Up until now Harrogate has always been a place I remember from when my family and I used to make the yearly trek over the Pennines to visit the British Bridal Exhibition (for work).
It was only recently that I got the chance to venture out and about in the town centre, now that hubby Mo spends a lot of time there for work.
We took a drive down the M62 to attend his lovely boss’s Christmas party on Boxing Day and decided it was the perfect opportunity to stay the night and indulge in a leisurely stroll through the town centre the next day.
Here’s a quick glance over some of the things we got up to on our day trip:
Our hotel was located in the Montpellier quarter of the town, which was perfect for us to be able to wander out on foot.
Just as we walked out through the manicured patches of grass, we were right on Montpellier hill. Where at the top, Pier head, you’ll find the Pétanque installation. It’s basically boules for those who know it, and for those that don’t, well this is a public facility so it’s a great opportunity to throw yourself in and give it a go (don’t worry there’s instructions).
This Victorian town is home to some northern shopping greats (such as Hoopers) and plenty of small boutique stores.
We spent most of our time window shopping, only stopping once to explore the wonderfully large Farrahs of Harrogate sweet shop, which is great place to nosey round. It’s basically a super-fancy version of the penny sweet shops we used to run to as kids (definitely not penny-sweets anymore).
As Mo lost himself amidst the fudge and homemade jams, I fell in love with the Yorkshire inspired products towards the back of the shop, perfect for gifts!
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know by now that Mo and I have a real thing for a top quality breakfast and Harrogate does not disappoint in this department. Most people would probably head over to the ever so famous Betty’s, but we found ourselves a neat little Swedish-inspired café to test out, Blatzersens.
It was like walking into an IKEA showroom, with all the right smells of a typical Stockholm bakery.
For those with dietary issues like me, there are plenty of gluten and dairy free options too. We went all out, my favourite was the fancy Scandinavian egg and chips that Mo had and the Egyptian mint tea I ordered was divine.
Not only would we go back, but we would definitely be up for trying there sister restaurant, Norse, for dinner next time we’re both in town.
Mo had stayed at the White Hart Hotel before and he knew straight away we would be booking to stay there again. Perfectly located for those who want to explore the town centre, car park onsite, lovely staff and all the comforts you would expect from a four star hotel.
It’s a grand looking building, Georgian I believe, the interior décor is far from old fashioned though. Everything inside has been maintained to the highest standard. There’s free wifi (that really should be a given these days) and I can only assume this a popular haunt for weddings as they even have a salon on site.
Not only does the White Hart have a two AA Rosette restaurant, but it houses the Fat Badger, one of the busiest restaurant/bars I’ve seen in a long time.
We grabbed a quick drink in there whilst our room was being prepared (reception kindly arranged these free of charge to apologise for the wait). The Fat Badger is very much full of badgers. Stuffed ones. So if you’re not a fan of taxidermy – you really don’t want to walk in here. If you’re not bothered, you should definitely pop in to witness the quirkiness on offer in this dining space. Your eyes will not stop wandering.
We had such a lovely time in Harrogate. One of those perfect winter days, the sun was out, the air was chilly and the company was the best 🙂
Definitely up there with one of my favourite Yorkshire memories.
With Mo travelling there on a regular basis I’m always keen to look out for new places to see, eat, stay – recommendations??