Tag Archives: Harrogate

Norse, Harrogate 

Norse has become one of the North’s best restaurants over the last couple of years, earning a fantastic reputation for quality. If you haven’t heard if it, it’s basically located in Baltzersens  – a cracking Scandinavian cafe in the heart of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The place produces food influenced by Nordic cuisine and places great importance of the provenance of their ingredients, making the most of the fantastic produce the local area has to offer. 

After being lucky enough to try their food a couple of times, once at a taster event and at the Leeds Indie Food festival last year, for some reason my attempts to get back there never materialised and then being based in the South, I could only get there on trips back up which are never as often as I’d like!

A few weeks ago, we had a few days back in Leeds and took the opportunity to go for the other half’s birthday. Now even though he’d loved their food at Leeds Indie Food festival, he couldn’t remember it! So when we walked passed he said ‘so where’ve you brought me this time?’, like it was some sort of random place I’d conjured up. I was more than confident that he’d love it and couldn’t wait to get stuck in! The staff are very knowledgable and happily offered advice and explained ingredients and other questions. All done without being stuffy, just dead relaxed and informal. We picked four dishes, all clearly marked as gluten free so we could share freely, without any worries of later discomfort etc! Their drinks menu is also well worth a look, all carefully sourced, lots of care and attention is taken into partnering drinks with food.  

Here are photos of our experience, I won’t go into stupid detail about each dish and why I loved all the intricacies etc, but I will say that the food is such high quality, the ingredients work so well together that any curiosities there may have been all paled into significance on eating. The place deserves all the praise it gets and I hope to get back a lot sooner next time. Oh yeah, even my husband really enjoyed it too! 

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Bread and grains, pea and mint, and beetroot and ginger schnapps

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Top: slow cooked pheasant egg w/ broad beans, pickled eryngi mushrooms and sprouting rye. Bottom: cured mackerel tartare w/ beetroot, fermented red currants , ransom skyr and squid ink crisp.

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Top: Cornish turbot w/ roasted salsify, hay-baked mussel sauce and pickled clams. Bottom: Loin and BBQ lamb shoulder w/ Yorkshire peas, garlic, celeriac and lamb sauce.

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Norse

22 Oxford St

Harrogate

HG1 1PU

http://www.norserestaurant.co.uk

 

Stuzzi, Harrogate

Stuzzi first came onto my radar during their uber successful Belgrave pop-up a few months ago, I fell hook line and sinker for their food and their infectious love of Italian cuisine!!! Knowing that they were embarking on their own permanent base in Harrogate, which opened on 25th November, I made the trip across to visit yesterday for lunch, firstly stopping at my favourite Harrogate coffee shop Bean and Bud then readying myself for lunch!
From meeting the team a couple of times during their Leeds residency, and since following their exploits travelling around Italy trying the best produce, from their producers, it was obvious to see these people are full of passion and it really shows! 

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Located near the Harrogate International Centre, it’s ideal if you are in the area. Inside the space is light and bright, benefitting from large windows allowing light in. On the right hand side as you enter there’s the drinks, deli counter and kitchen, fully stocked with tempting desserts, cheeses, meat and components for salads. To the left hand side display units are filled with Italian produce whether it be balsamic vinegar, pastas, jars of passata and so on….

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After enjoying a coffee earlier, I resisted the temptation to have another, even though Stuzzi are using coffee from Leeds micro roaster North Star. Instead a traditional Italian drink called Cedrata was suggested, I was told that it’s made using oils from the peel of a large citrus fruit called a citron (cedro) and has a similarity to a lemonade. On ice it was absolutely refreshing and possessed lots more punch than even a fresh lemonade, something I’d definitely have again.

Cedrata Tassoni syrup
Cedrata Tassoni soda

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I started off with a selection of fresh bread, and I mean fresh as it had come out of the oven just a little earlier, it was beautiful. So light and pillowy, I love bread being a carb fiend and this was definitely the good stuff!! Dipped into the olive that had been brought over; a cold pressed Sicilian extra virgin oil, so smooth with a greenness about it that gave it body. The music bread was also delicious, with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of fragrant rosemary.

