Last weekend we went to York to explore what it has to offer for the vintage and antique fan. I teamed up with Hotel Indigo as part of their #WeekendAdventures campaign highlighting that you don’t need to go to Europe to explore a great city as we have some amazing ones on our doorsteps. This is something that I have been mindful of recently; when I went to speak at The Fashion and Textile Museum last month, exploring our capital beforehand reminded me that we have some really great cities, full of great bars, shops, markets, cafes and museums. And Vintage York is no different and is a great place to go for a weekend.
First about the hotel. What we loved the most about the boutique hotel, apart from the great customer service we received, was its position within the city walls. Situated on Walmsgate, at the end of Fossgate, the area is near to great bars and restaurants so on arrival on Friday evening we found great ale for Adam and mocktails for me as well as some great vegan fodder. This really helps as often when you arrive to a city, you have to wonder around for hours looking for somewhere good to eat (something we did for ages in Barcelona!).
The hotel has vintage touches throughout mixed in with its urban boutique feel. Lights made from colanders, photos of the city decades ago in collages on the walls and battered leather chairs; it was stylish without being stuffy. Vintage props lined the shelves in the restaurant, where we ate on Saturday night. And those chairs were so comfy after a day’s vintage shopping!
There are not hundreds of vintage shops in York (unlike Leeds) but the quality of them is high. We first went to Expressions which is packed to the rafters with American vintage such as baseball tops and Converse. There was not much for me really, but I still managed to buy 2 vintage dresses from their £5 rail. Adam bought three shirts too for £30 – so it is definitely good value!
Next up is Bowler Vintage on Fossgate which has two floors of authentic vintage as well as vintage reproduction. This is the place to get your authentic vintage evening dresses and hats; and look at the lampshades!
My favourite was probably the York Antique Centre, with a variety of different dealers selling their wares from cabinets. Downstairs there is a vintage shop packed full of retro fashion and accessories – there was so many nice pieces of Bakelite jewellery that I was spoilt for choice!
We both loved Chinese Laundry – with its orange lights, fantastic branding, vintage toys display and yet more shirts for Adam. The team there were great and made us feel most welcome. Don’t expect a 1950s frock here, but it is full of cool reworked designs and on trend pieces.
Lastly, we visited Dog and Bone Vintage, which was great for Adam – I lost him trying on lumberjack jackets for what felt like hours! Again, more student, cooler vintage, but I did love their sequined rail downstairs.
One of the best things if you love the past, was the York Castle Museum. They have permanent exhibitions which you will love such as the Victorian High Street shops which are such an eye opener as to how it was in the past (pretty dark!) and also the Shaping The Body exhibition all about vintage lingerie and how our bodies have changed over the years. When you see the size of the shoes and corsets worn over 150 years ago you won’t believe we were ever that tiny!
Also, there was a Vivienne Westwood shoe exhibition (I wanted them all!) and also a 1960s exhibition where I was found drooling over Biba clothes! York is such a pretty city, with lovely independent shops as well as old, old houses.
We found a Summer Festival at York Minster where we enjoyed a drink under a tipi – it is the kind of city where you will stumble on interesting things to see and do around every corner. Such as the new urban pop up Spark, home of (new) York – bars, indie shops and street food. It made me wish we had something like this where we live! It was so busy and clearly the place to hang out on a Saturday early evening – and it is so near to the hotel too!
Sunday morning, we got up early for the Shambles Market – I believe there is a vintage market there once a month but alas not on our Sunday! We really loved wondering around the streets before it all opened and peering through the shop windows as of course it can get very busy later on.
A huge thanks to Hotel Indigo for looking after us and for our York adventure. And the best bit is we have teamed up to offer you all 20% off a city break for the rest of the year – which you can get here.
This is a brand collaboration with Hotel Indigo but as always, all thoughts are my own and true. Please check out my Disclaimer for more info