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Our Weekend Up North

A belated Happy Easter and April Fool’s Day!

You may have noticed I have been absent for a few days. Ian and I decided on a long weekend away over Easter in the charming town of Harrogate. I love going away for city breaks with Ian. Although we love to travel abroad, there are still so many places in the UK that I haven’t visited yet and Yorkshire was on our list to explore!

We arrived in the beautiful town of Harrogate on Good Friday after driving through snow-capped hills in the surrounding countryside. We got really lucky with the location of our hotel, right in the centre meaning everywhere we wanted to go was just a short walk away.

We stayed at The St George Hotel, a lovely Georgian building overlooking the park next door. There was a health centre within the hotel and we made the most of the gym (Ian!) and spa (me!) when we were there.

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I know every town and city has its own charms, but Harrogate immediately reminded me of Bath and Clifton in the style of buildings and general feel as we wandered around. There was an abundance of lovely cafes, shops and restaurants and we managed to find a few pubs to stop off in too!

On Saturday, after a hearty breakfast at our hotel, we jumped on a train for a day out in nearby York. Taking about half an hour through lovely, sunny countryside, we arrived and began to take in the sights. Despite there still being some snow on the ground, it was a lovely and crisp sunny day, perfect for wandering around the cobbled streets of the city. Our first stop was to see the Museum Gardens, then York Minster which was spectacular in the sunshine.

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By complete coincidence, we stumbled upon a food market in the city centre, which was taking part in York’s Chocolate Festival. This of course called for some sampling!

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We also visited the Jorvik Viking Centre and Museum which was fascinating. The teacher in me couldn’t help thinking about how much my class would have loved the activities here but as an adult I also thought it was great!

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Sunday was another sunny day so we wrapped up and wandered around the parks of Harrogate to work up an appetite for a visit to Betty’s Tearooms, an institute of the town and the thing I had been most looking forward to since we booked this mini-break!

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I have to say that this place did not disappoint…beautiful tea rooms, waitress service, bone china plates, delicious cakes and a pianist playing away in the corner.

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We decided to go all out and order the Afternoon Tea platter. It was actually perfect for us because Ian fancied something savoury whereas I was salivating at all the cakes and pastries and this meant we got to try a bit of everything!

I had a lovely house Earl Grey Blend while we waited for the platter.

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And here is it…

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Ian had the four sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, of course! There was a good variety here of smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and cress, ham and chicken.

I polished off most of the sweets on the platter, starting with a freshly baked sultana scone and I am a firm fan of the Cornish method of jam then clotted cream!

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The little raspberry tart was a delicious combination of crumbly, buttery pastry, delicate vanilla cream and sweet juicy raspberries.

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The chocolate cake was dense and rich but had a hint of orange running through it which lifted it slightly and meant it wasn’t too sickly.

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Finally, a lemon macaron – one of my favourite desserts – which was crunchy, chewy and had a tart lemon curd running through the centre.

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This was my highlight of the weekend and a must-do if you are ever in Harrogate!

After a very girly morning, we redressed the balance by finding a pub to watch the Liverpool match in the afternoon and the win put a smile on my face for the rest of the day!

We decided to end our weekend away with some live music in one of our favourite pubs we found (Hale’s Bar) and after dinner, enjoyed a final night cap there with some classic rock tunes.

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I am now feeling shattered after a long drive home but I did fall in love with Harrogate and York and would love to return soon. Harrogate was a friendly, beautiful town with great amenities for a weekend break. It was a good base to visit York and was also close to Leeds if you wanted some city shopping. I loved having a few days away with my beau and as much as I love to cook, I also enjoy being cooked for although I don’t think my waistline will thank me for my daily cooked breakfast and three course dinners! Hehe

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Right, I’m off to start unpacking and catch up on what I’ve missed! x

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About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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