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There I was happily tucking into the bread, with not a care in the world when my pasta was brought across. People have different opinions about pasta; the other half prefers pasta cooked on the soft side, I on the other hand swear by al dente. Thankfully this pasta was cooked the latter and tossed in tomato sauce containing meaty, flavourful Calabrian sausage, Nduja giving up a subtle amount of warmth to the dish, and every now and again there’s was a hint of aniseed. Delicious and satisfying!

Pasta Del Giorno
Pasta Del Giorno

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Desserts available that day were their Zeppole, I’d sampled it at their Belgrave pop-up, and LOVED it, a chocolate torte di caprese, an Amalfi lemon polenta cake and finally gelato made by London-based artisans Gelupo.

Desserts- Amalfi lemon polenta cake, Chocolate torte di caprese and Zeppole
Desserts – Amalfi lemon polenta cake, Chocolate torte di caprese and Zeppole

Next time I’m definitely going for the gelato, but this time I fancied a sharp hit of lemon so polenta cake it was. It’s an unusual choice for me going for a cake but I’m glad I did. Oh, it was good, so moist and not a dessert to just wolf down, but one to savour to enjoy all the flavours and textures, whether it be the textures from polenta and flaked almonds, or the sharpness from the Amalfi lemons. Gorgeous!

Cake!!!
Amalfi lemon polenta cake

Oh don’t worry, this isn’t mine as well! I just couldn’t help myself to take another photo!

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My total bill came to £19 including service charge.

Their stuzzichini menu is offered from 5 – 10pm, I’m already craving a stuzzi feast with arancini balls, fritto misto et al, add on a few Aperol Spritz……!!!

I’d definitely recommend Stuzzi!

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Food: Wonderful, great menu whether day or night. 

Service: This team love what they are doing and it shows. They are friendly and knowledgable, but not in your face with it. 

Atmosphere: I was there for lunch so there was a steady stream of people, mostly Harrogate locals, some who have already been a number of times even though it’s been open just a week. There’s a tangible friendly atmosphere, all a product of the openness of the Stuzzi team with their customers.

Stuzzi
46b Kings Road
Harrogate
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742?sk=timeline

Stuzzi on Urbanspoon

The Pine Marten @ Beckwith knowle, Harrogate

With a family outing to Harlow Carr Gardens planned during half term, our thoughts soon turned to where we’d get sustenance to set us up for the day. The Pine Marten which lies between Harrogate and Beckwithshaw, just down the road from the gardens was suggested (not by me). It sounded ideal for a spot of lunch, with the following couple of hours to work off full stomachs exploring the gardens with the kids.

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It’s a lovely looking building and has benefitted from a full refurbishment completed a few years ago. The place was a venue I’d heard of a long time ago and on the surface, it seemed like somewhere you could have a lovely meal with family or friends. 

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It was fairly busy as expected, half term was in full swing with the place occupied with plenty of families doing the same thing as us. We were seated in a lovely room at a long table big enough for six adults and three kids, ordering drinks quite quickly. From then on things started to go a little bit pear-shaped – our food order took much longer as there was nobody around to take it from us. We looked for someone, even at the bar, but still to no avail as the bar was empty. Not only did ordering take ages, but our starters took ages to arrive too.

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The other half and my father-in law both ordered Spicy lamb kofta, but finding them disappointing, I thought they were bland and there wasn’t much evidence of spice! Just two small balls of lamb, the rest of the plate comprised of salad, tzatziki and a sweet chilli jam which I thought was a bizarre choice of accompaniment, and unfortunately was the only thing that tasted of anything!

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The Sticky Platter starter was a mish mash of starters including the same bland lamb kofta, ribs, basil chicken skewers and  flatbread. It was alright, nothing more nothing less. What was very random was the presence of a slice of watermelon on the plate, (you can see it to the left of the sweet chilli jam). Yeah, you read it correctly!! WHY, I don’t get it!

