Healthy Choices Your Smalls Will Actually Eat – at Filmore and Union

I love a bit of Filmore and Union, it’s a great spot for coffee with the Mamas. It’s also perfect for whenever I’ve skipped breakfast in favour of loading the dishwasher before dashing out of the door for the school run, then their peanut butter and banana bagel always fills me up till school pick up time!

So I was pleased to hear that they’d extended their family offering too by updating their junior menu – which includes healthy choices your Smalls will actually eat!

Junior Menu at Filmore and Union

The new menu features a ‘build your own pizza’ made on a spinach wrap base with a choice of toppings including broccoli, feta, chicken, sausage, and red peppers. Snacks include sweet potato wedges and a fruit plate, and there are lots of yummy sweet options that are handmade with natural ingredients and include no refined sugar including Filmore’s famous chocolate brownie and a chocolate peanut butter and banana pizza!

Junior Menu and the all important colouring

 Plus it’s great for kids with special dietary requirements including gluten free and dairy free dishes, and everything on the menu can be adapted for those with allergies or other requirements.

Harrogate Nana and the Smalls (and a hiding Small Boy!)

We went along (with Harrogate Nana!) to check it out! It was so great to have some seriously tasty, fresh, healthy food after all the Christmas indulgence! I chose a Bench Press Goodness Bowl, which was packed with all the colours of the rainbow and included;  Quinoa, avocado, maple pecan, sweet potato, feta, hummus, poached egg, mixed seeds and coronation cashew dressing, with a red lentil and feta cake!

Goodness Bowl Heaven

It was amazing and just looking at it alone made me feel better! It tasted delicious whilst also making me feel virtuous, a hard combination to achieve!

Filmore Classic Bagel Hot Jacks

Harrogate Nana went for the Filmore Classic Bagel Hot Jacks, with Pimento roasted chicken with red peppers and homemade guacamole! Which she thoroughly enjoyed!

The Smalls were happiest of all though, firstly they chose hot chocolate as their drink of choice, not so healthy, but you know, milk!

Junior Make Your Own Pizza

One of the big girls chose the Build Your Own Pizza on a Spinach wrap base with a choice of toppings and the other two went for a perfectly cooked classic; scrambled eggs!

Scrambled Egg Perfection

The menu is just big enough and designed with dishes your children would actually choose on it too! There was quite some wavering over the Mini Pancakes with banana, strawberries and maple syrup and the Sweet Pizza, with chocolate, peanut butter and banana too!


We loved our lunch, all ate it all, and we’ll definitely be back! The service was friendly and helpful, there were highchairs should we have needed them, the all important colouring for the Smalls and a lovely atmosphere!


Have you been with your Smalls? What did you think?

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: Filmore and Union invited us to try their new junior menu with their compliments, the views are my own.

A New Year’s Resolution you can actually keep!

I’m not one for making New Year Resolutions. Mainly because, like most other people, I know I just break them after around 10 days and then hate myself even more for not even managing to do anything about the thing that I wanted to do something about! Gah!

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New Year, New You

But this year I decided I was going to make a positive resolution, you know, something to do more of and not less of! And I landed on a great one that I’m pretty sure is possible for everyone to keep! It is simply this … To Do More Of What I Love!

Do More Of What You Love

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By just giving myself the permission to do more of what I love I already feel like I’ve treated myself! As Mamas we’re notoriously poor at self care, we’re always at the bottom of the list for everything and sometimes it’s important to not only put yourself on the list but put yourself at the top of it! After all, if you’re not around to pick up the pieces when you fall ill (which you will if you don’t care for yourself), who else will?

Self Care Matters

You are responsible for your own happiness

And although I love jetting off to a sun soaked beach, doing it more often is realistically very unlikely, so it doesn’t quite work like that. In my head it works by making some positive choices in your life.

I love reading, but don’t often make the time to do that. So I’m choosing to go to bed a little earlier to spend time doing something I love. I love catching up with friends and family over a coffee, so I’m choosing to have a quick cuppa before starting my work for the day. I love to cook family meals, but don’t feel I have the time so I’m making time. Before making a choice about whether I should do something or not I’m thinking, ‘do I love doing it?’ and if the answer is yes, I’m just doing more of it!

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Mastering the Art of Appreciation

Choosing to do more of what I love is a state of mind rather than a tangible thing. I was struck by a ‘pause for thought’ on the Radio Two breakfasts show on Monday morning – which was a reminder of something we all know, but fail to listen to often which is; happiness is not a destination – it’s a state of mind.

While we’re all busy rushing around to get things done, work finished and project plan for our future lives, we’re missing the point. Happiness comes from mastering the art of appreciation and choosing to enjoy what we already have.

