Indie restaurants prove the perfect place for Christmas in Harrogate

Paul Rawlinson of Balzersens with some of his team.(1603292AM10)
Paul Rawlinson of Balzersens with some of his team.(1603292AM10)

Preparations for Christmas are already in full swing around Harrogate and the town's fantastic independents have been enjoying the busy festive period.

Following on from the Advertiser’s successful ‘Love our Indies’ campaign, this Christmas we’re highlighting our unique independents once again to make sure it’s a festive season to remember.

After a full day shopping in one the town's many independent shops, a festive meal in any of Harrogate's delicious restaurants is a classic way to end a Christmas day out.

Baltzersen's is one of Harrogate's most-loved independent restaurants and its director Paul Rawlinson said Oxford Street is the perfect place to visit this Christmas.

He said: "The winter feels like the perfect time for Baltzersen’s and the holidays especially, because we're such a family-focused place.

"On Oxford Street it’s very busy with people enjoying bubbles next door at the Champagne Concept, buying gifts from Jespers and long snakes of excited schoolkids wending their way down the street to watch the panto at Harrogate Theatre.

"As soon as the kids break up it signals a hectic two weeks for us where we’re run off our feet, punctuated by some time off to spend with our own families.

"All the indies need to make it count over that time because we know what’s around the corner in January. We really appreciate all the support we get from locals and visitors to Harrogate over the Christmas period and beyond."

The restaurant will be running its traditional Gingerbread House decorating class up to December 13 while there will be a Nordic inspired Christmas menu at Norse.

Located on Cold Bath Road, William & Victoria has been an independent institution in Harrogate since 1982.

With the popular restaurant approaching its 25-year anniversary, the Straker family said the Christmas period is a fantastic time for eateries in Harrogate.

Co-owner Johanna Straker said: "William & Victoria has the enviable position of being situated on the edge of the town centre, between the Montpellier Quarter and Cold Bath Road; both the latter being synonymous with independent shops.

"All the independent business owners I come in contact with are passionate about what they do, whether selling a unique specialist item or a personal service.

"It is great to see local businesses celebrating their Christmas parties with us year after year.

"There is always an increase of visitors to Harrogate too, who are drawn to our lovely town because of the fantastic independent shops and eateries in a stunning architectural and picturesque backdrop of the Stray and Valley Gardens."

With so many fantastic independent restaurants in Harrogate; including Le Jardin, Deano's, Horto, Bistrot Pierre and Cardamom Black it can be overwhelming for visitors.

Lucy Playford runs a blog called The Harrogate Mama, helping families find the perfect day out or place to eat and drink in Harrogate.

She said that as well as fantastic places, the town's independent restaurants are a great place to pick up Christmas presents.

"Weetons is selling Harrogate Gin and Harrogate Rum which shows how strong the independents are at supporting other local independents too," Lucy said.

"It’s not just the shops that are giving the bigger known brands a run for their money but the restaurants too, last weekend we enjoyed a private party at Harrogate’s Independent Italian Caffe Marconi and some of my Mama friends will be heading to La Feria for a Mum’s Christmas night out!

"I think it’s really important to put money back into the local economy by supporting Independents especially at this time of the year, by choosing to dine and shop independently you’re making a difference to people you share your town with and not just lining the pockets of big corporate companies!"