pickledgarlicMember since 04 Apr 2009
This was my first visit to York Dungeons and I found it much more intimate and less 'Disney' than I expected. There are exhibits and written explanations on the walls, but as you walk a dark and winding passage from room to room, the experience is mainly dependent on the actors. Fortunately they have a fantastic crew of guys/gals who put maximum effort into playing characters from the past, particularly on our trip, the female judge in the courtroom, who had good mastery of adlib wit. One word of warning, there's plenty of interaction between visitor and actor, so don't go if you're highly sensitive or can't take a bit of ribbing.
Suspense is built up nicely and by the end all of us were looking over our shoulders nervously. The gift shop is small and appropriate, and there's also an opportunity to buy a posed photo in the stocks. Entrance was £14 per adult, but if you book online it's a third cheaper, and then you get priority entrance avoiding the queue.
By the way, during the visit, 3 different small children were led out crying. The dungeons don't recommend it for youngsters - the real actors and the closeness make it much more realistic than any film. Second, there's no reminder to turn off mobile phones, which there should be, because a couple of people in our group got text messages in the middle of a suspenseful tale in the dark, and it really does spoil the atmosphere.
The place is well-lit and very busy, which is not surprising considering it sits between two shopping centres and next to Debenhams. There is a constant stream of people popping in - a mix of shoppers, hard-working folk on dinner-breaks and pensioners. Many are regulars. No room for prams, but there's a cubby-hole for fold-up buggies, and there are coat pegs down one side. No toilets inside, you have to go out onto the street and down an alley to the back of the building.
Portions are generous. Plenty of bacon in the sandwiches, lots of flavour in the grills. And a pot of tea and a scone with jam will set you back a mere £2.10. What value for money. You can't pay with a card, but at those prices that surely doesn't matter.
The deep-fried cheese balls are excellent (formaggio fritto) as are the sharing platters - a mix of buffalo wings, ribs, mushrooms, dips and fresh mini-sticks of garlic bread. The spicy king prawn linguine was tasty and just the right amount of heat although I would have appreciated some kind of green leafiness with it. There is a varied choice of pizzas from the usual favourites, with the ability to add toppings of your own choice, to the less common smoked salmon and asparagus with mascarpone, for those who are bored with the same old same old.
My apple torte was a delight although as a chocolate lover, I nearly went for the Godfather, described on the menu as 'chocolate fudge brownies, vanilla and toffee ice cream with chocolate crunch, chocolate sauce and fresh cream'. How glad I was that I didn't!. One in the party did, and when it came it was topped by a humongous pile of whipped cream and looked simply like a cream-fest.
Without drinks, our 3 course meals averaged £20 per head. I'd be happy to go back to this place anytime.
On their 2008 food inspection they got a B so obviously things have improved hygiene-wise since their earlier poor rating. The menu is tempting, but often the food has not lived up to expectations, being under- or over-cooked or simply lacking in taste. I tend to agree with the previous reviewer - Pave has lost its heart.
Second drawback; you can't pay with a credit or debit card.
That said, we were glad we didn't go anywhere else as this buffet-style restaurant was just the thing. A charming, period building just off High Street in the old town of Hull, the atmosphere is lively and relaxed at the same time with a good mix of ages and types.
The price is per head, which is great for hearty eaters: once you've cleared your plate you can go back for second helpings (or even third!). The variety of dishes is impressive and the quality excellent. Friendly service from everyone and they are accommodating of dietary restrictions - one of our party was vegan and was clearly directed to certain dishes and very happy to have dairy-free ice cream for dessert. You can bring your own choice of wine or order from their bar.
It's now the first place we think of for a celebration, and the thrill of being the first to book and so, choosing the Theme for the whole restaurant, gives added novelty to a night out.