A problem with York is that it tends to be very busy on Saturdays and somewhat rowdy. We will need to find a suitable pub. The York Tap on the station is generally a good pub but I called in there on Saturday after the SRS meeting and it was packed, even screaming babies etc. Nor does it do food. I suppose I could do some research!
I wouldn't mind an excuse to visit York as it's a while since I've been. It would be great if we could find out when they're running the old Lanky Model Railway that they used to train signalman on.
As for booking advance tickets I generally use gwr.com as they do not charge any booking fees unlike the trainline or raileasy.
I think the last time I went to York was when Grand Central were doing a special promotion for Modern Railways readers and their special offer plus a ticket from Chippenham where I live to Paddington was way cheaper than anything Cross Country could offer.