Mumbler Reviews York

Restaurant & Cafe Reviews

Real parent reviews of family friendly places to eat in York

Mumbler Reviews… 2 Great Cafe’s in Acomb for Families

Acomb has really upped it’s ‘Family Friendly Cafe’ Game recently…

The Laughing Llama and Blue Bird Bakery are huge assets to this community – and both are brilliant for families. 2 of our fabulous Mumbler reviewers went along to Acomb to check them out so you can see what they thought here…

Laughing Llama Cafe, 

Laughing Llama is just what Acomb needed!

The perfect place to enjoy a good coffee, cake and a little bit of peace whilst your little ones play.

There’s a really good menu full of tasty homemade cakes and treats along with breakfast and lunch options. The kids menu is both friendly and well priced and baby chinos are free! High chairs are available too for when needed!

I chose a latte on my visit today as I needed the caffeine boost and also treated myself to the carrot cake which I would happily get again! My son and his little friend shared a millionaire shortbread which was a winner with them!

Laughing Llama cafe has a lovely play area upstairs for children with a wide range of resources. There’s a lovely little baby area with soft mats, bouncer chairs and baby toys then tables for adults to sit down and take 5 minutes or have a chat with a friend. They also do children’s parties here – a fab space for that.

The toys I would say are aimed at preschool age but I think older children would still enjoy a visit and definitely one of the hot chocolates (they are so good!!!).

The space upstairs is fairly small but the number of tables reflects this so that it doesn’t get too busy. There is also a gate on the area to stop any little people heading out to the stairs!

Downstairs there is a toilet and baby change area, this is a fold down table so my little boy being 2 and half and fairly big for his age does tell me “My too big” as he lays for a freshen up but it will be just right for most children! There is enough room in the toilet to manoeuvre around and even take a pushchair in too if needed.

Also downstairs is a buggy park which is always very useful when there’s children’s facilities!

A good amount of tables are also on the ground floor too if you wanted to eat before heading up to the play area or if you fancied a child free trip and there are also a couple of tables outside for a cuppa in the sunshine!

The staff are friendly, helpful and chatty with the children too which is always appreciated!

Overall I think this cafe is perfect for a family orientated area! The play area is definitely a bonus for us and we will continue to visit because who doesn’t like a hot cuppa and those 5 minutes peace to enjoy it!

Opening hours-
Monday- Friday 9.30am-3.00pm
Saturday- 9.30am-4pm
8a Acomb Court, Acomb Front Street, York, YO24 3BJ

See the Menu Here
T: 01904863431

Bluebird Bakery, Acomb

Bluebird Bakery in Acomb is the 4th site for local entrepreneurs Al and Nicky Kippax and was newly opened at the end of 2021 . With sites in Malton, Little Shambles, York and Leeds you don’t need us to tell you how good the food is here. However, what really stood out for us at the Acomb branch was how family friendly the site was.

After entering the big double doors at the front of the café you are greeted by a very high ceiling and spacious entrance. A huge relief for those with buggies and toddlers in tow as you can easily get yourself settled and parked up with ease before heading over to the till for refreshments and treats. There is a large, clean play area suitable for pre-schoolers with lots of books, toys and a small kitchen to help keep little ones entertained so you can enjoy your caffeine and sugar fix in peace.

We enjoyed a bowl of warming home made soup with a side of their famous sourdough, loose leaf tea and couldn’t resist one of their chocolate and hazelnut cookies. There was an array of baked goodies to choose from including sausage rolls, savoury Danish pastries and a huge selection of sweet treats! They had a great selection of hot and cold drinks and we could have sat there for hours just soaking up the atmosphere and watching the world go by through the big windows at the front.

The toilets had good baby change facilities and were again very spacious. The outdoor seating will be great when the weather improves as it is set back from the road. We are really looking forward to returning to try all the other delicious options on the menu!