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My salt and pepper squid was more successful thankfully! They were tender with a light crisp exterior, the bit which wasn’t as successful was the garlic aioli which had lots of crushed pink peppercorns sprinkled on top, at times it really caught my throat, making me cough and wasn’t particularly pleasant. 

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With the starters getting a mix of both negatives and positives, I hoped things would improve but it didn’t really happen, as our table then took an aeon to be cleared. In my Uni days as a waitress working a busy service in a Chinese restaurant I would have been totally mortified doing that!! Luckily the kids were well-behaved, considering it took at least 20 minutes for the table to be fully cleared, unlike the children behind us who’d also been waiting and had started to lose the plot. When the table was finally cleared our main courses also took an age, with no apology or even an acknowledgement of the long delay.

Comments from the other half about his Carne Pizza were more like it. With a decent base and a tasty choice of toppings including chorizo, pulled chicken and Luganega sausage. So no complaints here on the pizza front.

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Other dishes like the Yorkshire Ham were found to be pleasant enough, the ham was of the boiled variety and came with fried eggs and chips. I thought to look of was a bit meh though, if you know what I mean.

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The pie which was really a Chicken and Yorkshire Ham filling with a pastry top, so NOT a pie was ok. Three of us had chosen linguine, it tasted nice, but mine had a chorizo oil slick, making the whole dish very oily. When comparing mine to the other two linguine dishes portion sizes and oil slicks were uneven.

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The kids were the happiest of all of us I reckon with pizza and cod fish fingers going down a storm, at last someone was actually fully satisfied with their lunch. 

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One person had gone for a main course and dessert combo, picking a strawberry eton mess from a selection full of classics like sticky toffee pudding and creme brûlée. They thought the large portion of meringue and cream had the right amount of sweetness and were topped with a decent amount of fresh strawberries.

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After all the waiting around, I think we were all ready to get out of there so tried to get the bill as the dessert was being eaten. Of course, it’s not the usual thing to do, but if you’d been at our table, you would have done the same thing! 

The price of our lunch (two courses for 6 adults, 3 kids meals and drinks) was £175 without tip and lasted 2.5 hours!! Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a leisurely lunch, but there’s a time and a place for it, this wasn’t it! Also for the overall quality of the food and service I’m not sure if it’s worth the money either.

Food: Hit and miss, certainly could be better!!! Maybe the menu could be a little smaller, especially if they can’t manage to get dishes out in a reasonable time. 

Service: Very slow! Every took ages – from ordering, getting our food and drinks, also clearing tables! Should waiting staff in an establishment like this be sorting out the bar as well as waiting tables? On many occasions the bar wasn’t manned at all.

Atmosphere: It was busy so there was a nice atmosphere, especially with school holidays.

I hate to say it but I do not recommend The Pine Marten, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Have you been to The Pine Marten before, what was your experience?

The Pine Marten
Otley Rd
Beckwithknowle
Harrogate
HG3 1UE
01423 709999

Pine Marten on Urbanspoon

A little Harrogate Jaunt

I’ve been a fan of Harrogate for a while now, my best mate and I would frequent the Harrogate Turkish Baths at the end of each term to get rid of all the stresses that comes with being a high school teacher. But at the time I’d only eaten in Harrogate twice, once at The Tannin Level where we had a really enjoyable dinner and last summer at Van Zeller, with a memorable five course lunch to celebrate to start of the summer hols!! Yes, both places with good standing in the area, but I hadn’t explored much else really. The last year has enabled me to explore other gems in Harrogate, especially with the half term holidays, I thought I’d put down in words and pictures my go-to places in Harrogate at the moment. I’m sure these have been documented in the past, but this is my personal take.

The place is full of the usual run of the mill chain restaurants and coffee shops, but there are plenty of others, so here’s a round up of some of the places I like to frequent when I visit:

Bean & Bud – Great independent, artisan coffee shop full stop!! Lovely, warm people who REALLY know their stuff, but at the same time don’t feel the need to shove it in your face. Ruth also makes yummy amaretti biscuits that go perfectly with your beverage of choice. Not only are they experts in coffee, but also with their teas. It’s also where I had my first Chemex too and the flavour I got was   so clean and the clarity was something I hadn’t experienced before.

