Somewhere everyone had been telling me to go in York was Stanley & Ramona, slightly off the beaten track on Bishopthorpe Road, outside the city walls and a whole 15-minute walk from the city centre. Stanley & Ramona’s run by a lovely couple, disappointingly called Lee and Lucy, although they do redeem themselves by having alliterative names, which always gets bonus points.
Stanley & Ramona is a small spot, where the outside seating (four two-person tables) outnumbers the inside seating (benches along the window and by the counter). This makes for a very cosy atmosphere where you are somewhat obliged to talk with Lee & Lucy. Fortunately they are excellent company, although they did spend most of my visit insulting the other customers.
Somewhere along the line there is coffee, from Cornwall’s Origin on espresso and from various guests on filter through the Chemex. There’s also a decent breakfast/lunch menu.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Bishopthorpe Road is a lovely corner of York, away from the more tourist-focused centre. It is lined with local shops, including a greengrocers, butchers and delicatessen. Lee & Lucy opened Stanley & Ramona exactly three years ago, having looked for a while for a location for a coffee shop. However, they also wanted to do groceries, something along the lines of Maida Vale’s sadly-missed The Dry Goods Store. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the right premises and when a little shop became available on the corner of Vine Street, they went for it, opening Stanley & Ramona. Three years later it’s still going strong, because, as Lee and Lucy put it, they’re enjoying themselves far too much.
From the outside, Stanley & Ramona is postcard-pretty, a neatly-painted corner shop at the end of a brick-built terrace, with a small outside seating area separated from the street by a low, wooden fence. This holds four two-person tables and would have been ideal had it not been raining. There’s a large window on the left, running almost the full width of the store, and a slightly recessed glass door on the right.
Inside, Stanley & Ramona is dominated by the counter which occupies the corner opposite the door. There’s just enough space for a bench along the window, with bright yellow or blue stools acting as tables, while there’s a corner bench seat which runs about half way along the right-hand wall and then fits in the gap in the back wall left by the counter. You might be able to squeeze eight people in, as long as everyone really knew each other well.
While I was there, everyone did seem to know everyone else, making it rather like popping around to Lee & Lucy’s house for a cuppa and a bit of banter. Even Russ and Rebecca (another alliterative couple who run Kiosk: Project Space) popped in on their day off for their morning coffee. Talking of which, I had a lovely flat white using a Nicaraguan Los Altos from Origin (although it was just about to be switched to a Colombian San Fermin).
My flat white was served at the perfect drinking temperature and was very smooth and sweet, with light, fruity notes. I was there for breakfast and my eyes fixed on the sourdough toast. I maintain that Lucy went to the bakers to fetch a fresh loaf for me, but she shattered the illusion by confessing that she’d just fished it out of the freezer. Regardless of the precise origin of my bread, my toast was excellent and very crunchy.
I stayed long enough to have a Chemex of the guest filter, which I utterly failed to make any notes about, although I do remember enjoying it. I also had an excellent hazelnut and plum sticky bun which had elevenses written all over it.
February 2022: Lee & Lucy have moved on, and in their place, Val & Emma now run Stanley & Ramona, although I’m not sure when the handover took place.
|30A BISHOPTHORPE ROAD • YORK • YO23 1JJ|
|+44 (0) 1904 659166|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Origin (espresso) + Guests (filter)|
|Tuesday||CLOSED||Seating||Benches, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 15:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 15:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 15:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:30 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:30 – 15:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||7th December 2016|
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