Opening Hours:

201 Acomb Rd, Acomb, York YO24 3HD

T: 01904 799999


Five Fabulous Afternoon Teas in York: A Mumbler review

What better way to treat someone special than afternoon tea? York has some amazing places to indulge in this wonderful tradition. To help you decide where to go, we’ve been busy reviewing some fabulous afternoon tea experiences.

Afternoon tea is a special treat, perfect for birthdays, Mother’s Day or a great way to spend some lovely quality time together. As there is only so much cake one person can eat in the name of research, I rounded up four other local Mumblers to help me review some of the very best locations in York to enjoy afternoon tea.

Find out what I and my Miniest Mumbler Megan thought of our afternoon tea at Cakes d’licious

Read about Holly and her families afternoon tea experience onboard City Cruises York

Jane and her six-year-old daughter Polly stepped back in time for their afternoon tea at The Countess of York

Discover what Leanne and her seven-year-old daughter Elsie thought of their afternoon tea at Crumbs Cupcakery

Finally, read all about Claire and her daughter Ellie’s afternoon tea at The Principal Hotel

 Afternoon Tea at Cakes d’licious, Clifton, York

What’s it like? 

Cakes d’licious is a gorgeous vintage tea room in Clifton which is independently owned and, as its name suggests, has a cake selection to die for! It’s family-run and brings you a truly ‘vintage’ experience – one of the first things you’ll notice on entering the tea rooms is the fabulous uniform that all of the staff wear – 50’s style dresses complete with a cute head scarf… it really is like going back in time!

I think the speciality of this place has to be all about the cakes – just a HUGE selection of amazing looking sweet treats… Meg thought she’d died and gone to sweet-tooth heaven. The place has a very chilled out feel to it. We got settled in easily, ordered our drinks and chose our sandwiches. Ham & homemade chutney for me while Meg went for the very traditional cucumber sandwich. She loved perfecting her tea finger ‘this is how the queen drinks her tea’ and feeling like a proper grown-up with her own china plates and cups. Although it’s not huge in terms of space, it’s super family-friendly – there are high chairs and there is a lovely selection of toys and colouring books etc for the kids as well as high chairs if you have younger ones.

What do you get? 

They have a set afternoon tea option for £14.95 (£15.95 for GF- must be pre-booked) – there aren’t specific children’s menu so you can either just share your adults one or order one and take home anything that is left. We took 3 boxes home with us and they couldn’t have been more helpful about it! You can choose your sandwich type and you get 4 quarters of the same type.

  • English Breakfast Tea, Americano, apple or Orange Juice or elderflower cordial
    • Specialities teas are available at a supplement (around 30p)
  • Choice of Sandwich – Ham, Egg & Cress, Cheese & Chutney, Brie & Grape, Cucumber, Strawberry Jam, Beef or Prawn.
  • Plain & Fruit Scone with Jam & Cream
  • A Medley of d’Licious cakes. We had:
    • Chocolate Brownie
    • Lemon Drizzle
    • Carrot Cake
    • Battenberg
    • Cherry Bakewell
    • Cupcake with handmade icing and glitter
    • Butterfly shortbread

Dietary needs catered for? 

Gluten-free afternoon tea is available if pre-booked in advance and is priced at £15.95 per person.

My favourite bit

“Probably Meg’s face when the cakes came out! But I have to say I loved the crockery – the fact that even the crisps and cream came out in a tea cup – also the tea timer was a nice touch”

Her favourite bit

“All of the Cakes!! Especially with the glitter! And I loved the colouring too”

Days & times available: 

Vintage Afternoon Tea Served between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.


Vintage Afternoon Tea is £14.95 per person. There isn’t a specific children’s menu here. We could have easily fed 2 children and an adult with the 2-afternoon teas – but as there was just 1 child, we ended up taking a lot home which was no problem at all so we enjoyed a second-afternoon tea later too!

Other tips – you can park just across the road for up to 2 hours for free… this is just outside the ‘Birdie’s Perch’ Gift shop & Boots.

How to book & more information: 

Afternoon Tea onboard City Cruises York

What’s it like? 

