The Locals’ Guide to Al Fresco Dining in Harrogate

al fresco dining in Harrogate

We have a small outdoor area at Baltzersen’s and know how much our customers love to have some food or drink out there. As long as it’s not raining, we love a bit of al fresco dining in Harrogate!

There are some great indies in town offering lunch and evening dining outside. Don’t forget, too, that our recently-launched sandwich range – now part of a special lunchtime offer – is also a possibility for those that like to take lunch in the open air. Read our previous blog about other great places in town that offer brilliant sandwiches, grab yours and head off down to the Valley Gardens or the Stray.

Here’s a run-down of some of the best places for al fresco dining in Harrogate – in defiance of our mixed summer weather!

La Feria

Jez Verity and his partner Sophie Spyropoulos launched La Feria to share their love and knowledge of Andalusian cuisine.

Sophie had lived in Spain for 15 years, and she and Jez now have a holiday home near Cadiz in the south of the country. They love the buzz and attitude of contemporary Spain, and wanted their restaurant to reflect this.

The inspiration for La Feria was their family holidays in Andalusia. After a day at the beach, their children would love nothing more than tucking in to some rotisserie chicken and chips at the local restaurant.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

The concept was to open a restaurant which had rotisserie chicken at its heart. But there’s a lot more La Feria besides its core dish.

The menu offers simple and wholesome home-made food, inspired by the Spanish and Moroccan influences of Andalusian cuisine. Ingredients are sourced from Spain wherever possible.

There’s a choice of rotisserie chicken marinated in a blend of Andalusian or Moroccan spices, depending on your preference. The chicken is paired with skinny fries and home-made salads using the freshest seasonal ingredients.

A weekly special is also available, depending on the best produce around at that time from Jez’s network of Spanish suppliers. There’s also an extensive range of tapas, cheese and cured meats boards, and Spanish bar snacks including spicy meatballs and calamari.

The expansive drinks menu features modern Spanish wines, cavas, sherries and exclusive Spanish beers chosen to complement the food perfectly.

The attraction is not just the delicious and reasonably-priced food but the atmosphere, and the authenticity and attention to detail of the décor.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

And since the venue opened in 2014, it would seem Jez and Sophie’s instinct for the perfect eatery was spot-on. They’ve been overwhelmed by the response from diners, who love La Feria so much that weekend bookings now need to be made at least six weeks ahead.

Its popularity also led the couple to decide to relocate from their modest premises on Royal Parade to much larger surroundings just round the corner on Cold Bath Road. With 90 covers inside and a further 50 outside, it’s a big step up from their previous 23-seat venue.

Following a refurbishment, the new restaurant opened in May. It’s been fully renovated, and the indoor space is warm and inviting, with reclaimed furniture, salvaged items and sherry barrels. Many of the shutters, tiles and doors have been sourced from reclamation yards in Cadiz and Seville.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

It all adds up to a casual, rustic and authentic atmosphere, which continues to their amazing terrace outside. If you’re looking for somewhere to dine al fresco, this could be the perfect place. It’s possibly the largest dining terrace in Harrogate, with seating for 50. There’s even a canopy to protect diners from the unpredictable British weather. And you don’t have to eat chicken or tapas, either – you can just pop in for a coffee and an authentic Spanish dessert.

It’s also dog-friendly so is perfect for a spontaneous drop-in after a long summer walk – as long as you can find a free table!

al fresco dining in Harrogate

For more visit http://laferiarestaurants.co.uk/

Christian’s Café

Christian’s may be based outside of town but it sees itself firmly as part of Harrogate’s independent food scene.

That’s because it uses local suppliers, offers fresh, home cooked food made from seasonal ingredients, and is focused above all else on providing quality food and a great service.

The café is located at the back of the Crimple Hall garden and antiques centre on Leeds Road in Pannal. It was launched three and a half years ago by Christian Ogley, using his knowledge of different cuisines that he’d learnt both working in a variety of kitchens and studying in London.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

The café, which is child friendly and accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs, is open seven days a week, as well as for private events. Chef Jack Scaife previously worked at The Buck Inn at Maunby near Thirsk, which won the Yorkshire Life Dining Pub of the Year in 2014.

There’s a breakfast menu and a main menu featuring classics such as fish and chips, a chef’s special and hearty dishes including lamb shoulder and risotto. There’s also a gluten free menu and kids’ menu.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

The café also has a selection of coffee and artisan cakes from The Cake Lady in Harrogate. Other local suppliers include Hudson’s of Knaresborough for meat, Ramus in Harrogate for fish and beer (the café is fully licensed) from the BAD Company microbrewery in Thirsk.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

Where al fresco dining is concerned, Christian’s has a partially covered outdoor area which offers stunning views over the Crimple Valley. During the summer months, the café’s very own ice cream van is parked outside. The ice cream is made by Italian restaurant Brio, another of Harrogate’s indie eateries which recently opened a ‘gelato’ parlour in the town centre.

al fresco dining in Harrogate

The outdoor space also features a pizza oven, which was a big hit last summer but has so far this year been out of action due to the poor weather. Restaurant manager Tom Peak is confident that it will come into use over the summer holidays, though!

al fresco dining in Harrogate

The café was initially based in humble premises on the other side of Crimple Hall. But two years ago, it moved to its current larger, more modern surroundings, with 125 covers inside and 75 outside.

It’s part of a ‘destination’, in that people often visit for the day. So they’ll have breakfast at Christian’s then visit the antique centre before having lunch back at Christian’s and going to the garden centre.

And this ‘destination shopping’ at Crimple Hall looks set to grow in popularity when plans for expansion come to fruition in 2017. Last year, the site was granted planning permission to add a further 26,587ft sq of new retail and restaurant units. It’s an exciting time at Crimple Hall, and is sure to introduce even more people to the delights of Christian’s.

For more, visit http://www.christianscafe.co.uk/

The Orchid

Thai restaurant The Orchid has become a firm Harrogate favourite in the 15 years since it opened. But did you know it has a large heated outdoor dining area with an additional bar terrace?

al fresco dining in harrogate

Its customers are a mix of locals, leisure visitors and conference guests, with some local people remaining loyal to the restaurant since the start.

The Pan-Asian menu, which is served throughout the day, offers a variety of dishes from countries of the Pacific rim. Customers can enjoy culinary delights from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

Among the most popular dishes are starters of Singapore Crispy Prawns and Bang Bang Chicken. Sizzling Black Pepper Beef and Plaa Neung Ma Now (seabass with bird’s eye chillies, lemon juice and spring onion) are among the most requested main courses, while the Orchid Tasting Plate is always a popular choice for dessert!

al fresco dining in harrogate

There aren’t many restaurants in Harrogate that offer a full outside dining experience like the Orchid. Its large heated outside dining area can seat up to 24 people and, whether they’re dining inside or out, guests can sit at the additional bar terrace and enjoy cocktails and light snacks.

al fresco dining in harrogate

For more, visit http://www.orchidrestaurant.co.uk/

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