The Grand Hotel and Spa is one of York’s most iconic Edwardian buildings. It used to be the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway and has transformed itself into a stunning luxury hotel where the history of the building has not been forgotten. The Rise is inspired by first-class carriages in the early 1900s and the bar is an homage to a steam locomotive engine: all black steel and sleekly industrial. But The Rise has just recently launched at the Grand Hotel and Spa in York. They specialise in small plates of modern, seasonal food. (Though larger plates definitely are available!)
We started the evening with a cocktail making masterclass focusing on martinis: it turns out, despite loving cocktails, I knew very little about making martinis. It illustrates a slightly embarrassing predilection for the fruitier cocktails, for sure!
I started with the rhubarb cocktail – a mixture of rhubarb, gin and prosecco. It was extremely light and not overly sweet. I also sampled the Ghost of York -this was my favourite cocktail of the night. I then had the Yorkshire Julep, which was very minty – a bit too minty for my palate. The last drink we had, post-dessert, was a creamy concoction with coconut rum and strawberries. It was very decadent and rich, almost like a milkshake!
During my meal, I had a glass of the house white, and I just wanted to point out that it was one of the best house whites I’ve ever tried!
We shared a wide variety of their small plates amongst the bloggers and food writers at the table. I started by trying a bite of the fried duck egg with wild mushrooms, spinach and truffle dressing (£5). It was nice and really set off your umami sense. We also had the heirloom tomato salad with avocado, spring onion and smoked rapeseed oil (£7.55). That was one of the dishes of the night for me; but it is hard for me to resist a great tomato salad. The charred sweet potato with walnut pesto and parmesan (£6). The grilled tender steam broccoli with Tunworth cheese cream and toasted almonds (£6.50) was delicious, creamy with a nice nutty crunch.
Then out came the meat and seafood dishes: we had the tartare prime fillet steak with sourdough crisps and a horseradish emulsion (£12). I loved the addition of the horseradish to this dish. It brought a delightful amount of heat to it. The garlic and mustard glazed beef skewers with shiitake ketchup (£10.70). The beef skewers were the best meat dish of the night, the steak was cooked perfectly. In full disclosure, I did not try the two seafood courses as I don’t eat seafood, but I hear the charred octopus with fennel salad and smoked aioli (£12), and the grilled tiger prawns with paprika mayonnaise (£10) were good.
We moved on to a number of small plates for dessert. A chocolate mousse, churros, a small cheese plate and a sort of de-constructed Eton mess. The knock-out star of the desserts were the churros: light and airy, extra crunchy from the cinnamon and the sugar, fried perfectly without feeling greasy or oily in the slightest!
At the moment, they have an amazing offer going – 3 small plates and free-flowing prosecco for £25 per person.
The Grand Hotel & Spa York is located at Station Rise, York YO1 6GD
***I was a guest of The Rise and my meal was complimentary but all thoughts and opinions are forever my own.***
Do you have any local fine dining recommendations for me, if I were to venture to your neck of the woods?