We were greeted by the friendly skipper on Kings Staith before boarding the boat. We were shown to our table which was laid out ready for afternoon tea with a sunny, yellow gingham tablecloth. Relaxing music was playing in the background and brightly coloured bunting adorned the outside of the boat.

After we were seated at our table we were brought drinks and made to feel very welcome on board. Once the boat has set sail, much to the kids delight, sandwiches, cakes and scones were quickly brought out to us.

The captain welcomed everyone on board and gave commentary on local sights as we passed them. The boat travelled down past the Millenium bridge and out to Bishopthorpe Palace then back into the city. The kids enjoyed spotting boats and local fishermen as we travelled along the Ouse. The overall tour lasted one and a half hours.

The boat was very cosy with covered top and sides making it a very relaxing experience, all the staff were very welcoming and the kids even got to sit in the captain’s chair at the end of the tour!

What do you get? 

As well as a guided tour down the river Ouse, the afternoon tea included a selection of 4 different sandwiches, 2 cakes, a macaroon and of course a fruit scone with jam and clotted cream accompanied by unlimited drinks.

  • Finger Sandwiches in Coronation Chicken, Sliced Ham with Mustard Mayo, Egg Mayonaise and Cress, Cream Cheese and Cucumber
  • Vegetarian Option – substitute Coronation Chicken and Ham for Roast Pepper and Houmous & Cheddar and Tomato Chutney
  • Selection of homemade cakes – Macaroon, Carrot Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake
  • Homemade Sultana Scones with Raspberry Conserve and Clotted Cream
  • Refillable Tea or Coffee for adults and refillable squash for kids.

Dietary needs catered for? 

If you require a vegetarian meal, you can do so at the time of booking. City Cruises are unable to guarantee that products are free from nuts or traces of nuts. For any other dietary requirements, you must provide at least 48 hours’ notice.

My favourite bit

“A stress free afternoon tea with the kids. The relaxed atmosphere of the boat and plenty of entertainment passing us by made for a very pleasant trip. The macaroons were a delicious treat”

Kid’s favourite bit

“She absolutely loved the Coronation Chicken Sandwiches, not something I would have tried to give her before but she was delighted with them, ‘they’re my favourite, I love them’. He enjoyed the scone with raspberry jam and drinking squash out of a grown up tea cup.”

Days & times available: 

Sails every day from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 1 November 2020. The boat leaves at 2.45pm (boarding at 2.30)om from King’s Staith Landing and returns to King’s Staith Landing at 4.15pm


Traditional Afternoon Tea is £26 per person
Afternoon Tea for children aged 3-12 years old is £18 per child
Under 2’s are free

How to book & more information: 

  • You can book online, call 01904 628324 or email City Cruises York
  • Find out more details on York Mumbler here or on the City Cruises York website here.
  • The Afternoon Tea Cruise is not on a wheelchair accessible vessel
  • There are no baby changing facilities, highchair facilities or pushchair storage on this vessel.
  • The Afternoon Tea Cruise only sails from the King’s Staith Landing, York, YO1 9SN

Afternoon Tea at the Countess of York

What’s it like? 

The Countess of York is located at the National Railway Museum in a carriage built in 1956 for British Rail. Previously the carriage had been part of the Orient Express Northern Belle, used as a movie prop but now has been fully refurbished to replicate 19th-century dining and so you can enjoy a relaxing and luxurious afternoon tea in York.

The atmosphere inside the carriage is like stepping back in time and very relaxing. As afternoon tea is at set times, there isn’t the hustle and bustle of people coming and going. Instead, there is gentle jazz music and efficient, yet relaxed service on board.

After deciding on one of the many teas available and an apple juice for Polly, we relaxed into our comfy seats and pretended we were travelling to London on the train! A delicious soup and savoury pastry start were brought to us, literally the second my daughter announced she was staving. Following our soup course, an impressive cake stand arrived for each of us! We started with the sandwiches on the bottom tier and worked our way up. A nice touch was the waitress coming round to ask if we wanted more sandwiches – I must confess I couldn’t resist saying yes to another brie and grape chutney one!