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imageBaltzersen’s – Cool, Scandinavian cafe that hits all the right notes in terms of relaxed atmosphere, decent coffee and lovely food, in particular their popular Cinnamon buns and open sandwiches.

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Whether its a quick brunch, lunch and now even dinner, courtesy of Norse. I went to the preview taster sessions of Norse and they were pretty decent, since then they’ve received rave reviews for the Scandi-inspired plates.

Baltzersen’s is a breathe of fresh air for me , it completely oozes a Scandinavian coolness and effortless charm and I really love the place! Owned by Paul Rawlinson, it’s become a popular spot with both locals and outsiders.

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The Yorkshire Meatball Company – opened a few months ago and has been mega busy it seems ever since. I had a lovely meal there and it seems there is an infinite way of serving meatballs in a multitude of different guises for virtually every occasion. Click here for the write up on my visit.

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Major Tom’s Social –  a quirky café/bar, with a good selection in terms of food, including stews made by The Grub & Grog Shop lads. A good range of drinks are in offer including lots of craft beers and ales. Recently they hosted a five course pop-up supper club created by The Grub & Grog lads. 

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Hoxton North  – Harrogate’s first Espresso & Brew Bar, located in a beautiful Edwardian space. Opened in Autumn 2013 and has been serving loose leaf teas and artisan coffees from roasters, such as Workshop. Their yummy baked goods come from the likes of Dumouchel, Noisette Bakehouse and That Old Chestnut.

Do you have any recommendations for food and drink in Harrogate, what are you favourite haunts?

Baltzersens
Bean & Bud
Hoxton North
Major Tom’s Social
The Yorkshire Meatball Company

BBC Good Food Show photoblog @ Harrogate

On Sunday I was fortunate to go to the BBC Good Food Show Spring, held in Harrogate for the first time at Harrogate’s International Conference Centre. It had been a three day event and was jam packed with stalls from the length and breadth of the UK, and also included the odd celebrity chef here and there, with John Torode and James Martin, amongst others entertaining the crowds.

I had come with Harley Wood as her guest and we were only really interested in having a gander at the stalls, so here’s a photoblog of my whirlwind tour around the stands, showing a sample in no particular order.

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Christine’s Preserves had their liqueurs out, just one string to their bow. Amongst their repertoire are conserves, marmalades and chutneys, mustards and relishes.
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Supreme sausages!
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Tucker’s Exotic Meats
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Truckles cheese!
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Tracklements – award winning producers of the UK’s first wholegrain mustard, as well as a whole range of other condiments traditionally made using quality ingredients.

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I Like Cheese!

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London’s Portobello Road Gin – a favourite in the brand and taste stakes!
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Sipsmith’s from London, a small, independent artisanal producer of spirits. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the branding and the product more than matched in quality too.

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Primal feast immediately drew us across with the sight of the ‘dominator’ burger. Specialising in using exotic meats, this burger was stacked to the hilt with bison, kangaroo and ostrich!!
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One of the Primal Feast lads enjoying the goods!!!

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Foxes Spices
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The Little Round Cake Company had lots of admirers and it was no surprise with their eye-poppingly voluptuous ‘merangz’ and gorgeous sponge cakes called ‘tweeners’.
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Voluptuous ‘merangz’!!
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Tweeners!!
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Yum Yum Tree Fudge – deliciously moreish fudge with a delicate sweetness from using less sugar than other fudge.
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Great British Sauce Company had their condiments and sauces on show, such as Proper Tomato Sauce and Hot & Sweet Chilli Sauce.  The tomato sauce was particularly good!
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Saucy!!
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Terra Rossa showed of their selection of Great Taste Ward winning oils and other Arabian specialities.

We tasted the odd thing here and there, it would have been rude not too don’t you think?!

It was a great event to be held in Yorkshire, and it would fantastic for the region to keep holding events of this magnitude again in the future!

Did any of you get to the event, what were your favourite stalls?