It has to be Harrogate: Thinking indie when adding to your home

Sandra Doherty with Kim Wardman of Crimple Hall. Picture: Adrian Murray (1701102AM1)

Sandra Doherty with Kim Wardman of Crimple Hall. Picture: Adrian Murray (1701102AM1)

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Shining a light on the town’s independent shops and cafes with Sandra Doherty, CEO, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce

Much as I love Christmas and all the decorations I am always pleased to get rid of it too as I don’t know about you, but not much dusting gets done once we start putting cards on every spare space.

After giving the place a bit of a spring clean, I notice it all looks a bit empty now. I moved the furniture about, swapped a few ornaments and slung out a once lovely silk orchid which has now seen better days.

So, I decided to venture out and look round Harrogate’s wealth of interior design and antique shops.

Anybody who knows me will realise that as shopping isn’t really my favourite thing there had to be a prize at the end to spur me on.

What was I looking for? I don’t know really, perhaps a mirror or a table lamp or may be a stylish and colourful knick-knack. I have sworn off silk flowers on this trip so there is no need to go down to Stem Style who will have all their Christmas things in the sale and I will be tempted to stock up ready for next year.

I start in Richard Grafton Interiors in the Ginnel and soon get side-tracked looking at things too big for the space I have but very stylish and beautiful; the lady in the shop was very helpful and I left with thoughts for perhaps a revamp of one of the guest bedrooms later in the year.

I went in to Décor Lighting on Crescent Road and looked at so many table lamps I started to doubt that that was really what I wanted.

A couple of lovely cushions magically slipped on the counter and I was pleased to have something bright to add to my lounge and save some money in their sale.

Bit of a hike up Montpellier Hill which reminds me I really must go swimming more this year especially in the winter when I am not so busy in my guesthouse which does tend to keep me fit in the summer especially.

Now James Brindley has moved to Albert Street often slips my mind but as I am definitely on a mission today I remember as I pause at Bettys before crossing Parliament Street.

Yes, it was a pause as I am often tempted to pop in for a hot chocolate!

After glancing in the estate agents windows and marvelling at the house prices here in Harrogate I enter Brindley’s and immediately spot some lovely coasters which I have been thinking of buying for a while as mine have become a little shabby due to grandson number 4 chewing the cork back recently. Sad to say nothing else grabs my attention today so I stand outside and re think.

Crimple Hall springs to mind as there is so much to see from antiques from over 60 different stalls from vintage to really antique.

Back up the hill to fetch the car as even for me it’s a bit of a stretch to get there and back and the thought of buying something is still in my mind.

The usual delay on Leeds Road as I queue up at the traffic lights at Leadhall Lane has me glancing down Hookstone Road and being tempted to pop in to Snooty Frox to see if there are any bargains for my holiday wardrobe.

Good job I am in the outside lane so I decide to give it a miss today.

Plenty of parking at Crimple Hall and it’s not too busy by the look today so perhaps I will have something to eat at Christians before I do anything else as I realise its now almost 1pm.

Christians is for once quiet too but I realise it’s a midweek day and not Sunday which is when we are most likely to pop in for a delicious Sunday lunch.

Today I choose a bacon brie and cranberry sauce ciabatta (still feeling seasonal) .

Christian himself brings it to me and I settle down to think about how lovely the food is here and the friendly service never fails to impress me.

Feeling full and mellow I wander back through the row of small booth like areas which are mostly small businesses from Sheep Skins to Jigsaws and the lovely Askbella where I have bought many a present for my daughter-in-law. I am tempted as usual by the sweets but just having eaten I can resist today.

Next on my way round is the Smart Gallery where I have bought pictures in the past.

Today I look at the quirky selection of models made from brightly coloured tin and a lovely dinosaur skeleton which would fascinate my grandchildren.

Then through to the Garden Centre and the temptation of house plants, today I am very strict with myself as I am going away in February and my daughter will not be pleased to have more to water than I already have.

I look at the wonderful selection of Christmas decorations and trees which are half price and I am very tempted to buy a new tree. Maybe I will pop back when I have someone to carry it to the car for me.

I then go into the place I had in mind all along, Harrogate Interiors!

A wonderful selection of lamps and furniture which suit my minimalistic and modern taste.

I have looked at this lamp before so I guess it was in my mind all along a lovely clear glass base with a hammered silver top a coffee brown shade tops it off perfectly.

This will go in my lounge perfectly and give a nice level of light to watch TV with.

I saved the best for last it seems as I wander round the Antique booths and cupboards I find a bronze rabbit and a lovely old paperweight which add to my collection of both.

Great day out again in Harrogate and I got exactly what I needed to cheer me and my home up after Christmas.

It has to be Harrogate once again.