AN HISTORIC hotel in the heart of York has created an outdoor bar within its walled gardens to welcome back guests.

Grays Court, in the shadow of York Minster, hopes to provide an English country garden experience to help people relax post-lockdown.

The townhouse hotel which has been closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus crisis is one of the many bars, pubs and restaurants reopening from Saturday, July 4.

Helen Herary, owner of the multi-award-winning hotel, said: “Service is at the heart of what we do at Grays Court and I can’t wait to welcome guests back to experience our new Garden Bar.

“People need somewhere to relax and where better than in an English country garden, in the heart of the city. With our views of York’s stunning city walls and the beauty of Grays Court itself guests are sure to have an exceptional experience during a summer like no other.”

The launch comes 11 years after Grays Court opened its Long Gallery to guests for the first time on July 4, 2009.

This new venture, The Garden Bar at Grays Court, will be open from 12pm to 8pm daily, weather permitting.

It will offer a selection of drinks, including specially-crafted cocktails using ingredients sourced directly from the garden.

The safety and enjoyment of both guests and staff have been a key consideration for the hotel team.

New measures have been introduced including a new entrance to the walled garden via the gates in the courtyard along with new directional signage across the site.

The social distancing measures include a queuing system for the bar and the installation of plastic screens.

The Press Love Local Business campaign was launched as non-essential shops and businesses reopened on June 15, and aims to feature the work being done in and around York to restore confidence among consumers, residents and visitors.

It is also shining a light on local businesses as they take steps to get back on their feet and recover.

“We have taken the safety arrangements seriously, whilst ensuring we maintain our award-winning service standards,” said Helen.

“This is a fine balance but we are committed to offering the best experience and guests can discover everything we have put in place via our website. We will be continuing to monitor these measures and ensure that we are following the latest guidance from the government.

“This is the first step in the full reopening; we expect to open our doors on July 17 when we can once again welcome our resident guests to stay in one of the 12 luxury rooms.”

*Love Local Business is sponsored by The York BID and NFU Mutual. To share your business story in the campaign, email details of what you are doing to Business Editor Nadia Jefferson-Brown at