The Dean Court Hotel has an enviable position in the heart of the history book of a city that is York, England. Surrounded by a host of sights and delights to entertain the visitor, this boutique-style hotel is the ideal place to stay for business or leisure.
Dating back to 1865, the hotel was originally three separate dwellings which housed the clergy of the Minster and has a sign of a set of crossed keys on a wall which represent the keys to heaven given to St. Peter.
From the outside, the Dean Court looks like a rather grand 19th-century family home with its imposing wine colored brick facade. Despite all the history though it is flushed with youth and promise, particularly since a few years ago a major refurbishment transformed the interior. Now regarded as York's trendiest boutique-style hotel, it has gathered numerous awards including AA Rosette Awards each year from 1997, an Excellence Through People accreditation and Romantic Hotel of the Year award. All well deserved too, as we discovered when visiting recently.
Our room, a tranquil haven with four poster bed, muted color scheme and lamps aplenty faces onto the front of the building with excellent views of the Minster. It has a comfortable sofa, armchairs made for lounging in, coffee tables, plenty of wardrobe space, flat screen TV, an array of lighting options and generous tea and coffee making facilities.
A compact bathroom manages to squeeze in a bath with powerful shower attachment and an abundance of towels and bathrobes, swish Molton Brown toiletries, separate magnifying mirror just in case you want to get a really close look at yourself and all the other bits that a guest would need.
The elegant award winning restaurant, D.C.H offers food which is definitely moreish. Dinner might begin with starters like feta cheese and chive tart with sunblush tomatoes and micro herbs or perhaps pork and black truffle pressing with pickled seasonal vegetables and homemade warm soda bread. Bold main courses impress and include sturdy dishes like roast studded pork with cherry compote and sage and onion sauce or gravadlax of organic salmon in a gin and juniper marinade.
Puddings here are as sweet and fattening as they should be, like the ditch-the-diet typically British hot sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream or a tastebud cleansing classic lemon tart with candied lemons and lemon sorbet. Sourcing is impeccable too; mainly local suppliers are responsible for the food on your plate. Fresh fish is from sustainable sources and most of the game and meat is reared in Yorkshire.
The wine list offers a decent collection by the bottle or glass. There is a cracking selection of beers, liqueurs and spirits too. Plucking out highlights is difficult, but the powerfully intense Claret, Chateau Tour St Bonnet, catches the eye, as does the Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose Reserve champers, though it is probably something to quaff on special occasions.
The ground floor Court Cafe and Bar is ideal for light snacks or Champagne cream teas which are served with cucumber sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, cake and pots of tea.
Dean Court Hotel easily blends elegance and charm with tradition and comfort and is a great base for exploring York and surrounding area. What's more, although oozing quiet sophistication and quality, it is welcoming without the slightest hint of stuffiness.