Christmas Market in Harrogate

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.

Cake display at the Baltzersen's stall on Harrogate Christmas Market.

Our selection of cakes of pastries. Anna’s Finnish ‘Kringla’ was particularly popular

Coffee machine on show at the front of the Baltzersen's Christmas market stall

My mum manning the stall on Sunday morning.

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.

Classic La Marzocco Linea coffee machine

Classic La Marzocco Linea coffee machine

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.

Keith loves making sausages!

Keith loves making sausages!

A tray of Pølse ready for steaming

Pølse made by Addyman’s going into the oven for steaming

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.

Bags of Christmas gingerbread from Baltzersen's

Our gingerbread shapes in gift bags. There is still availability on our gingerbread decorating courses and you can see our video here.

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.

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