Crimple's new £4 million food hall offers a festive feast for Harrogate residents

Having spent £4 million on building a stunning new food hall and restaurant, the owners of the new-look Crimple will this weekend host their very own Christmas Market.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 12:52 pm
Graham Watson has enjoyed a successful opening few weeks at Crimple

Crimple has opened its doors to the public following a £4 million investment during the summer.

Overlooking the Crimple Valley just outside Harrogate town centre, the family-owned business run by Graham and Tori Watson, and their two daughters, is set to become one of the largest food halls in the country.

And this weekend they will be working alongside the organiser of the cancelled annual Harrogate Christmas Market and many of the stallholders who would have been there to host their very own festive weekend.

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Crimple offers some of the best locally-sourced foods with a focus on sustainability

The annual Harrogate Christmas Market, which attracted over 80,000 visitors annually, lost its licence earlier this year after Harrogate Borough Council raised concerns over safety, terrorism and Covid.

The Crimple festive market is set to feature over 20 food and craft stalls, children’s activities, a festive animal farm, face painting, treasure trails, wreath making demonstrations and live music.

Brian Dunsby OBE, organiser of the traditional Harrogate Christmas Market, said: “I’ve been working closely with Crimple and I am so pleased that they have offered a home to many of the stallholders who should have been at the cancelled Harrogate Christmas Market this year.

“It’s been a tough few years for many independent traders so this is great news and in true community spirit.

Some of the goods available to buy at Crimple's brand new food hall

“Crimple provides an attractive under-cover heated location for a Christmas Market, right next door to their popular garden centre and their new food hall.”

The 20,000 square foot food hall incorporates a 160-seat restaurant and outdoor event spaces, which are also available for weddings, parties and corporate events, with sustainability high on the agenda.

Mr Watson bought the garden and antiques centre back in 2013 and has always had ambitious plans, with his dream being to provide an indoor open-plan artisan farmers market and restaurant.

The brand new food hall features over 50 specialist producers, many of them local, from fresh fruit and vegetables to curry sauces, coffee beans and cheeses to speciality gins, vodka and beers.

Assistant manager of Robertshaw's butchers Harley Robertshaw

Customers can also shop at Crimple’s very own deli, bakery and patisserie or choose from their in-house produced pizzas and ready meals.

There’s so much to explore including a sustainable grain store, vintage milk float with refillable bottles, juice bar, coffee-to-go and a horticulture shop.

Mr Watson and his family have enjoyed a successful first couple of weeks since opening and are looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the country.

He said: “This has been a long time coming with the planning and building process so the whole team are incredibly excited to be open.

“We have all been working so hard putting together such an amazing food hall, restaurant, event space and of course garden centre.

“Crimple is a real destination and offers so much.

“Our huge food hall has over 50 independent producers, a fantastic juice bar, fresh pizzas and meals to go, an award winning butchers, bakers, cheese and deli counter, grain stall and a milk float amongst other things.

“Above all else though, customers can expect a warm and genuine welcome.”

Bradford-based butcher Robertshaw’s runs the butchers department at Crimple, which includes a dry-aged unit with massive joints of meat on display to customers.

Mr Watson added: “James (Robertshaw) and his team have over 200 years of butchery and farming experience between them and to have them as Crimple’s butchers is fantastic.”

Robertshaw’s started in 1929 and are fourth generation award-winning farmers and butchers.

James, grandson of the founder Harry Robertshaw, is now at the helm and he and his son Harley will be the new face at the butcher’s counter at Crimple offering a range of locally sourced meats, specialist cuts, homemade sausages, burgers and kebabs and a ready to cook range made using locally sourced ingredients.

The new 160-seater restaurant offers an eclectic mix of modern British dishes that connect to the region.

Working closely with Robertshaw’s butchers and a number of other local suppliers, the dishes make the most of the fresh and seasonal produce from the food hall.

The garden centre offers a high quality selection of plants, shrubs and flowers .

They also provide keen gardeners with expert gardening advice and horticultural hints and tips for gardeners of all ages.

The family owned business also made sure the timber clad building had a highly sustainable agenda.

The striking design of the building references agricultural buildings through a series of interconnected barn-like forms, defined by the Crimple Valley location.

The venue has been designed by ArkleBoyce Architects after they were approached by the owners to design a building that was not only highly sustainable, but which also created an identity.

The vision was to provide an open-plan artisan farmers market and restaurant, which creates a distinctive, capacious space to be populated by a series of free-standing stalls and most importantly, sitting comfortably next to the existing garden centre and in the sensitive surroundings of Crimple Valley.

Graham Boyce, a partner of the firm said: “It’s a great opportunity for Harrogate and the region in general as local producers will have an opportunity to stock at the food hall in a fantastic setting, helping to boost the local economy.”

Opening Times:

- The restaurant and garden centre will be open 8am to 5pm, and bar until 7pm.

- The food hall is open 8am to 7pm and on Sundays, all areas are open 10am to 4pm.

For more information about Crimple, visit https://crimple.co.uk