Imagine a world where ‘the death of the high street’ omen we’ve heard in many news headlines finally becomes a reality...
There would be no local shops to potter around, no cafes to catch up with friends in for a good gossip or fun activities to pass a Saturday afternoon. Ok, we might be exaggerating slightly, but something quite close to this could one day be a reality if people don’t continue to shop local and support their high street.
As you know we’re based in the stunning spa town of Harrogate and we’re very lucky that Harrogate BID is doing some amazing work to ensure people continue to visit the town and keeping it as vibrant as possible. It’s planning to invest £3million in the town centre over the next five years, increase footfall and raise the town’s profile via various marketing platforms. The bottom line is, wherever you live, there’s so much to explore on your doorstep, if you just take the time to do a little research and planning!
9am - Breakfast at Hoxton North
Why not kick off your day supporting Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter by sipping on a flat white and eating avocado on toast at Hoxton North? You’ll feel like you’re in London’s Hackney while tucking into your brekky at this trendy place, where many locals stop for their morning caffeine hit before heading to work. A great spot for people watching and providing fuel for your busy day ahead.
10am - Shop 'til you drop
During your day out in Harrogate, make sure you dedicate at least a few hours to getting lost in maze of cobbled lanes and beautiful backstreets that make up the historic Montpellier Quarter. One of the stops you must have on your list is Farrah’s, home of the Original Harrogate Toffee. Established in 1840 and recognised around the world for its distinctive blue and silver embossed tins, Farrah’s range now includes 250 different products for you to browse and of course, taste!
Once your sweet tooth has been satiated, it’s time to shop in the brilliant range of clothes boutiques you can find in this part of the town. Voted by Vogue magazine as one of Britain’s clothing stores, make sure you swing by Morgan Clare to browse garments from some fabulous designers including Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Alice McCall. Next, head to Hawico to stock up on your luxurious cashmere staples. Don’t forget to make some time to spend in James Street which has a high density of beautiful boutiques and designer shops. No day in Harrogate would be complete without a stroll along here, even if it’s just for a spot of window shopping and a cup of coffee.
2pm - Afternoon Tea at Bettys
What better time to visit the Yorkshire institution that is Bettys, right next door to our home Spirit of Harrogate, during their centenary year? It was founded by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss baker and confectioner, who opened his first café tea room in Harrogate in 1919 and named it Bettys. The reason it has this name is still a mystery to this day! Why not book in for the exquisite Lady Betty Afternoon Tea, which is served upstairs in the beautiful Imperial and Beaumont Rooms. A pianist softly plays in the background while you enjoy the delicious menu which includes an appetiser, sandwiches, scones, miniature cakes and limitless tea. You can also upgrade to having a glass of champagne if you feel so inclined!
4pm - Relax at Heal
Sipping afternoon tea at Bettys is obviously a hard task (!) so it goes without saying that your afternoon in Harrogate needs to be spent relaxing and unwinding. Heal is a modern medical and wellness spa which offers treatments such as massage, hairdressing and microblading as well as more clinical therapies like podiatry, acupuncture and chiropody. Take the opportunity to treat yourself to a one hour Himalayan Salt Massage Ritual which uses warm salt stones, a scrub and an aromatic oil massage to ease aches and pains, stimulate your metabolism and restore vitality and balance.
6pm - Master Distiller experience at Spirit of Harrogate
Your day out in Harrogate wouldn’t be complete without swinging by our Spirit of Harrogate shop to take part in our brand new Master Distiller experience. Perfect for anyone into gin, this experience not only helps you work out which type of gin suits your palette but also allows you to make your own bottle from scratch!
8pm - Dinner at a wonderful restaurant
After tasting gin (make sure you try our Slingsby Blackberry Gin with Mediterranean tonic!), it’s time to reward yourself with a delicious slap up meal. There are so many options to choose from in the Montpellier Quarter, so we’ve highlighted just a few here.
The Montpellier Quarter’s Fat Badger restaurant in the White Hart Hotel provides a casual and delicious menu within a fine dining setting. After dinner, why not sip on a cocktail in the Fat Badger pub which is brimming with traditional charm, and toast yourself for a brilliant day shopping local in Harrogate? Or you could book a table at the Harrogate institution that is William & Victoria which has been in business for over 40 years. Enjoy top service, fine wines and delicious food based on British classics with influences from all over the world in a comfortable and homely bistro setting.
You could also choose to dine at The Ivy, this stylish and sophisticated bar, restaurant and terrace is located just a short stroll away. The Ivy Harrogate serves an all-encompassing, contemporary and seasonal British menu and some very delicious cocktails!
Another wonderful alternative is dining at the West Park Hotel restaurant which features an intimate courtyard for an alfresco meal, if the weather happens to be kind to you. If your day in Harrogate has inspired you to stay the night and carry on exploring the next day, perhaps you could book into one of the 25 luxurious and spacious bedrooms and suites on offer? Tempting, we know.