Thursday, 18 March 2010If you read yesterday's post, you'll have seen that I was all dressed up with somewhere to go. I was off out for a joint birthday party with my lovely friend, Jenny. Both our birthdays are this week, so it has made sense, for the past few years, that we split the difference and do a joint thing between the two days.
So off we went to Sanctuary. Now, this really is one of my favourite restaurants in York. It has been for a while now, since I went there for another friend's birthday a couple of years ago. It's a very quirky little place. And when I say little, it's because well, it is. You can't fit a huge number of people in there. But whilst in a lot of other places this might seem like a bad thing, here it seems like nothing of the sort. Full of candles, beautiful flowers and soft lights, it reminds me of being in someone's home. Which I think the building may have been at some point in the past. It wasn't really practical last night, but I know in the summer, there's a lovely garden out the back as well, where you can sit and eat.
The whole place feels very welcoming, as are the staff. I'd rung up in advance to arrange the whole thing, and they were nothing but accommodating throughout. We changed the numbers? Not a problem. I remembered two of our party were dairy-free? Didn't even faze them. Another dessert is added to the menu (since we were ordering in advance), and all the dairy-free options are marked on the menu. And whilst we're on the subject of the menu, I can't praise the food highly enough. And that is rather important when we're talking about a restaurant, naturally!
They'd put together a party menu for us, with two courses for just under £15.00, and three courses for just under £19.00. Hey, this was a birthday celebration (and I LOVE their food), so I decided to suck it up and ordered three. Tempura battered tiger prawns with sweet chilli jam. Supreme of chicken, wrapped in Parma ham on a thyme risotto. And a chocolate brownie with handmade praline and pecan ice cream. Oh yes, it was WONDERFUL.
But what was the best part of the evening for me? Well, I'm having some rather botched attempts at trying to carb count at the moment. I'd decided to split my injection, and do a second one before I had my dessert. I had my ever faithful Collins Gem Carb Counter with me, but of course, I didn't know the weight of the brownie. So I went up and asked. I told them that I knew it was a bit of a weird request, but did they know how much it weighed? Apparently yes, it was a bit of a weird question, but as soon as I'd explained that I was a type 1 diabetic, and I was trying to work out how much insulin to take to cover it, a light clearly came on. It wasn't a problem, they could go and weigh it for me. Was there a certain weight that I wanted? Was there anything else I'd like to know about the recipe?
My WORD. That was so utterly refreshing, that I don't think I took a grin off my face for a good half an hour. I went and sat back down, and someone came over and told me the weight, and when I was actually served, they'd made a note which one was for me, so that I was certain to get the right facts. Finding a restaurant that is willing to accommodate your requests, and understands that you're not just being picky or awkward is wonderful!
Oh, and the Diet Coke is definitely diet. And if you ever have a problem with a drink, they'll most certainly change it. I went there once when there had been a problem with the line, and the drink had separated the fizz from the flavour, or something to that end. Swapped with an apology the moment I brought it up. That's service for you.
Oh, and the food is local. Much of it is organic. Lots of stuff is FairTrade. In a word, I love this place. I very much recommend that you go there if you're ANYWHERE nearby. Sanctuary by name, also very much sanctuary by nature. I promise you won't be disappointed!