We enjoyed every minute of our relaxing afternoon tea on board the Countess of York. The food was delicious, the service was excellent and we really enjoyed a wander around the Railway Museum afterwards in an attempt to burn off some cake. We couldn’t quite manage all the cakes, so the leftovers were beautifully boxed up for us to take home – yummy!

What do you get? 

When we visited the winter menu was available, which meant we enjoyed a seasonal soup and winter berry preserve. The menu is changed every season and there is also a special Christmas menu.

Included in my afternoon tea was:

  • A choice of tea or coffee or upgrade to an alcoholic drink
  • A delicious starter of sweet potato and butternut squash & soup and a mini Goat’s cheese & red onion tartlet
  • Three varieties of finger sandwiches
  • Plain scone with clotted cream & homemade preserve
  • Rhubarb crème brûlée
  • Red velvet roulade
  • Yorkshire tea loaf
  • Bailey’s and white chocolate profiterole
  • Lemon meringue tart

The children’s menu was brilliantly adapted for kids with a sausage roll, plain sandwich fillings and a chocolate brownie & flapjack replacing two of the more grown-up cake. Plus the fruit juice served in a teacup went down a treat and made my daughter feel very grown-up.

Dietary needs catered for? 

Dietary requirements can be catered for as long as you provide the Countess of York with full details 24 hours before your visit. Our waitress also double-checked if we had any special requirements once we were seated.

My favourite bit

“The range of deserts on the final layer of the cake stand were amazing! Each one was so different and so delicious, especially the rhubard crème brûlée!”

Her favourite bit

“I absolutely loved the sausage roll at the start. I could have eaten two of those Mummy!”

Days & times available: 

The Countess of York is open year-round and Afternoon Tea is served daily at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm. The menu changes depending on the season.


Traditional Afternoon Tea is £25.50 per person
Champagne Afternoon Tea is £35.50 per person
Afternoon Tea for Children is £15.50 per child

Also, car parking is free if you are having Afternoon Tea, saving you £10 per vehicle. As your ticket is valid all day you can have a wander around the Railway Museum before or after you’ve eaten too. Simply let your host know you’ve used the car park and you’ll receive a ticket which you can exchange for a parking token at the front desk.

How to book & more information: 

Afternoon Tea at Crumbs Cupcakery

What’s it like? 

A cosy little café tucked away in a quirky little building by the beautiful York Minster. It’s a really friendly place with the girls making every visitor feel so welcome. It’s a popular little spot with several regulars popping in for their weekly cupcake fix whilst we were there. After having the cupcakes I TOTALLY get why they return each week!

Once we arrived our drinks order was taken straight away. I, of course, went for a pot of tea, which came with a beautiful little floral teacup. Elsie said this is what the queen would drink her tea in, I agree. Elsie had some apple juice but was given lots of choice including mini hot drinks. As we had pre-booked afternoon tea, it was with us within minutes! Super when you have a younger one with you VERY keen to eat some cake asap after seeing all the cupcakes by the counter!

Whilst everything was delicious we couldn’t manage to finish it all, but the staff were more than pleased to pop it in a little box for us to take home. My delightful daughter licked the top of the chocolate cupcake to “reserve it” for when we got home, lovely! I do understand though, they are top-notch cupcakes! I’ll admit the leftovers didn’t last more than half an hour once we got home…

Overall a lovely friendly little spot for afternoon tea, a catch up with friends or special mother/child time (which we enjoyed today). I felt for the price they charge it was really good value with the amount of food that you get, it felt like a proper treat whilst being very affordable. If you can’t get booked in for afternoon tea then the next best option is a box of their cupcakes to take home, good luck choosing which flavours though, I don’t know where I’d start!

What do you get? 

A delightful mix of sandwiches and goodies to share!

