Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Here, There and Everywhere in Harrogate

Birthday Part II 

First of all an apology to anybody that may be following this blog.  I was supposed to report back on my birthday weekend a day or so after my last post, but as we all know, life isn't always straight forward is it?  Let's just say that I have had a topsy turvy week and although I started out with all good intentions, other things happened and I had to change course a little. Anyway, hopefully we will be able to sort out the topsy turvy in time, but I now have the opportunity to update my blog.  At this rate, my birthday will be going down as the longest in history, but I had such a lovely time (and rare in having some time alone with DH!) that I wanted to share it with you.

So Saturday morning we set off for Harrogate, but on the way I convinced DH that we really needed to visit baa ram ewe, as the opportunity may not arise again and we were almost going to be driving past the door (well sort of) and DH agreed (well it was my birthday!).
The ladies in baa ram ewe were so friendly and helpful.  It is only a small shop, but it is packed full with lots of yummy yarns, and everything is displayed really well according to yarn weight (very helpful when you know you are on limited time, as I was).  They also had a wonderful selection of books, buttons, needles.  I could of happily spent hours and lots of money, but sadly I was on a time limit and low budget.  So I settled on something practical which is some DK yarn by King Cole called Merino Blend.  I picked it not only for the price, as it was very reasonable, but also because of the lovely colours you could get it in.  This is for a crochet blanket al la mode Attic24 and According to Matt.  But I will report back on that next time.  I also picked this yarn because it can be washed.  I realised when I got back home after the weekend, that I am going to need much more of this wool, especially the cream - I hope that I will be able to get it!!!
After our brief trip to baa ram ewe, we got back into the car and made haste to Harrogate.  I have only been to Harrogate once before, to attend the Knit and Stitch Show, which was fantastic, but I didn't really get to see much of Harrogate and at that time the weather was absolutely freezing (November 2010).

We arrived and checked into our hotel, and then made our way to Betty's Tea Room, as DH had booked afternoon tea for me.  I've always wanted to have a lovely afternoon tea out somewhere posh.  One day I intend to go to the Ritz in London,  but I have also wanted a proper Betty's afternoon tea.  Although we have been to York many times, and there is a Betty's in York with a tearoom, it has not been possible to go due to the expense of having four people to pay for (DD and DS have always been with us).  They were a little upset  to be excluded this time!
 Well it was absolutely lovely in there.
The staff were so efficient and very, very nice.  We were shown to our table, and I was able to take a phtoograph of the beautiful room.  Good job I took the photo's early, as within 10 mins the tables filled up.  The staff told us that this tearoom was decorated in the style of a tearoom on the titanic.  The staff all wore the old fashioned black and white uniforms.  The table linen was to die for - it was so white and crisp.
We started lunch with a glass of pink champagne (which went straight to my head because I was getting quite hungry!) then they took our tea order, there were so many to choose from. 
I settled on the Darjeeling.  Then they brought out the sandwiches and cakes.
It was absolutely delicious.  I think they realised that DH could have polished this lot off on his own, so they offered him another plate of sandwiches, which made him very happy.  It was such a lovely afternoon.
After lunch we had a little wander around Harrogate and did some window shopping.  There are some lovely shops in Harrogate, but sadly I had already spent up on yarn and it was a lovely treat to go to Betty's.  The next time I visit Harrogate, I will go with the intention of doing some serious shopping. 

In the evening, we went out for a quick bite to eat, and then found a pub called the Old Bell Tavern.  DH was very, very happy as they sold real ale and speciality beers - he was in heaven, quite literally.  There was a real sort of olde worlde feel to the pub.  I spotted these on the ceiling by the bar .....
It did make me chuckle, as I imagined it was the beer drinkers alternative to a crafters patchwork quilt.
We stayed out until late and then found our way back to the hotel where we enjoyed a good nights sleep.  The hotel was so quiet! ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Next day, after a lovely big cooked breakfast, we headed off to the Turkish Baths.
Apparently Harrogate was famous in Victorian times as a Health Resort and these Turkish Baths are only one of four left in this country.  They still have the original victorian tiles and wooden changing booths.  I couldn't take a picture inside, as I think they would have chucked me out for strange behaviour.  I thought that it might be a bit more, well spa like I guess, but it was more Victorian Bath house.  There are four 'heat' rooms which start off with room one being warm and room four being very hot, even the floor was too hot to stand on.  The quiet room at the end was quite impressive with a lovely glass dome ceiling and stencilling on the walls.  And I was very impressed to see that the toilets were the original Thomas Crapper toilets.  The flush was a wooden lever in the middle of the front of the cistern that you pulled down to flush, and efficient it was too.  I've never seen a toilet that was so old and fully working!
I felt so clean and so relaxed after the Turkish Baths.  We had a little walk around the centre of Harrogate and enjoyed the sunshine.  These tulips looked like they were enjoying the afternoon sun too.
We could not leave Harrogate without going back to Betty's for one final purchase  .....
DD and DS would not have forgiven us if we had gone home without some fat rascals!

We said a final farewell to our hotel and picked up the car from the car park to go home.  But before we left,  I had to get a photograph of the mat in the entrance to the hotel.  The few members of the public that were sitting in the hotel foyer thought I was crackers but what do you think .....
I could not decide if this stain on the mat looked like a donkey or ......
a unicorn ha ha ha ..... i'm glad I had my camera with me.

I had a fabulous break in Harrogate.  Thank you so much DH X


  1. Hi Daisy. What a lovely treat! Sounds as though DH planned the perfect escape. Look forward to seeing what you do with all that wool.

  2. Yes, DH has definitely been in my good books ever since (lol). I felt thoroughly spoilt!

    I will be revealing the project that the new wool is for in my next post.

    Have fun!

    Daisy X

  3. What a super birthday! Baa ram ewe looks a wonderful shop! I would find it difficult to keep to budget in it. I haven't been to Betty's for years but it was fab when I last went and as tea and cake is one of the more important and least dispensable points of the day as far as I am concerned I am with you all the way on it as a birthday destination of choice! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog - so glad you liked my little hooky & stitchy forays! Elizabeth x

  4. What a lovely birthday weekend! That's funny because I had a posh afternoon tea for my birthday on that saturday as well! Yummy!

    1. It's funny isn't it, sometimes the simple things in life can bring so much pleasure - sandwiches, cake and tea. Glad you enjoyed your celebration too, and thank you for taking time to leave a comment on my blog. X