This was the second year for the Harrogate Christmas Market located in the centre of Harrogate on Montpellier hill, and the first time that Baltzersen’s has made an appearance.
As a local business we get a double benefit from supporting the market. We peddled our usual wares; hot drinks, cakes and pastries. My crack family team also had the opportunity to tell a few more people who haven’t managed to find the café on Oxford Street about who we are and what we do.
We marked a number of firsts at this market. This was the first time we have operated a coffee machine outside the familiar and comfortable surroundings of our own café. The La Marzocco Linea machine we borrowed from the kind people over at Transition Espresso (thanks also to Dave at Laynes Espresso for putting us in touch), was a new challenge. Manual control of the coffee extraction forced the barista (me) to concentrate on what was going on with every shot. An unfamiliar steam wand and a slightly awkward working height were all issues to overcome.
We took this opportunity to offer for the first time our Pølse, a pork sausage developed with our butcher Keith Addyman, spiced to my great-grandma’s 1917 recipe. With the addition of our pickled cucumber relish and served in a demi-pain from our baker Bondgate Bakery in Otley the pølse were very popular.
We are so grateful for all the support we got from our existing customers through the first couple of days. The opportunity to talk to our regular customers at the Christmas market with it’s special atmosphere made the Thursday and Friday worthwhile.
Customer feedback about the Christmas market as a whole was really positive. Virtually everyone we talked to thought the market was bigger and better than the previous year and seemed to really enjoy it. No doubt it was helped by better weather!
I am currently working with a group of business owners that are looking to create some sort of centralised food and drink offer for the Tour de France. After seeing the huge amount of effort that went into organising the Christmas Market from Brian and Beryl Dunsby, and their team of volunteers, it is a daunting task.