History About us
La Vecchia Scuola – Esperienza di Qualita
The excellent standard of our service matches the exquisite standard of our food. And what about the view? Well… it simply takes your breath away. So come in. Unwind. Have a coffee and a bite. Enjoy a lunch (long or light!) or visit us in the evening and take time to sample our laid-back ambience, live music and diverse and distinctive menus. Our exciting, inventive and varied menus have been especially created by our experienced staff, and are La Vecchia Scuola’s distinguishing – and distinguished – culinary feature. We believe in serving only the very best in contemporary Italian cooking. Add to this a spectacular dessert menu, plus a list of fine wines from our cellar, and a selection of beers and spirits from the bar, and you have an unrivalled and relaxed italian dining experience.
History of La Vecchia Scuola
If La Vecchia Scuola’s walls could talk they would have incredible tales to tell! That’s because our opulent restaurant is set in a 300-year-old building with a dynamic and colourful history.
Before it became La Vecchia Scuola, 62 Low Petergate was the address of York College for Girls; before that it was a doctor’s residence; and before that it was the house of a lawyer who worked for the Church of England. And going right back to Roman times, a fortress stood on this very spot! Throughout the 20th century, York College for Girls – which opened in 1908 – was responsible for educating some of the most important women in Britain, including, famously, Dame Janet Baker, the internationally renowned mezzo soprano (the college was noted for its excellent music department). Ranked the top school in York, the College has many famous former pupils including doctors, solicitors and university lecturers.
Back in the College days, La Vecchia Scuola’s main pillared entrance was used exclusively by teachers and parents – pupils were entered via a door at the back of the building. But in the mid-1990s, Erica Taylor, the last Headmistress, made the green door the main school entrance for all.
The bar area to the right of the main door was once the Headmistress’ study; and the area to the left was a visitors’ waiting room. Every lunchtime, the dining area would be alive with chatter, because this was the culinary heart of York College for Girls: the school refectory! The landscaped gardens, meanwhile, used to be the College playground – a tarmaced area for volleyball and games use.
In the restaurant area, reception and waiting area you will find various items of school memorabilia, including photos, records, cuttings and even books written by former pupils. La Vecchia Sculoa is a tribute to a vibrant past.