Coffee at North Bar, Harrogate 

North Bar in Harrogate is an offshoot of the more famous North Bar in Leeds which has won The Observer Food Monthly’s “Best place to drink in Britain award” and claims to (possibly) be one of the first craft beer bars in Britain. As I’m not a big beer fan, and it was about 2.30pm on a Sunday, we decided to just opt for a hot drink instead of sampling one of the 12 taps on offer.

It was fairly quiet despite the shoppers enjoying the beginning of the half term holidays and was easy to find some comfy chairs, although here are 3 levels for when it gets busy. When compared to some of the more ambitiously priced coffee shops down on Parliament Street, North Bar certainly got the quality and value for money just right. The interior is a bit quirky as you would expect fot a craft beer place, but still feels cosy and warm for an coffee shop during the day. We only ordered a cappuccino and hot chocolate as we’d already had lunch before coming out, but they do a small menu of breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as as really tasty looking cake selection.

The boyfriend certainly rated his cappuccino highly, slurping it down quickly and without sugar, a sure sign of a good coffee. My hot chocolate came with extra cream and mini marshmallows which was pretty good but the hot chocolate itself was something else. From the first sip it was obviously made with proper dark chocolate and tasted just like an actual bar of chocolate and oh so indulgent… I’ve missed finding a proper hot chocolate since Heaven Cafe closed down a year or so ago, but now know where I’ll be returning to in future for my naughty sugar fix! 

I do think it’s important to support local independent cafes as far too many close down these days, so we will be returning to North Bar to sample the food and even the beer in the near future so keep an eye out for the sequel post…


Baltzersen’s, Harrogate 

Baltzersen’s in Harrogate has been around for a while now and I’ve read plenty of reviews but never made it inside, despite wanting to every time I walked past, I always ended up too busy or persuaded by the boyfriend to visit one of our regular favourites. This was mainly down to the assumption that they vegetarian options wouldn’t be great- Scandinavian food does have a reputation for being fish and smoked meat heavy. However yesterday we took the plunge and were pleasantly surprised by the choice available- so much so that I even went for a veggie option myself!

Once inside we only had to wait a minute or so to get a table- this was about 2.30 on a Saturday so not surprisingly it was fairly busy for a small café. We were then seated and managed to choose our lunch fairly quickly before returning to the tills to order. The drinks service was a little slow but I forgive them in their lunchtime rush. The interior is quite minimalist but cosy, with tables in a few nooks and crannys, plus cushions and newspapers provided to keep you happy while you wait.

I ordered a bowl of Lapskaus-a Norwegian lentil and root vegetable stew which came with warm bread and butter, and the boyfriend opted for an open sandwich with grilled halloumi, beetroot and an apple and radish relish which looked good but not as good as my warming and hearty stew! It was a little like a soup as there was quite a lot of liquid but was definitely a good choice for a December lunch.

We couldn’t resist the window of sweet treats on the way out, and what could be more Scandinavian than cinnamon buns? (ok Baltzersen’s is Norwegian and cinnamon buns are Danish but its close enough!) We got two to take away and enjoy for breakfast this morning. They were huge and the amount of cinnamon was just right all the way through, with a soft, sticky middle. The perfect way to start the day!

They also do adorable heart shaped waffles with jam and cream or chocolate spread, which are even half price after 3pm Monday-Friday so I will defiantly be back to indulge my sweet tooth!

Baltzersen’s transforms at night into Norse– a restaurant that describes itself as ‘relaxed fine dining’ with a Scandinavian inspired 8 course menu. While perhaps a little expensive and decidedly less vegetarian friendly menu it probably won’t be one the boyfriend and I try out, but it certainly looks like a very interesting foodie experience! While I can’t speak for Norse, Baltzersen’s is certainly worth a visit.




Honey Bees at Hannah’s, Knaresborough 

After a few friends came over last weekend to celebrate my birthday, we headed into Knaresborough to get some fresh air and brunch to make us feel a bit more alive after a night on the town! My friends had never been to Knaresborough before and were suitable impressed by the stunning scenery by the river and the pretty town, but after walking from Starbeck and climbing up the steep steps to the Castle and Bebra Gardens, it was time for brunch!

13537549_10154416123578534_1907136590205375221_nWe spotted Honey Bee’s at Hannah’s and knew this was the place for us as it just looked so cute and cosy, and the menu looked amazing! The service was quick and nothing was too much for our waitress (who I presume was Hannah herself).

13528870_10154416123593534_5611133224133013921_nI ordered the Brunch stack, but our group also tried the Veggie Stack and the Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon on Toast options. The food was quick and amazing- proper bacon and black pudding with a beautifully poached egg, all on top of some of the best bubble and squeak I have had recently. Hannah herself is veggie, and so the veggie options have been really well thought out too which was good to see, as the boyfriend is also veggie. The tea came in very generous pot and very cute, dainty tea cups which I loved.

This little café could be easily walked past without entering as it is off the main square of Knaresborough, but it will now be one of my go-to places as we were too full to try the delicious looking homemade cakes on this occasion!


Lucky Days Cafe, York

While wandering around York today, I stumbled upon Lucky Days Cafe in an effort to escape the rain and satisfy my sweet tooth. Located off the main streets in York a bit, I have never seen it before but will definitely be heading back!

imageI went for a pot of tea and their toffee and butterscotch cake while was simply divine. It was so moist and gooey and butterscotchy all without being so sweet it made you feel ill. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had cake this good. They also seem to do lunches which I can imagine are equally tasty and I will be back to try soon! The staff were very nice considering I turned up around 20 minutes before closing, and didn’t rush me to leave even when I had finished my tea but didn’t want to go back into the rain.

This cafe also has an interesting reward scheme- get a loyalty card and every time you return you roll a dice when ordering. If you roll a 6, every item becomes just £1. I’m no mathematician so have no idea about the odds of this ever happening (I guess it is always 1/6 no matter how many times you visit?) it still seems a good idea to me, as I would return anyway to sample more yummy cake! I would definitely recommend this place, and they have 2 cafe’s in York so there’s really no excuse!