New York Minster Refectory restaurant reveals ‘local, seasonal food’ will be central to menu

Ms Toppin and her partner Will Pearce have already set up a successful business in their Bishopthorpe Road, Robinsons Cafe, which aims to provide affordable services

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The same qualities are set to define the cathedral’s new refectory-style café-restaurant accessible to all, due to open later this year.

Bex Toppin and Will Pearce.

Ms Toppin said: ‘Food in the Minster Refectory restaurant will be sourced locally as much as possible.

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“The idea is simple: let all the high-quality ingredients shine through, without fuss. If the ingredients are good, you don’t need to do the same with the food.”

“We really want to continue to focus on local, good quality and seasonal dishes at the Refectory Restaurant,” she added.

The main ground floor lobby restaurant is expected to have a capacity of over 60 seats with breakfast and lunch options and evening menus; and smaller private reception rooms and dining rooms upstairs.

“Upstairs has stunning views of the cathedral which will be amazing for special occasions,” Ms Toppin said.

A spokesperson said: “Bex, who is originally from Darlington, started as a trainee chef in 2007 at Raymond Blanc’s two-star Michelin, Oxfordshire Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison.

“She worked for two years under Chef Kerry Atkinson at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham, where she met Will, who was running past the house.

“They moved to the Channel Islands together, working with head chef Saun Rankin in Ormer Jersey, where, with Bex in the kitchen and Will as assistant restaurant manager, they achieved a Michelin star after just four months. eventually decided to open their own in the North, and after working at Yorebridge House in the Yorkshire Dales, they launched Robinsons in York in 2016.”

The Refectory restaurant development team also includes The Star Group of Restaurants, GEM Construction (York) Ltd. and Rachel McLane Ltd.

A spokesperson said: ‘Plans for the new Refectory restaurant remain subject to final planning clearance under a ‘subject to contract’ agreement as York Minster, Gem Construction and The Star Group of Companies work in partnership to finalize contractual agreements.

“This follows the unanimous resolution of York City Council’s Planning Committee to grant planning permission for a new dining hall restaurant on the site of the former Minster School.”

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