken of effusively in a previous blogpost - I quickly became a regular up until the point the ladies behind the counter recognised me when I came by. Although my stay in York this September was considerably shorter I made sure to visit this venue as often as my stomach would allow me, and so I again became a regonised regular for a few days.

They also have a nice selection of other comestibles, but since I am somewhat single-minded at intervals, I did not explore these options this time around. 

From The Cornish Pasty Bakery, Coney Street

Like the pork sandwich the Cornish pasty is also an item I have dealt with in greater detail previously, but this time I remembered to take a photograph of one of the venues. There is also a Cornish Pasty Bakery shop in Colliergate which is somewhat bigger and has a bigger selection. Regardless of which venue one decides to visit one can be assured to find a wide range of fillings to suit any palate.

From Classic Crepe Company

One of the many nice little details in the cityscape of York is the various portable vendor stalls purveying food. This particular stall - the Classic Crepe Company - is at no fixed location, at least not as far as I have established, and as such must sometimes be sought out or stumbled upon by happy accident. Due to limited time of my stay I couldn't allow myself to feast on every item available, so I settled for a regular crepe with chocolate, a delightful - and quite filling - snack on the go.

From the Lamb & Lion Inn, High Petergate

Located by Bootham Bar the Lamb & Lion Inn is a deceptively spacious pub with an impressive menu. I went there with a couple of friends late in the evening. Although the ambiance is pleasant and the selection includes deliciously sounding items as rabbit and various pies, they were not very well-supplied at the time of our visit and I had to try at least three times before I found something on their menu that actually was available. This item was the pork chops served with apple sauce, forcemeat mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Although the food looked lovely the pork chops tasted somewhat overdone and aside from the forcemeat there was not much flavour to be had from the meal. I am, however, willing to be lenient and ascribe this to a busy evening and I haven't completely given up on The Lamb and the Lion Inn, although next time I hope they have rabbit.

From Evil Eye Lounge, Stonegate

Whew! We'll have our platter burnished,
Laid with care on our own shelf!
- Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, Robert Browning

To celebrate that a friend from Constantine House had handed in her MA dissertation a couple of friends and I went to Evil Eye Lounge, a pub with an emphasis on Asian cooking, but also serving very Anglo-American lunches on Sundays. This was a Sunday lunch and I decided to order the turkey platter, filled with cabbage, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, fennel, sausage, cranberry sauce, Yorkshire pudding and even more which I can't remember. Seeing the vast array of trimmings I decided to go for a children's platter and I still didn't manage to finish all of it. The meal - taken in the Lhasa Lounge on what the Brits call the first floor - was wonderful and rich in taste, and the experience was of course made all the better for the company of my friends. In the end we were all so full that when I left them for a couple of errands I had to hug one of them sideways.

From the Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Lendal

This little venue was brought to my attention by a couple of friends one day we went strolling about town for a bit, and having been alerted to its rich selection I stopped by a couple of times due to its convenient location.

Pork pie

York is famous for its long traditions of pork meat and I felt obligated to try a pork pie at some point. I discovered, to my delight, that these could be acquired at The Gourmet Burger Kitchen to a very reasonable price, and I have to admit there is something deeply satisfactory about eating pie in England, at least to a committed anglophile such as myself.


The world's moved on from cheese and tomatoes, Sir.
- Sergeant Gavin Troy, Midsomer Murders (S3E1)

A nice alternative to the very English pie is the slightly more French quiche, equally reasonable in terms of price and almost just as filling. This particular one was a very tasty, savoury tomato and leek quiche.

Sausage roll

This is another very distinctly English contrivance, a flaky dough wrapped around a sausage comprised of more fat than meat, and although it is filling enough to serve as a quick brunch it is neither very tasty nor particularly appetising. It is one of those culinary idiosyncracies that sometimes have to be tested for the sake of one's curiosity, but which you may eventually regret trying, especially if you have a beard that will catch the flakes of dough. 

From La Bodrum, Bootham

(...) which is more of a Constantine experience
- Former flatmate on La Bodrum (paraphrase)

At an early stage of my student days in York I was introduced to La Bodrum, a rather mediocre takeaway place on Bootham. Its proximity to Constantine House made it a natural choice whenever we were feeling a bit peckish late in the evening or were on our way back to the house from some late night excursion. A friend and I established a tradition of movie nights and La Bodrum pizza, a tradition we resurrected during my revisit in September.

Pizza, Persuasion and personal friends. One of the perks of being a Constantine.


Many of my culinary adventures took place in Constantine House or on the go, and sometimes I forgot to document the venues I visited. Below is a minor selection of foodstuffs typical of my days in York.

To my taste the chips in England are far superior to any similar comestible I've encountered in Norway or the United States, and although one easily tires of them due to their ubiquitousness they are nonetheless a nice grub on the go. The above pictures were taken at a fish and chips shop one evening we were heading for The Golden Ball. On the last picture can be seen my travelling hat, given to me by fellow Constantines.

Boy, you really like those cookies.
- Fellow Constantine's comment on my consumption of caramel digestives

Caramel digestives became a favourite of mine back in 2009 when a friend and I were visiting York for a couple of days. We no longer have this delicacy in Norway and to compensate I consumed more than my fair share of these biscuits, as may be guessed by my former flatmate's above comment.

When some friends and I headed back from a meal at The Lamb and the Lion Inn - as mentioned above - it was decided we should deep-fry cake. This had been done once before, in January, but I had not dared to taste it back then and I was now quite curious to find out what it was like.

The selection included biscuits, one cream cake and a third kind I no longer remember, and they all tasted like dire, undelicate - but not undelicious - transgressions against the body.

And of course they came with sprinkles.

The above examples of available foodstuffs in York is a far from exhaustive list, neither with regards to foodstuffs or venues in which to acquire foodstuffs. For anyone staying or planning to stay in York I will recommend not only to seek out these venues I've presented here, but also to try new things and look for venues that appear pleasant when meandering the streets of York. The pleasure of discovery is essential to the joy of eating, and to a newcomer in York there is a vast range of places to discover.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Neste gong eg lagar pannekaker skal eg ha sjokolade i dei. Og eg saknar dei kjeksa.

  2. Alt du treng å gjere er å legge nokre mjølkeplettar på pannekakene, brette dei og late varmen smelte mjølkeplettane. Og eg skal ta med fleire kjeks neste gong eg er i England.

  3. Jeg er ganske kresen i matveien og tror ikke jeg kommer til å hive meg over en Yorkshirepudding neste gang jeg er på de britiske øyer. Fikk et flashback tilbake til en middag på en pub i London. Satt og gledet meg til lasagne, men den var grønn. Tydeligvis var/er det vanlig å bruke spinatblad som substitutt for pastaplater.

  4. Audå, det høyrest mildt sagt uappetittleg ut. Eg har sjølv ikkje opplevd noko liknande, men so har eg òg vore svært forsiktig med å prøve lasagne på utestadar etter ei uheldig og illeluktande affære i Berlin. Den var rett nok ikkje grøn.

    Elles vil eg slå eit slag for yorkshirepuddingen, berre ein passar på å bestille utan saus.