Have you made any resolutions this year? What do you love to do and what will you be doing more of this year? Are you aiming towards choosing to enjoy what you have already?

Lucy xx


All the Festive Magic of The Snowman Tour and Live Orchestra

On Sunday we were treated to the most magical Christmas experience. We took the Famalam to see The Snowman Tour, which was in all the glorious, gorgeousness of York Minster and it was amazingly beautiful!

The Snowman Tour at York Minster

The Minster was completely full with excited Smalls and shushing parents all eagerly anticipating the start of the performance. Apart from getting to experience the Minster in all it’s splendour, the best thing about the experience was the live Orchestra!

York Minster Splendidness

The 26 piece orchestra was expertly conducted by the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Steve Magee who expertly manages to sync The Snowman score to the film as a live soundtrack!

Live Orchestra

There are not many places you get to hear an Orchestra of such calibre live these days, especially not with Small children in tow, and the acoustics in The Minster are second to none! We had amazing seats so we could see all the dexterity and attentiveness of the musicians first hand, what a marvel to behold!

All the magic of the Film and the Live Orchestra

The film is shown on three large screens in The Minster meaning you can see from all angles of the cathedral. The film is such a classic piece of Christmas loveliness that we all couldn’t help but be swept along with it’s familiar, divine music and magic. The best part of all was when the young soloist from The Minster choir sang live to ‘we’re walking in the air’ it was breath-taking, what a proud family he must have!

The Snowman Tour

The Smalls all loved the performance and the Big Girls were really impressed with getting to see an orchestra so close up. The Small Boy fell in love with the story and was mesmerised throughout the whole thing.

Before the main event there was a short piece of film around The Nutcracker Suite and a Festive Guide to the Orchestra too which helped set the scene and built up nicely to the screening.

Happy Snowman Smalls

It was a truly lovely, festive way to spend the Saturday before Christmas and I would recommend it to families of all ages, a magical experience that I’m certain mine will remember for a long time to come!


There are still a handful of tickets left for the performance in Hull on 30th December, where tickets start from £16, but we’re hoping it will be touring again in 2018!

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: We were invited to review the performance with complimentary tickets, and the views are my own.



Family Sunday Lunch at The Punch Bowl Inn

Sunday’s were made for families and roasts in my opinion, so naturally Sunday lunch is the best way to enjoy both, and all the tastier when someone else cooks it for you! Hurrah!

Family Sunday Lunch at The Punch Bowl Inn

The Punch Bowl Inn

Last Sunday we were invited to The Punch Bowl Inn at Marton cum Grafton for a classic Sunday roast with all the trimmings in the gorgeous surrounds of the traditional Inn.

The Punch Bowl Inn at Marton cum Grafton

The Punch Bowl Inn couldn’t be any more quintessentially English if it tried, it’s set in a postcard pretty village north of Harrogate, just off the A1, towards Boroughbridge – so it only took us about 20 minutes to get there.

Warm Welcome

The Inn is as gorgeous on the inside as it looks from the outside and is a sister Inn to the West Park Hotel in Harrogate. Upon entering you’re greeted by a host of cosy snugs, wooden tables, roaring log fires and a warm welcome. The Smalls were made to feel as at home as the grown ups with colouring and Christmas crackers.

Warm Welcome

We were welcomed with drinks at the bar, lemonade for the Smalls and festive mulled wine for the Mamas in the house, then we were seated at a round table, very important when you’re a family of five, and we set to ordering.

Festive Mulled Festivness

Sunday Lunch

The menu is extensive for Sunday lunch, with starters ranging from classic prawn cocktail to roast pumpkin risotto and the traditional Sunday Roasts included; sirloin of Beef, loin of Pork and traditional Christmas Turkey. There were an additional five non-roast choices too ranging from beer battered Fish to Game Pie.

Happy Smalls made to feel welcome

Complimentary Wine

Two courses are £19.95 and include a free bottle of house wine when two people order two course each; great value! The prices for the Smalls were even more reasonable, with kids starters and puddings just £1.95 and main courses between £3.95 and £5.95 each!

Wine for the Mamas (and the Papas)

Great Value for the Smalls

I don’t know about yours but mine LOVE a Sunday dinner – it’s one of their favourite meals, so it was roast Turkey with all the trimmings for them.

Great value for the Smalls

They’re also suckers for a tomato soup so they each decided to start with that – despite my suggestion that it might fill them up! However one of the Big Girls declared it was the tastiest tomato soup she’d ever had and finished the lot!

Sunday Roast Heaven

Tasty Traditional Roasts

Not one to go against the grain Harrogate Papa joined in on the soup starter too, white onion and cider for him – again, it was rated top  notch and I went for a more Mama friendly poached pears with Harrogate blue cheese salad and candid pecans – it was really good!