  • Sandwiches – We had a mixture of Cheese, Ham, Tuna and Egg.
  • Scones – 2 large delicious scones served with cream and really gorgeous jam. Butter was offered as an alternative.
  • Slices of loaf cake (I’m pretty sure this was strawberry flavour. If I’m honest when the cake was put in front of me I got a little distracted, it looked so good!! This meant I didn’t fully pay attention to the description, It was very tasty anyhow and we both ate it up!)
  • A selection of 6 of their mini cupcakes. A great way to sample the different flavours. I liked the caramel one best and Elsie loved the little chocolate flakes some had on!

There was no specific children’s afternoon tea menu, but all was very appropriate for her and she left happy and full!

Dietary needs catered for? 

Crumbs are more than happy to cater for different dietary requirements including gluten-free. The afternoon tea is popular and does need booking so do mention any special requirements when booking.

My favourite bit

“I always struggle when forced to choose a flavour or just one desert, so to have scones, cake and then 6 mini cupcakes to sample was heaven!”

Her favourite bit

“I think the chocolate cupcakes were my favourite bit and the scones and the cheese in the sandwiches!”

Days & times available: 

Afternoon tea is available at any time during opening hours (Monday to Sunday 10-4.30pm). Booking is required however and this is a popular spot especially around special occasions so early booking is encouraged.


Traditional Afternoon Tea is £25 for two people

Adults cost £12.95 & Children £8.95.

Crumbs Cupcakery is very central, so convenient to get to via public transport. The nearest public car park would be Monk Bar Car Park.

How to book & more information: 

Afternoon Tea at the Garden Room, Principal Hotel 

What’s it like? 

The Principal Hotel is situated next to York train station and afternoon tea is served in the very plush Garden Room.  The hotel is extremely beautiful while the Garden Room is very elegant with lavish sofas, armchairs and is very spacious.  If you’re looking for a really special treat in a sophisticated setting this is definitely for you.

Upon arrival, we were lead to our table for two by the window. In spite of some larger parties in the room, it felt very quiet.  We quickly settled into our comfy armchairs, perused the menu and our drinks order was taken. We were offered unlimited hot and cold drinks, with a range of teas, coffee and hot chocolate as well as soft drinks. My daughter chose an apple juice while I opted for a tea and a cranberry juice. Although I soon had to trade the juice with Ellie as she discovered a new favourite drink!

I was then brought my first course which included a black pudding sausage roll, smoked salmon roulade and tomato soup.  This plate is not included in the children’s afternoon tea and would be too much for a small tummy but you can share if you wish 😀.  When our afternoon tea arrived it was most impressive. We were each served our own 3 tier stand of sandwiches, scones and cakes.  We wasted no time tucking in!

The children’s afternoon tea was just as substantial as mine.  Ellie did very well to resist diving straight into the top layer and duly commenced with her sandwiches, gradually working her way up to the cakes.  We were offered more drinks so I opted for another tea and Ellie finished with a mini hot chocolate.  There was more food than we could possibly eat, although we did take our time and kept returning for some nibbles.  We were provided with a box to take home any leftovers which we later enjoyed.

The service was excellent throughout, nothing was too much trouble.  We visited on a Saturday afternoon and the room filled up by 3pm but the tables are so spread out that you hardly notice.

What do you get? 

Included in my afternoon tea was:

  • Unlimited hot and cold drinks or upgrade to an alcoholic drink
  • Starter of black pudding sausage roll, smoked salmon roulade, smoked tomato and red pepper soup
  • 2 finger sandwiches
  • 3 mini scones – plain, sultana, white chocolate and raspberry
  • A selection of 4 cakes – Black Forest opera cake, blueberry cheesecake macaron, lemon meringue pie, jass apple panna cotta

The children’s menu was very similar without the inclusion of the starter plate.  The children’s sandwiches were tuna and jam, with the same selection of scones and a selection of 4 cakes/biscuit treats.

Dietary needs catered for? 

Vegan and non-gluten containing afternoon teas are available but must be booked in advance and cost £23.50 per person.

My favourite bit

“The very plush setting and fantastic service made it very relaxing and extra special.  Also, the selection of miniature scones, catering for all tastes were delicious!”

