York Coffee: The Perky Peacock

York is one of those places that suits everyone. It’s historical, touristy, quirky and studenty all at once. It’s even better for hidden gems of the coffee variety. We’ve become quite the York lovers over the years and added together with our love for coffee, cake and artisan foods we thought it was a no brainer to share our knowledge with you.


Perky Peacock at Lendal Bridge.

One of our all time favourites is The Perky Peacock. Perky is in two locations, one in the tower at Lendal Bridge (blink and you’ll miss it) and the other on Gillygate very close to York St. John Uni. It’s all ran by the wonderful Nicola Peacock and her fantastic team. Nicola knows all there is to know about the food and coffee they sell and can put together an excellent bacon butty on Via Vecchia’s cheese bread. The coffee comes from Origin Coffee Roasters and no matter who makes your drink the coffee is wonderful. All food products are baked freshly every day and sourced locally which should keep everyone visiting York very happy. If you manage to get to the Lendal Bridge one early enough you’ll find yourself being led there by the smell of bacon.

The team put together a great range of sandwiches everyday and the shop at Gillygate do wonderful warm sandwiches and platters to suit everyone’s tastes. The bread PerkyIMG_1553 uses is an art form by itself, none of this plastic bread or stuff that looks rustic, all the bread is supplied by the guys at Via Vecchia so is artisan to the very core and is literally produced 2 minutes away from both shops on the Shambles. Bluebird Bakery also have some input with their temptingly gooey brownies. Honestly you’ll have to take one home. Both sites are completely different to each other but still a great place to chill out with a lovingly made coffee and a slab of cake. The ranges of cakes they have everyday is amazing and their NobHobs rival the Mcvities version.

In Cat’s uni days Nicola even made porridge with marshmallows along with a hot chocolate with marshmallows. Unforgettable really. If you have a take out drink from Perky take a look at the cup and try not to smile.

Things to most definitely try: Bacon butty on cheese bread and a flat white.

Things to look out for: Any cakes that catch your eye and the awesome tote bags. Help promote Perky Peacock! Oh and watch out for the rising water line when it rains badly at Lendal Bridge.


November: Dracula, Classic Horror and Vivien Leigh

I was looking through my Simon’s Cat diary and was quite pleased by what’s coming up over the next month. We thought it was our duty to fill you in on all the goodies that we have to look forward to.


Friday 25th October brings Dracula to US screens. This version looks sinfully brilliant with the very pretty Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing Dracula (We drooled and squealed so much when this was announced.) Meyers is a great choice for Dracula and after seeing him a few times in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones I think he’ll pull the sexy supernatural role off very well. The trailer also looks quite amazing. I’m hoping it lives up to expectations as there seems to be a few gothic style TV Shows airing this fall/ autumn. Sleepy Hollow and Witches of East End to name a few. British fans will recognise Katie McGrath who played Morgana in BBC’s Merlin, in Dracula she plays Lucy. The 10 episode show airs in the UK on Sky Living on 31st October. This means we’ll be in for a ghoulishly good Halloween Night.

Where Horror films are concerned there’s a great film event you need to look out for at Independent cinemas. The event creatively titled Gothic: The Dark Artelsa-lanchester-bride-of-frankenstein-c10102251-1_7942 of Film runs fully at BFI London where they are showing a huge selection of old and classic horror films. Think Nosferatu Symphony of Horror, Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee Draculas and The Bride Of Frankenstein and you’re definitely on the right lines. After some checking at my local cinemas (Showroom Sheffield and City Screen York) we’ve found out that they are also showing selected films (YAY!) Obviously they don’t have the full selection but they do have some corkers. This Sunday I’ll be in York to see Nosferatu in all it’s silent glory. Showroom are running Gothic well into December so people of Yorkshire you have no excuse to miss classic horror!


For all the films in Gothic: The Dark Art of Film visit BFI: http://www.bfi.org.uk/gothic

Vivien_Leigh_BFI5th November marks Vivien Leigh’s 100th Birthday. Me and Cat are big lovers of this golden starlet and so are making the effort to make her birthday as big as can be. BFI Southbank are also celebrating by showing her films until January 2014. They’re showing classics like Gone With The Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire along with Waterloo Bridge and The Deep Blue Sea. Keep an eye out because there’s also a few talks taking place at BFI, National Portrait Gallery (with none other than Kendra Bean, Exciting!) and one at V&A Museum on 13th November. I’m very much looking forward to all these. Those who are free on Saturday 16th or Monday 18th November can also buy tickets to have a sneak peek in the V&A archives which now contain some of Ms. Leigh’s clothing and personal affects. What a perfect month November will be!

For a more detailed list on Vivien Leigh talks and events visit http://www.vivandlarry.com This site is basically all you need for everything Vivien. It’s ran by Kendra Bean. All screening times are available here: BFI Vivien Leigh showtimes


As you’ve been warned we will be contributing lots on Vivien Leigh throughout November. It’s our way of showing our love and appreciation. You’re welcome to get involved too!

This Is Who We Are Art Exhibition @ York St. John University & School House Gallery, York

This Is Who We Are is the graduate show of York St John Fine Arts students. The art exhibition is part of the Create13 umbrella which includes media, performance etc. The 28 art students involved all have individual styles that … Continue reading

Exhibition, Behind the Scenes- “This Is Who We Are.”

So, it’s ok showing up to an exhibition on opening day looking at art then leaving. Artists appreciate that you have made the effort to get out and look at their art. Has anyone considered the effort that goes into organising this exhibition?