Proper Starters!

Despite being a (not very good) vegetarian I do love a Sunday dinner myself too – without the meat obviously! So The Punch Bowl Inn kindly accommodated my request for grilled fillet of Salmon (which was cooked to perfection) alongside roast potatoes, winter vegetables, cauliflower cheese and a Yorkshire Pudding as big as my head!

Roast Dinner Salmon Glory

Harrogate Papa, being a traditionalist, plumbed for the Christmas Turkey too and loved every mouthful, a particular highlight being the Yorkshire Pudding!

Traditional Turkey Lunch

Top Notch Puddings

Talking of puddings we had no room for dessert but obviously decided ‘t we couldn’t do without. All the dessert choices were perfectly what you’d expect post traditional roast dinner; pear and blackberry crumble, chocolate torte, ice creams and sorbets and a selection of cheeses.

Chocolate Brownie Tastiness

The Smalls went crazy for the Chocolate Brownie with ice cream and couldn’t help themselves at the mention of Provenance Sweets and Treats, which included ice cream, hot chocolate sauce, marshmallows and chocolate popping candy – what’s not to love about that when you’re four?!

Dream Pudding of Four Year Olds

I’m a pudding girl through and through, so there was no other choice than the Sticky Toffee Pudding for me, served with lashings of butterscotch sauce and and cinder toffee ice cream. It was amazing! Needless to say I didn’t need an evening meal that night!

Sticky Toffee Heaven Gorgeousness

Private Dining

The Punch Bowl Inn also has a private dining suite upstairs, which seats up to 14 and it comes with a brilliant private lounge area and separate toilets, making it a perfect space for holding a family gathering, celebration or Christmas party.

Private Dining Area

It’d be great for larger families especially if you’re looking for some space for the kids post meal time to hang out or play games etc while the grown ups continue to chat.

Private Dining Lounge

Great Atmosphere

We loved all the food we ate and the atmosphere of the Punch Bowl Inn, it’s as traditional as Sunday roasts get in Yorkshire. The service was spot on, all the staff were really attentive and thoughtful, clearing away carefully as they went. Dogs were welcomed and all the guests seemed rosy cheeked and to be enjoying their relaxed Sundays!

Friendly Atmosphere

Spot on Food

The food was spot on, everything was cooked just how it should be, the roast potatoes crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the carrot and swede puree sweet and tasty, the gravy had great flavour and the Yorkshire Puddings were the tear-apart consistency you only get with good ones! The Smalls all wolfed down theirs and the puddings were all a triumph! We especially loved that the provenance of all the meats were also clearly shown on the menu and it was all sourced from local farms.

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Family Favourite

So if you’re looking for a tasty traditional Sunday lunch for the whole family to enjoy I think the Punch Bowl Inn ticks all the boxes perfectly. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, great food and a lovely setting.

Outdoor area for the Summer

They also have a lovely outdoor space for the summer (with an extra private hire space that could be used for summer events or more formal meetings too).

Outdoor Space

Up and Coming Events

Over the next few months they have some Christmas activities including;

  • Christmas Quiz Sunday 17th December from 7.30pm with mulled wine and mince pies
  • Christmas Carols Tuesday 19th December from 7pm with mulled wine and mince pies
  • Music and Tapas Friday 19th January from 7pm with Spanish Tapas and live music
  • Friendship Lunches at noon on the second Monday of every month – a large sharing table
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The Punch Bowl Inn

To find out more about The Punch Bowl Inn you can visit their Facebook or website pages, their Sunday Lunch menu is served from noon to 8pm every Sunday.

Lucy xx

Disclaimer: The Punch Bowl Inn invited us to review with their compliments, the opinions are my own.



The Low Down on the Harrogate Night Out at Everyman last week!

Last Friday night we had loads of fun at our event at Everyman – bringing all you lovely Harrogate folks together for a night out with a chance to see some amazing local independent businesses in action!

Harrogate Mama and The Harrogate Girl
At Everyman in Harrogate

The brilliant Catherine Gibbin photography was on hand to take some pictures of the goings on, so you can see for yourself how the night went down!

Harrogate Lovelies
Fizz and Everyman nibbles
Shopping Glam -Style

Basically; it was loads of fun! There was a fantastic atmosphere, lots and lots of lovely people and top independent businesses who are all so passionate about what they do! It was perfect!

The gorgeous

Best of all the night raised a whopping £588 for the Harrogate Homeless Project – which is amazing!

Raffle Loveliness

Thank you so much to everyone who came along – and thank you to the brilliant Votre Vacances who donated the star prize of a holiday – Ah Mazing – and to all the brilliant suppliers who donated raffle prizes too.

