Recently I wrote a piece on North Star Micro Roasters Inaugural Cupping Event, well soon after I was contacted by Hoxton North Espresso and Brew Bar who happen to be friends with North Star. They had seen my blog review and invited me to check out their new place. Trying to develop my tastes in coffee further and always loving Harrogate, I thought why not, so I combined it with meeting a mate and got the train from Headingley train station. I’d forgotten how easy it is to get the train from Leeds to Harrogate, normally I would just drive but this is quicker, less hassle and possibly cheaper, my return ticket was only £6-7 (half of a duo ticket with a friend).
Hoxton North Espresso and Brew Bar is an independent specialist coffee shop, located on Parliament Street serving espresso, filter based coffee and also whole or ground beans for use at home. The origin of the name comes from Hoxton, the district in the East End of London, situated in the heart of Shoreditch. Owners, husband and wife team Timothy and Victoria Bosworth, both originally from Yorkshire, have spent the last ten years in London where Shoreditch has become a hot spot for great food, bars and cafe culture. They wanted to bring that passion and lifestyle back to the North of England so opened this shop earlier in October.
Hoxton North is located in a Grade II listed building which dates back to the Edwardian 1920s, so the team had to maintain the original features, such as timber panelling, architraves and mirrors are from a previous shop that inhabited the space called Louis Cope. Louis Cope sold fashionable items, such as robes, lingerie, fur coats, bags and shoes to wealthy tourists and locals. As soon as I walked in I thought it looked gorgeous and I loved the feel of the space, how faithful they’ve been to its original details, and used these as well as their own design ideas with beautiful effect.
They have designed the space in such a way, with the espresso and brew bar running through the middle of the shop, and want people to use it as a place where they can relax and chat, whether your a Harrogate local or one of the many tourists which visit the place.
One of the first things I noticed on the counter was the wonderful selection of cakes and sweet treats they have to accompany your drink of choice. Vicky and Tim searched long and hard for top class bakeries which could supply them with the best cakes and pastries to match the quality of their coffees and teas. They seem to have hit the jackpot, from what we tasted anyway!!! Dumouchel, a bakery based in Garforth, Leeds makes the most AMAZING Brioche slice, I secretly didn’t want to divulge which bakery makes it and try to keep it too myself because it was absolutely delicious!!! Incredibly moist with the perfect balance of almond sweetness and sharpness from the raspberries, an inspired bake. We also tried their brownie and a chocolate mocha cake, both very good, even though I’m not much of a chocolate fan they were moist, gooey and had great subtle flavour, in particular the mocha cake from That Old Chestnut, a bakery from Mabgate, Leeds.
So what have they got on offer to drink, they specialise in artisan coffees and offer a range that changes according to seasonality. They use hand selected roasters from around the world and have picked out each roaster and farm that they feel is the best in its class or region. Some of their coffee comes from Workshop Coffee Company, who are based in Clerkenwell, London and Origin Coffee Roasters from Cornwall, while their tea comes from Brew Tea Company. That day on their menu they were serving the Origin (F30) Espresso Blends from El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Workshops Cult of Done (V14) coffee – 100% Ethiopian. Vicky was more than happy to describe these to us and showed an obvious passion about these products.
We drank our coffees and ate our cakes in their cute snug, which is hidden from normal view at the side of the shop. I loved it in there, it felt intimate, like you were slightly cut off from the rest of the shop. It can hold up to 6 guests and also be reserved for breakfast, lunch or drinks. Our coffees were great, my friend who is a lover of coffee even said it’s the best he’s had. I really enjoyed my latte, normally I find them a little bitter and always need sugar, but this didn’t at all and was wonderful as it was.
Being a local, independent shop in the Harrogate community is important to Vicky and Tim, and in the future they would like to host different social events, including coffee tastings, brew bar sessions, pop-up events, book launches, poetry readings, live music sessions to bring the local community together.
I definitely recommend Hoxton North Espresso and Brew Bar, it’s a great place to relax, run by really lovely people. I for one will be visiting every time I’m in Harrogate. It’ll be perfect for going to after I’ve been to the Harrogate Turkish Baths. I can’t wait to visit both, hopefully very soon!!Hoxton North Espresso and Brew Bar 52 Parliament Street Harrogate North Yorkshire HG1 2RL Opening Hours: Tues – Fri: 8:30am – 5pm Sat: 09:30am – 5pm Sun: 10:00am – 4pm You can follow them on Twitter @hoxtonnorth or facebook. com/hoxtonnorth.