The Bar Convent

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Address: 17 Blossom Street, York, YO24 1AQ, England

Star rating:

3.8

More than just a truly unique place to stay, this is the oldest living convent in England.

Immediately drop any preconceptions you might have, this is a warm, charming and fascinating place to spend a night or two. Dating back to the 1760’s, I was taken on a tour of this unique, Grade I listed building by the charming and enthusiastic general manager. Aside from guest rooms, there’s a chapel, museum, archives room, shop, lovely garden and very attractive cafe at the heart of it all.

Location
4
90%
Eating/drinking
3.9
90%
Leisure facilities
n/a
90%
Service
4.4
90%
Value for money
4.2
90%
Bedrooms
3.5
90%
Public areas
4.3
90%

Location

Just outside the western city walls, I can walk to the heart of York in less than 8 minutes and railway station in even less time. There is also public parking just around the corner on Nunnery Lane.

Bedrooms

Named after saints, I saw a choice of the 18 single, twin, double, and family guest rooms on offer. Many were of a good, if basic standard though some admittedly perhaps did need a little attention to the details (an issue not missed by the manager). Most were not En suite, but facilities are close at hand and each came with its own wash basin. There’s also lift covering all three floors.

Public areas

The cafe is an absolute treat in every sense, a bright, beautifully decorated room with glass ceiling and splendid tiled floors. There are antiques, clocks and plants everywhere all reminiscent of a 1930’s tea dance setting and when the weather is behaving, there’s a lovely walled garden just beyond. Meet with other guests in the TV lounge and games room or make use of the laundry and kitchen facilities and choice of meeting and events rooms with all the latest in media technology.

Eating and drinking

The very affordable cafe is open Monday to Saturday for a good choice of breakfasts, lunches and afternoon tea with most of the baking done on the premises. Hot drinks are all Fair Trade and sourced locally, eggs are free range and there's a choice of vegetarian and gluten free option. A  small bar is available, albeit with limited stock and opening times, but help is at hand with a buffet of eating and drinking choices surrounding the convent.

Leisure facilities

Leisure or study there’s plenty here alone to keep you occupied amongst the museum, library and gift shop before heading off into the city. Not all rooms have television, but there is a TV lounge and games room.

Service

Hosts are warm and attentive reminding of a stay with a kindly aunt.

Who stays there

Families, couples and singles on leisure visits, students, academics, small groups are all drawn here by the prices and historic interest.

Price advice

Priced on a room only basis, costs vary according to choice of room and whether there are En Suite facilities. Factor in a very reasonable £5.75 for a full English breakfast.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • High-Speed Internet

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Singles
  • Education
  • Sightseeing
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Unique and historic
  • Good location
  • A little TLC needed in some rooms
  • Limited en suite
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