Her favourite bit

“The chocolate brownie because I liked making a mess!”

Days & times available: 

Afternoon tea is available all week from 1pm – 5pm


Traditional Afternoon Tea is £23.50 per person
Champagne Afternoon Tea is £30.50 per person
Afternoon Tea for Children is £14.95 per child

The hotel is next door to the train station and also served by all the bus stops outside of the station so getting there is really easy.

How to book & more information: 

Disclaimer: York Mumbler was given complimentary afternoon tea at the above-listed venues in exchange for honest reviews. No amount of tea and cakes would ever be enough for us to write a dishonest review, therefore these reviews contain our honest views and opinions and we would only recommend something we genuinely enjoyed.

All prices and details correct at time of publication (March 2020). 

Willow Farm Cafe, York: The Mumbler Review

Guest Review by Local Mumbler, Tanya


York Mumbler Tanya and her children recently went to Willow Farm Cafe in York. Find out what they thought about it and the child-friendly facilities in her review.

It was a sunny Friday morning when we visited Willow Farm Cafe in York, the perfect weather to take advantage of the free outdoor play area. We arrived at 9.30 am and had our pick of the tables.

Plenty of seating inside and out

Willow Farm Cafe - Tanya

Having fun inside

There is plenty of space to sit inside with room for pushchairs, highchairs etc, and a craft table to keep the kids entertained, handy for rainy weather.

There is also a covered outdoor seating area next to the under-fives play area, which is gated, so perfect to relax with a coffee and cake while the little ones play safely. My 3 year old loved playing on the small slide and in the ball pit. While my 9 month old enjoyed a fab selection of toys.

Great selection of food to choose from

Willow Farm Cafe - Tanya

Coffee & Cake at Willow Farm Cafe

While the kids were occupied I browsed the breakfast menu. There is the usual type of breakfast items including a veggie breakfast, all reasonably priced and a children’s option for £3.75.

As well as lunch, snacks and cakes, Willow farm also do an afternoon tea, at the bargain price of £10 per person, presented on a mini picnic bench which looks super cute.

The Children’s menu has something to suit every little one.

Plenty of fun for children 

After my relaxing cuppa, we headed outside. There’s some great equipment such as a big slide and swing for the older ones, ride ons for the little ones, a sandpit and best of all a bouncy castle – great fun. Once my oldest had worn himself out we left with a visit to the goats.

We easily spent a couple of hours at Willow Farm cafe, had lots of fun without breaking the bank. Plus the staff are so friendly and accommodating. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Useful links & information

Willow Farm Cafe is situated on Wigginton Road and can also be reached by public transport. The number 40 bus stops nearby.

Willow Farm Cafe is currently open 7 days a week 9 am – 4 pm.

There is more information about Willow Farm Cafe here.

For more Mumbler reviews of things to do in and around York visit the Mumbler Review section here.

Afternoon Tea at The Principal York

Mumbler were kindly invited along to enjoy afternoon tea at the Principal. Two mummies with a couple of rare child free hours, and we certainly spent them wisely.

The Building & interior
As soon as you approach The Principal, its splendour is evident, and it doesn’t let you down inside. The surroundings are just beautiful and it really added to creating an extra special experience. There’s sofas and comfy seating to choose from, so the grandness doesn’t come as a sacrifice for comfort.

The Staff
The staff were smart and attentive. Our waitress took note of our dietary requirements and altered the menu accordingly. She explained all the food, was friendly and informative and available if needed (that perfect balance of helpful but not intrusive, so we could enjoy our time). It turned out our waitress was unaware we were reviewing the afternoon tea, which I love as it removes any false niceties, but put simply, she couldn’t have done anything better.

The Food
We ordered the Champagne afternoon tea (obviously…), we had some time to enjoy the champagne before the afternoon tea and hot drinks arrived.

The Starter (yes that’s right, this really was no ordinary afternoon tea) arrived in cute little teacups! Ours was substituted with a little salad (to suit us), but would ordinarily contain: White onion velouté (a tasty onion soup), Severn and Wye smoked salmon, parsley, lavish crisps and a Yorkshire Blue and chive tart.
It quickly became evident this was not the sort of afternoon tea even a competent person could knock up at home, this contained top chef prepared delights and was truly decadent.

The afternoon tea contained: Free-range egg mayonnaise and watercress sandwiches, Yorkshire ham and chutney sandwiches (alternatives were given for vegetarians). A trio of mini scones: plain, fruit, cherry and almond with raspberry jam and clotted cream. Deserts included: A chocolate and pistachio tart, vanilla panna cotta, a mint chocolate macaron, a lemon meringue éclair, apricot cheesecake and carrot cake. Apologies to anyone sticking to their New Year diet, but the cherry and almond scones were hands down the best scones I’ve ever tasted and each desert was, well, just amazing! I’m writing this desperately craving more!

A children’s afternoon tea is available (yes, we ditched the little ones and indulged and I have no regrets). However, a mummy daughter treat will definitely be planned (both of us getting dressed up so she feels all grown up and special!) The children’s afternoon tea menu (designed by local children) is available to view HERE along with the full afternoon tea menu.

We were kindly provided with a doggy bag (lovely box actually) to take home the goodies we couldn’t manage, despite being soooo full, I admit it didn’t last long….

So, if you haven’t guessed by this point WE LOVED IT! We would definitely recommend for a variety of occasions: a child free treat (like we had), a special mummy daughter (or daddy daughter/son experience), valentines date, mother day treat, an excuse to meet those friends you haven’t seen for a while (basically, think of any reason you can to get yourself there – you won’t regret it). They also cater for larger groups so perfect for a baby shower, or hen do type events. Someone was on a nearby table planning their wedding food and I know that will be just magical.

Traditional Afternoon Tea £22.95
Champagne Afternoon Tea £29.50
Children’s Afternoon Tea – £14.95

So, lets be honest, if you looked around, you could find a cheaper afternoon tea. This is far from an ordinary afternoon tea. The price included starters, a substantial afternoon tea (which will likely result in a doggy bag aswell) champagne (if chosen) and tea/coffee. Every part of the experience was superior to any afternoon tea I have had before, from the surroundings to the staff to the exquisite deserts. I WILL be returning as a fully paying customer with my little girl, as a special mummy daughter treat!

Here’s The Principal Hotel’s WEBSITE for all the information you need.

The Principal is situated right next to York Train station: Station Road, York, YO24 1AA
T: 01904 653681

N.B. Afternoon tea was kindly provided complementary (I know, tough job but someone’s got to do it!) However, no amount of cakes would ever be enough for us to write a dishonest review, therefore reviews contain our honest views and opinions and always will.

Photos are a mixture of ones from The Principal website and ones we took whilst on our visit.

A Grand Day Out at The Rise. Mumbler & Mini Mumbler Review…

Big Girl Days…
Like many of your children, my Eldest daughter, Edith, is starting school in 2 weeks. I have really mixed emotions about it all. On the one hand it’s my baby! Where did the last 4 1/2 years go, she’s so grown up! All the cliches are true people… cherish every moment.

But on the other hand… she’s SOOOO ready. She’s an October baby so will be one of the oldest in her year. Although her nursery, in my opinion, is second to none… I must admit that she’s own-grown the place now. She’s asking me more and more about how to write, read and all of the more academic things. I have never pushed this at all.. personally believing that they all develop at their own stage and let them lead on it… well she is well and truly ready now!

However, in order to prepare myself and make the most of it before my baby goes off into the big wide world all alone (dramatic… me?? I’ve told her she’ll always be my baby and, for now, she’s going with it!) I wanted to put in some time to have special ‘Big Girl’ days together.

So I had 5 days over the month of August planned to be just us 2… the miniest one is still in nursery so Edie we can enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted. Or so we thought….

