Harrogate is a spa town in North Yorkshire famous for its Betty's Tearoom, old spa waters and beautiful gardens. The town is a popular tourist destination attracting visitors worldwide and repeatedly the town has been voted one of the best places to live in the UK. In a poll ran by Secret Escapes 2013, Harrogate was also voted as the third most romantic destination in the world beating some of the top named cities in the world such as Paris, Vienna and Rome.
Despite living relatively close to Harrogate, I have never had the opportunity to properly look round and it has always been something that I have wanted to do. Last week my best friend and I decided that we needed a girls day out and today we went to Harrogate for a spot of shopping, an Afternoon Tea at Betty's and I also popped into the world renowned H2K salon for a cheeky pre-shop massage.
The H2K salon is situated in the Montpellier shopping region of Harrogate. Montpellier Quarter is known for its independent boutiques, exclusive stores and cobbled pathways leading to quirky cafes, award winning restaurants and salons. Outside these amazing shops lies Montpellier gardens, an array of lush greenery, park land and places that are perfect to sit and admire the beauty of Harrogate town.
H2K of Harrogate is a successful beauty salon situated in Montpellier Quarter and is known for being one of the leading suppliers of toiletries to UK and international hotels. The Flagship Store opened in Harrogate in 2013 which showcases their wide range of toiletries and also offers treatments and massages using all their own products. Before shopping I decided to pop by H2K of Harrogate for a back massage and I was impressed by the friendly professional staff, the beautiful decor of the salon and the wonderful oils they used during the treatment. The spa therapist knew exactly what was needed to ease my aches and pains and also paid close attention to the problem areas that I spoke to her about in the consultation. The treatment rooms have dimmed lighting, beautifully scented candles in the background and a comfy bed with soft fluffy towels and covers. My back massage lasted approximately 30 minutes and left me feeling invigorated and energised, ready for the day ahead.
Our next stop was the world renowned Betty's Tearooms. Betty's Tearooms is a 96 year old tea room situated in the heart of Harrogate town. The tea room overlooks the beautiful Montpellier gardens and is highly regarded due their high quality confectionary, elegant rooms, friendly hospitality and above all, their high level of professionalism. Betty's tearooms is a great place to visit if you're looking for a relaxing environment to sit and eat breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or an evening meal.
My friend and I opted for the Betty's Traditional Afternoon Tea which consisted of a pot of tea, scones, cakes and sandwiches priced at a reasonable £18.95. The Afternoon Tea was beautifully presented with silver tea pots, china cups and the food looked mouth wateringly good as it promptly arrived in front of us.
Seeing as though I don't eat meat I opted for a vegetarian afternoon tea and the staff were more than willing to accommodate. The vegetarian option came with a variety of cheese sandwiches from a traditional cucumber and cream cheese to a mediterranean vegetable and cheese sandwich. All of which were cut up into small bite size pieces and were light to eat at the start of the meal.
Next course was a traditional scone with clotted cream and jam. Having a stomach problem means I currently need to avoid too much dairy and regrettably I had to pass on the clotted cream, but the scone was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of raisins and was made to just the right size, leaving enough room to manage dessert.
Dessert consisted of chocolate coffee cake, a custard tart with raspberries and a macaroon for the non-vegetarians. The custard tart tasted fresh and sweet and the pastry melted in your mouth. The coffee chocolate cake was a little bit on the rich side for me, but cut at just the right size, they were manageable and finished off the meal perfectly.
Finally my friend Josephine and I ended up to the high street to do a spot of shopping. With everything from high street classics such as Topshop, River Island, The Body Shop and Lush to premium brands such as LK Bennett, Joules, Jo Malone and L'Occitane, the Harrogate high street caters for every tourist and resident alike. I had such a wonderful time in Harrogate, it really made me think of what other wonders I am missing that are on my doorstep. Harrogate is a beautiful town and I would really urge others to visit.
Have you been to Harrogate before?
*This post was in collaboration with Visit Harrogate