York St John University degree show- Create 13 or as we have named it, “This is Who we are,” Is a month away -I’ll put details of that later-. In exhibition time, you probably won’t be able to see the mayhem and- in some cases misery (The class may be awesome at art but not every piece of work we create, will be seen as, “Perfect,” Also the amount of tutorials and crits- yes we have to sign up to get our work reviewed and the tutors and the class try to tell the honest truth- puts us through our paces.)

We started this semester end of January, we have been timetabled in for weekly tutorials, three crits- we actually had our second crit session this week, 3 official exhibition meetings. Overall, since January we have been given around 12/13 term time weeks to create a super fantastic understandable, “Appropriate,*” Piece of work for the exhibition.

*I say appropriate, art can be made to insult people etc but under university rules they could have some problems.

That’s the art.


The Exhibition.

The first thing what officially started the run up to this exhibition was choosing the name. It took a few weeks to finally vote that this exhibition would be called, “This is who we are.” It was a majority vote, so I doubt everyone is happy with it but we are stuck with it… I guess the comfort is the exhibition can also be referred to, “Create 13.”

If you go to an exhibition you’ll find everything is laid out in order, so you can get around, or in some cases though it. Video art and art that involves primarily lights(- e.g one artist in our group likes experimenting in UV), of course it might be best if it is in a dark room, and if your gallery space doesn’t have a dark room, or the dark room isn’t big enough… Case we have at YSJ there is one black room, there are 30/29 of us in this exhibition and as contemporary artists lights and video art is bound to be something a few of us would be interested in- e.g. I know at least one artist in the exhibition who has been working at videos on the Macs. So, a space may need to be adapted to accommodate other video art, this means walls may need to be put up and painted black, (Most galleries are painted white).

Behind the scenes, we have had to- with help from our super tech tutors and of course the super lecturers- curate where the art is going to go. Walls are going to have to be taken down, walls are going to have to be put up all to accommodate the size of the art we are creating, it’s not a case of we have all painted pictures of landscapes or stuff which can be framed and mounted on walls.

Four weeks to the exhibition most of us still don’t have a final piece yet- I’m not saying we are all panicking, we are all cool, we eat panic and stress for breakfast… I’ll do another blog post if anyone actually breaks down. The floor plan probably won’t be finalised till every one works out what they are doing. It’s not just a case of, “Ohhh you can go there, you can go there… You can go on the roof*!” *Health and Safety dictates no one is going on the roof- again I’ll do another blog post if that changes… it might be a bit insensitive though if I did a blog post if someone broke down on the roof though. Even though we are not 100% sure what the end product will be some co-ordination is needed. An Artist needs to think, if their art might clash with another artist, there are 29 -possibly 30- individual artists exhibiting in, “This is Who we are.” But a case we had in our January exhibition, “Project 26,” located in The New School House Gallery, I know my comic work could have been mixed up with another artists on the course.

We have to also think about Health and Safety. We had a exhibition meeting today where it was discussed, areas which are cornered off, need to be easy to accessed for disabled people. Just because they have a physical disability that shouldn’t be a barrier into art, art can actually help people feel better. Also emergency exits have to be thought of. The gallery needs to be easy to move though. Any future artists out there, -note putting a piece of art… or anything… which blocks a fire exit is a health and safety risk- you’ve been warned.

For this exhibition and I’m sure most exhibitions you have to complete a, “Risk Assessment,” I am not going though how to fill one out, I’ve been filling them out 2 years and I still have no idea what to put. Best asking someone who actually knows how to fill one out. But a Risk assessment is a big thing. If your art has a risk of falling off the wall, plinth etc, people need to know so a way can be found to stop this from happening. Think of it, you go into a gallery something falls on you, your not going to be happy are you? Also if your the artist and the work gets ruined, your not going to be happy are you? Shock Horror I know us doing art degrees actually have to think what we are doing! A risk assessment can be filled out multiple times- and not just because someone didn’t fill it out right the first time- changes in work can present new risks. So, us in the, “This is who we are,” Exhibition have to think about the audiences safety as well as our art.

Other things which have to be sorted out for this exhibition- yes there is more. Hospitality, well we need wine on opening night. Publicity- we need people to come to this exhibition. Invigilators- you know those people who work for the gallery and are often sitting by the art work? They actually have to do more than just sit there- I don’t mean more as in breathing and sitting they actually have jobs to do. Next week- hopefully- we will be sorting out the invigilator timetable. This is so the art work can be maintained- if it involves perfume, like one artists work did for Project 26 the invigilator will have to spray the perfume every so often, they also have the job of making sure everything is running smoothly and the audience gets the full exhibition.

The point is, more goes into an exhibition, than the art work. I haven’t even mentioned the money and resources which have to go into an exhibition. “This is who we are,” Is a degree show, we are third year university students, art is something all of us a passionate about so of course we want to put our hearts and souls into this exhibition and want the audience to see that. Chances are, especially looking at the overall personality of the class, this is is going to be a kick ass exhibition what we have put all our resources into.


Details of the Exhibition 

I know York isn’t in everyones area, but I’m sure there will be a review on this after. I do suggest you go to any degree show, it’s a chance to see up and coming talent. Plus you never know something could happen in that exhibition that person could be come famous then if the story is gossip worthy you could sell your story to some magazine.

The Link to the exhibition-


If you are too busy to click on the link, put this in your diary.

“This is Who We Are,” (Create 13)

Art Block at York St John University and The New School House Gallery, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW

Preview: 17 May 2013, 6-9 pm (both venues)

Opening times: 18 May – 1 June, Tue – Sat: 10-5 pm, Sun: 12-4 pm (both venues)

Or for more details look out on- https://twitter.com/Create_13

Or I’d be happy to help