I’m not going to start this post by lying.
23 shipping containers, in York? Huh? I wasn’t too sure I liked the sound of it when it was first announced, but it certainly sounded intriguing and something different for York. Then I found out where it would be – well come on Piccadilly needed something new and was so neglected. I spent a joyous 3 years working in the ‘delightful‘ Ryedale Building back in the late 1990’s so I was fully aware what an eye sore it was – do you remember the old laser quest building? *Shudders*
The City of York Council wanted a temporary project to bring vitality and vision to this neglected area of the City and Spark:York certainly delivers that.
- It’s different – you feel like you are somewhere totally new, and not in York (in a good way, which is funny as I was worried it wouldn’t fit in with historic old York). I felt a bit like I was on holiday somewhere in Europe on my first visit and it really does feel like a small community.
- It’s unique – I am not sure there is anywhere quite like it? I go to Bristol a lot and there is an area by the docks that has a similar feel but it’s not quite as rustic and self-contained as Spark.
- It’s welcoming – on my first visit I was worried it would be a bit too trendy for us. I am not saying we’re old (well it starts with a 4!) but on our first visit on a Thursday evening the crowds were mixed from 60+ year olds to students.
- It’s family friendly – yep, the 5-year-old loves it, although for some reason calls it Spork. I love it as there are plenty of seats outside (no need to worry about the dropped crumbs), you can all have something different to eat (sadly she’s not a lover of spice just yet) and the food arrives quickly – what a win (mummy is my lunch ready yet???)
- Last but not least, the selection of food & drink options – it’s crammed full of exciting ‘street food’ style vendors and friendly bars – so many in fact we’ve not worked our way through them all just yet…
So here’s where we have tried so far…
Well I have wanted to try this for AGES having followed their instagram account and basically drooled over the food pictures. Before I set off I was keen to try the ‘No Rules Ramen’ but the day we visited it was quite warm, so I thought the Bao buns would be a better choice. I went for one pork and one beef, and wow were they delicious – I could probably have eaten about ten. The crispy additions (peanuts in the beef and onions in the pork) work really well with the soft buns. I need to return to try the Ramen soon!
Ok, so I only got a little taste of this one, as yes she ate ALL that, but the vegan hotdog (with ketchup no mustard – apparently that’s ‘yukky’) was really tasty. And not once was it questioned that it wasn’t a ‘real sausage’ and believe me she is an expert! Also sampled was a vegan kebab, which was also superb and impossible to tell it was vegan – how do they do it? Amazing!
Cuckoo Brewery Spark
Mmm beer – what’s not to love about local beer, outside in the sun and paired with your choice of delicious food!
Another fabulous instgram account, this time for when you need your sugar fix. I don’t normally go for puddings but as I was with the 5-year-old, who is unable to walk past chocolate without asking for some it only seemed right to share. This freshly made before our eyes waffle was AMAZING! Light & fluffy and totally smothered in Nutella (approximately half a jar!) and whipped cream. In all honesty I was quite sad to be sharing it but I did the decent thing and let her have a few spoonfuls 😀.
This friendly bar upstairs has heaps of outside seating and (if it’s raining) a few tables/booths inside. It offers a great choice of drinks and we love visiting for a pre or post-dinner drink – we have yet to do both but I am sure we will over the summer.
Spark is going to be in York only until June 2020, but we certainly hope it’s there for much longer. If you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for? Go, go NOW! It’s a pick and mix of foodie friends delights!
Jane ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cand ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spark:York details: www.sparkyork.org