November 17, 2017
Hotel Du Vin, Harrogate
Sometimes all you need is to escape for a few days, not too far but far enough to feel like a holiday.
Harrogate is one of those places – a pretty Yorkshire town just a few miles off the A1M and close enough to Leeds and York for a bit more shopping – although Harrogate’s shops are pretty good too!
Having the builders in at home, I decided to escape over half term with my daughter for a bit of girly bonding.
Every time I stay in Harrogate I check in at the beautiful and central Hotel du Vin – a wonderful Georgian building that is situated looking over the park that makes the town feel so pretty.
The spacious double room had an amazing bathtub, and the breakfast is well worth including in your package – especially the crepes!
On the first day we decided to explore Harrogate town centre – it has all the usual high street stores but a few nice extras like Space NK, Lakeland and Molton Brown just a few steps from the hotel. But when you stray down the hill, you find some beautiful interiors stores like Covet and the Harrogate indoor antiques centre.
Covet interiors store, Harrogate
Heading back up the hill, you’ll see the queues for Betty’s tea shop which we decided to skip (more on this later) but (for the over 18’s) the home of Slingsby gin is worth a detour.
The Ivy in Harrogate - coming soon
Eating out in Harrogate is spoilt for choice - my favourite for the grown-ups is the seafood restaurant the Drum & Monkey, and I was excited to see The Ivy is making an appearance soon in the town.
However when with kids, I’d recommend Las Iguanas (note the Mexican Mondays 241 deal) and Jamie’s Italian for easy family food (half term kids ate free – bonus).
Day two we hopped on the train to Leeds, the mecca for teenage (and grown up) shopping in Yorkshire. After a lengthy visit to Victoria Secret Pink and the shops in the Trinity Centre, we headed to Harvey Nichols for a look at the new Fenty make up from Rhianna. The colours were quite 80s retro, and the prices were surprisingly good – we picked up a highlighter to share (I’ll never see that again!). Check out my Fenty beauty review on the blog.
To the side is a lovely arcade, where Harvey Nichols Espresso bar is situated – we popped in for tea and cake, (and later on a light lunch) whilst watching the world go by to the sounds of a grand piano.
Behind here is the new Victoria Gate centre, my highlight of the day. Filled with high end boutiques, including my favourites Cos and & Other Stories, even the giant John Lewis at the helm has a designer feel.
Harrogate is not only great for shopping, its situated in the most beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We headed to RHS Harlow Carr just outside the town for a walk around the cultivated gardens and forests, and topped the day off with a trip to its Betty’s Tea Room– a lot less busy than the town centre café.
The purpose of our short break was relaxation, so I was keen for us to book into a spa and chill by the pool. Easier said than done.
I was amazed to see that hardly anywhere lets under 16s join you for a spa day! Has anyone else had this problem? Harrogate’s Turkish Baths would have been great, but over 18s only.
Same with the award-winning Rudding Park Spa just outside Harrogate which only lets kids swim at designated hours, but doesn’t let older girls like mine enjoy the rooftop spa which is a shame. Having googled for hours, I couldn’t find anywhere that would let us enjoy a day of girly pampering together.
The Grand Hotel & Spa, York
Until I found the Grand Hotel and Spa in York – not only does this beautiful hotel welcome kids, it goes out of its way to design the experience around young people.
We booked in to use the spa, along with a pedicure each. Sadly on the day there were electricity issues, and only one of us could get a treatment – and my daughter could only use the small pool, not the whirlpool or steam rooms. But overall it was a nice experience, and they made her feel like a princess.
I’d love to hear if anyone has found a fabulous family-friendly spa where a young teenager is made welcome, I’m sure there is a blog post in this alone.
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