Hey guys! So on Sunday, it was my birthday! Since it was Easter Sunday, a lot of places were closed and we were going to church anyways so I couldn’t celebrate my birthday then. After visiting York for the ice trail back in February, I had the idea of journeying back to York for a day to celebrate my birthday since I fell in love with the city while I was there. In the end, we decided to take a day trip up there where we’d visit the York Chocolate story in the morning, have lunch at my favourite restaurant, walk up to see York Minster and then finish the day with some shopping. I had such a fun day there and I couldn’t have wished for better people to celebrate it with than my family. So in today’s post, I’m going to talk about my birthday day trip to York!
YORK CHOCOLATE STORY
Our first stop in York was the York Chocolate Story. Chocolate is a great love of mine so of course I wanted it to somehow be involved in my birthday celebrations. I’d previously visited the York Chocolate story a while ago but I couldn’t remember it that well except that I’d really enjoyed my visit. It definitely didn’t disappoint this time either. Our tour introduced us to the founding families of chocolate, focusing in particular on the Rowntrees, a confectionary business based in York who developed the Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, Rolo and Quality street brands. The Rowntrees were Quaker Christians whose beliefs limited the professions they could adopt so their family chose to enter the chocolate business which they were very successful in. But chocolate didn’t began with family businesses such as Rowntrees, Cadburys and Frys. In fact, the primary ingredient of chocolate which is cocoa can be traced back as early as the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that cocoa was a gift from their God and that drinking it would bless them with wisdom and power. King Montezuma, the Aztec King, was so addicted to it that he’d drink 50 cups of it a day! Along the way, we got to try free samples of some truly delicious chocolate and we were virtually shown how chocolate is manufactured. There was also an exhibit about the wonder that is KitKat, conveying how it has developed over the years. Next, we created our own chocolate lollies, using the various decorations to jazz them up such as orange buttons, pink curly chocolate pieces and the wafer used in KitKat. The final part of our tour was a demonstration of how to create delicious white chocolate passion fruit chocolates which we got to taste test. Overall, I really enjoyed the tour and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re ever in York.
LUNCH AT BELLA ITALIA
After we’d visited the York Chocolate Story, it was time for lunch at Bella Italia! Ever since I first ate at Bella Italia back when I was staying in Liverpool, I’ve been dying to go back again. I really wish we had one in Hull! I had another mocktail like I did last time except it was a Passion Fruit cooler this time which tasted so delicious and fresh. My family and I shared 3 pizzas between us: a Margherita, a Carne Mista and a Pollo Barbeque with two helpings of fries as well. All of the food tasted so yummy and I can’t wait for my next trip back to Bella Italia.
Next, we walked up to look at York Minster from the outside and it was absolutely stunning. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a soft spot in my heart for minsters, castles, cathedrals and churches because the architecture is so stunning and unique on every single one that I’m lucky enough to see. York Minster was no exception to the rule. The detail in the architecture was phenomenal and the delicate patterns in the stonework assisted the minster in being so beautiful. I would seriously marry York Minster if I could because it’s just so spectacular. It was also surprisingly big and no picture can really depict just how grand it is in size. Thankfully, that’s another Minster I can tick off my list of castles, cathedrals and minsters to visit. Five down about five thousand plus to go!
The Shambles are home to York’s shops both independent and chain. These streets sprawl across the city centre, treating people to a truly great shopping experience. They have real character too with their cobbled streets and traditional victorian buildings which host fantastic shops for all different people. We didn’t end up having much time for shopping but I think the Shambles are great to wander around in the beautiful summer weather and I’m sure those streets of York will be crowded in the summer months. Our day ended with a delicious ice cream, mine being salted caramel flavour and we headed home after that, having enjoyed a lovely day in York together.
Thanks for reading this post! Have you ever visited York? Let me know in the comments! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull