We went to York over Easter weekend and following the recommendation of the Lonely Planet, we ended up at Duel@Gray’s Court for lunch.
“Grays Court York is a boutique hotel and historic heritage property in York’s city centre that boasts over 900 years of colourful history. Once owned by the Duke of Somerset, Queen Jane Seymour’s brother, and visited by King James 1st, James 2nd and the Duke of Cumberland. Sir Thomas Fairfax, Archbishop Robert Holgate and Archbishop Thomas Young have also owned and lived here in Grays Court.”
The place is amazing! It’s nestled inside a little courtyard behind the York Minster and facing the city walls. If you’re not looking for it, you can actually walk right by it… however, I kind of doubt that, since after taking a glimpse of the courtyard, you’ll just want to peek inside and see more. The building is lovely and flanked by some other historic heritage properties. I just couldn’t stop taking photographs!
Lunch was delicious, refreshingly so, after a few bad experiences the days before. And the service is very friendly and helpful. You actually can have tea/coffee in the long hall facing the courtyard, which is furnished with sofas and comfy period pieces, which makes you feel like you could spend hours just lounging there with friends. Lunch was served in one of the dining rooms, adjacent to the long hall, and overlooking the beautiful gardens that are surrounded by the old city walls. It’s a peaceful and relaxing place; and the prices are very reasonable. And if you peruse around a bit like I did, you’ll see the family’s library, full of books, of course, and personal photographs… it truly feels like you’ve been invited into someone’s home.
We were so impressed, that after walking through York that day and the next, we decided that we should repeat lunch there! We usually don’t do that, since we like to explore and experiment…but really, the food is worth going back again.
When I have some time, I’ll share more of our experience and photographs of York under My Travel Logs. So, please come back and check it out! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this very tasty and easy to make salad.
Oh, for the balsamic reduction: it’s so simple to make, you’ll be repeating that too! Pour double the amount of what you want to achieve of balsamic vinegar (for example, if you want 1/2 cup, use 1 cup) in a small pot and bring to a soft boil over low to medium heat. The sauce will thicken and become syrupy–be careful, as it tends to splatter. Once it has thickened, you know it is ready. Allow it to slightly cool before pouring over the salad.
- 4 beetroots, raw or precooked, cut into bite-size chunks
- 140g wild rocket (70g per person, or more according to taste of course)
- goat cheese, crumbled
- pine nuts, about 1 tablespoon per serving
- balsamic vinegar reduction (recipe in text)
- 1 fresh, green onion, finely sliced
- olive oil (if roasting raw beets)
- If the beetroots are fresh and raw: in an ovenproof dish, drizzle some olive oil over them and roast at 180C for about 40 minutes until tender, with their skins. Once they are done, allow to cool slightly before peeling and cutting into bite-size chunks.
- If the beetroots are precooked (I buy them like this oftentimes, as it’s more convenient), then simply cut them into bite-size chunks and roast for about 10 minutes in the oven, at 200C.
- How to assemble: For each individual bowl/plate, place 1/4 of the wild rocket.
- Add the beetroots, crumbled goat cheese and pine nuts.
- Add the rest of the wild rocket over top.
- Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction and some olive oil (optional).
- Garnish with some fresh, green onion.
- Serve immediately.
*The comments about Duel @ Gray’s Court in York are my personal opinion based on our experience, and I have not been paid for this review nor am I representing the restaurant in any way.