Harrogate's spectacular efforts to tempt back customers highlighted by Ales in the Dales at Yorkshire Hotel

Harrogate bars, cafes and restaurants have enjoyed a good return to business this week - despite being required to serve customers outdoors only on the still dark nights of early Spring.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 4:29 pm
Updated Friday, 16th April 2021, 4:30 pm
Pictured the ribbon cut in the outside beer garden from Nick Smith cutting ribbon with from left , Phil Airey, Nick Fryer and MD HRH group Simon Cotton. Picture Gerard Binks

After Monday saw stage two of the Government's roadmap ease lockdown rules for the hospitality sector, more and more bars have reopened; the latest being Little Ale House on Cheltenham Crescent which reopened on Friday fcr walk-ins with no need to book.

As well venues like Starling Independent Bar Cafe Kitchen on Oxford Street, Cold Bath Brewing Co on Kings Road and The Disappearing Chin on Beulah Street making use of outdoor space, two other locations did the same to spectacular effect - The Fat Badger, and the Pickled Sprout at the Yorkshire Hotel.

Customers enjoying the new outside beer garden earlier this week at the Starling Independent Bar Cafe Kitchen in Harrogate. (Picture Gerard Binks)

In the case of the Fat Badger, the owners have utilised the space on the top deck of the car park and turned this into a stunning beer garden, complete with 15 pods.

As for the Yorkshire Hotel, recent weeks have seen the building of a dry stone wall by husband and wife team Jason and Tracey Potter of Living Stone, the delivery of more than 350 plants, shrubs and trees from Johnson’s of Whixley, the arrival of 300 m2 of real turf and 120 tons of top soil and a pile huge rocks courtesy of HACS.

Working with Horticap’s landscape gardener Nick Fryer , the whole, incredible display outside the Yorkshire Hotel has been topped off by a genuine miniature steam train.

It’s all part of the spectacular ‘Ales In The Dales’ project which was unveiled last Monday to bring a countryside flavour to eating and drinking outdoors.

It's already attracted media attention from TV news shows beyond Harrogate.

Simon Cotton, managing director of the HRH Group which owns the Yorkshire Hotel, the White Hart Hotel and the Fat Badger pub, said: “When Boris Johnson announced that we would have a window of five weeks for hospitality to open outdoors only before the next stage of the roadmap on May 17, we listened carefully to the suggestion of making the most of the outside space we have, including car parks and came up with several ideas.

“With the igloos at the Fat Badger and the ‘Costa del Harrogate’ beach we built outside the hotel last year going down so well, people have been asking what we’re doing this time, and I, therefore, pulled a few favours and came up with the idea for ‘Ales In The Dales’ which is somewhat of a community project.”

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