A chance for a treat…

When The Rise at the Grand Hotel invited us to try out their new restaurant and claimed it was really child friendly I jumped at the chance… it would make the perfect destination for our first ‘Big Girls’ day out. What a treat!

The idea was to have a whole day out together… visiting lots of the fantastic family friendly places that York has to offer (luckily I know where to go to for ideas) with the lunch at The Rise in the middle… but my little one, Meggy, had other plans. The day before our first ‘Big Girls Day’ we got the dreaded call from nursery to say that Miniest Mumbler Meg had been sick.. which of course meant that she had to be off nursery for 48 hours! The poor little mite was really feeling sorry for herself so big cuddles were in order. Edith was pretty understanding really, given that I had been building up our ‘big girl days’ to the extreme! (Must remember… never reveal anything in advance!! Parenting basics!)

But Mr Mumbler stepped up to the mark and took over cuddling duties for a couple of hours over lunch so Edie and I could get our meal out together…. and wow am I glad we did!

We got Edie dressed up for the occasion – in a pretty dress of her choice. She felt so special & grown up! I told her that we were going to a really lovely place and off we went.

We were able to park at the NCP just behind The Grand Hotel and even this part was exciting to her… and me! I forget how easy it is to park up and get into town without a push chair and toddler in tow.

On the walk to The Grand I was explaining to Edith that this was the very best hotel in York. We were greeted by a very friendly doorman there who let Edie try on his hat and took a photo.. she was in her element! There were smiles and kind faces all the way to the restaurant… so far so good!

On being seated at our table, Edie was presented with a colouring activity book and pencils. Now you’ll know if you eat out with kids that these are available (indeed essential) in all family friendly restaurants… however I have to say that this one was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It had a really great mix of colouring, puzzles and activities and suited all different age ranges as there were lots of more challenging puzzles to keep the older ones amused too.


We each got a menu and ordered our drinks. Edie chose sparkling water (then asked what it was, once the waiter had left… to which I replied ‘fizzy water’ and I could tell she was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t some sort of unicorn glittery liquid! Still she enjoyed it!)

The kids menu was the perfect balance of tasty and different yet still safe…. Edie chose The Rise Mac and Cheese (which apparently was better than mums… I’ll try not to be offended!) I had the choice of a few smaller dishes or the Market Place Menu… I’ve never been able to choose 1 thing from menus… I’m easily tempted… so went for 3 smaller dishes. And wow I’m glad I did… I went for:





Oh my goodness it was all absolutely DELICIOUS! Seriously one of the best meals I’ve enjoyed in York. The dishes were small but perfectly formed and full of flavour. It was so nice to be able to eat out in a place, with my Mini Mumbler, and still enjoy a really high quality meal… empty plates all round at the end!

You can see the full menu HERE

The prices for the small dishes were mainly between £5-£10.. with plenty of choice around the £6-£8 mark. And here is the best bit… for the Month of August, KIDS EAT FREE!

Before desert we had to take a break… because Edith couldn’t wait any longer for the challenge we had read in her activity book…. we had to find the BEE hidden in the hotel. We had a clue and it took a while (and I’ll admit… we had to ask for help!) but we found it. I won’t spoil it for you.. go search for yourself.

I was so pleasantly surprised at how friendly ALL of the staff were – especially towards Edith as she was hurtling through the hotel and up the stairs to find the bee (Stairs like the Queen’s according to her!) of course she had to go ALL THE WAY to the top… 5 floors… she had such an adventure hunting for this bee!

After that we well and truly earned the pudding (5 floors easily cancels out Churros and Chocolate right?)

We really did have such a special lunch out – the perfect big girls time together and a treat before Edith starts school. I’d highly recommend this to any parent wanting to make some lovely memories with their children before school starts and actually having a really nice time and delicious food yourself too!

Children Eat Free at The Rise Restaurant, Terrace and Bar

One child per one paying adult dines free throughout August. Three small plates or one larger plate to be ordered by an adult to allow for one child free meal. Subject to availability. A child is classed as 12 years or under.

See WEBSITE for all the details.

T: 01904 380045