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Raffle Winner!


Sarah Dunn from  Votre Vacances – Prize-donater extraordinaire 

There was plenty of gorgeousness to be spotted everywhere you looked…

Hampsthwaite Gifts Gorgeousness

And so many amazing local products, handmade by fantastic local folks!

Holly Francesca Hand-Drawn Local Maps
Taylor + Bennett Macrons of Joy
Handmade magic from Peonie Cole
The very talented Catherine Gibbin Photography
Beautiful handmade wreaths from 4Seasons Florist

A chance to meet local business owners and find out more about them…

Georgia from Imagined Things Bookshop
Rubie Rae Bespoke Jewellery
The fantastic Mike from Harrogate’s COOK
La Prairie
Stocking filling goodies from The Lingerie Rooms
Flamingo Paperie
The HGTE Hero –  Sara from Violet
All the lovely of DoTERRA with Izzy and Sabrina
Harrogate’s Premium Gin – Harrogate Tipple

To get to meet some other lovely local bloggers and Instagrammers (who also do lots of other amazing things too)

Peonie Cole 
The Greedy Sisters
The Harrogate Teen and Harrogate Mama

And mostly to have a brilliant night out with like minded people, while enjoying a glass of sparkly, and an out of this world choir …

The very talented Louise Lunn Make Up
All the Glory of All Together Now Choir
Sparkly and Goody Bags Gorgeousness

And best of all getting a top notch goody bag to take home at the end of the night too!

Goody Bag Time!

If you’d like to be first on the list to hear about the next event  (the last two have sold out really quickly) then please email me at with the subject – ‘Yes Please To Your Next Event’ and include your first and last name on the email and I’ll make sure you’re first to hear about it!

Lucy xx


GLOW Illuminations come to RHS Harlow Carr Gardens

Last night I was out at RHS Harlow Carr to see their GLOW illuminations and let me tell you – they are super gorgeous!

GLOW at RHS Harlow Carr
The illuminations will be on from 23 November right through until 30th December on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm to 8pm and it’s FREE with your RHS card 🙌
Best of all it means that there is now somewhere to take the Smalls on those dark winter afternoons that’s actually outside in the fresh air! The Small Boy is going to be in his element exploring with his torch and the big girls are going to be loving all the pretty!
Doric Columns as you’ve not seen them before!
It really is a gorgeous way to see the gardens in a whole new (ahem) light 😆 It was really magical!
In other great news for Mamas Betty’s will be doing take out hot drinks and snacks till 7pm too – what’s a winter’s walk without a latte and a gingerbread biscuit after all?! Look out for the fab new glow sticks and marvellous light up wands in the gift shop too!
Well done RHS Harlow Carr – a triumph!
Lucy xx

Amazing Prizes to support the Harrogate Homeless Project

Our Christmas Harrogate Tribe night this Friday (24th November) at Everyman out has completely sold out, which means I’ll get to welcome over 100 of you Harrogate lovelies to what’s set to be an amazing night!

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Best of all the night out supports the Harrogate Homeless Project, which means before you’ve even taken your first sip of fizz on Friday you’ve already donated to the charity via your ticket sale! Woo hoo! Well done and thank you so much!


If you’d like to support the charity event more you’ll be able to enter our raffle on the night – which sees some Ah-mazing prizes, kindly donated by our lovely Harrogate local independent supplies who will all be coming along on the night!

Here’s a run down of what you can win…

1.) A weeks holiday with Votre Vacances

This is an amazing prize to win a weeks family holiday in France! Full prize details can be found on my blog post Win a family holiday at the Harrogate Tribe Christmas Night Out!


2.) Cinema tickets for two with thanks to Everyman 

Screen Five Everyman

3.) A £25 gift voucher from the lovely Sara at Violet

Which you can use to treat yourself in her gorgeous shop!


4.) This beautiful piece of jewellery from Rubie Rae Bespoke Jewellery

Rubie Rae Nectar

This beautiful pendant and matching earring set is called Nectar. It’s gold plated, using Swarovski crystals and as you can see it’s inspired by honey colours and the honeycomb.

5.) A one hour make-up and skincare consultation with Lousie Lunn Make Up


You can read all about Lousie and her make-up sessions over on my blog post Expert Make Up Artist Reveals her Top Beauty Secrets for Harrogate Mamas

6.) A £15 gift voucher from

Isabel from has some beautiful pieces to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice! You can read more about Isabel on my blog post Amazing Mama’s Series – Jewellery Curator and Marketeer Isabel Conneely

7.) A beautiful A3 sized bespoke map of Harrogate from hand-drawn illustrations by Holly Francesca


This beautiful map received loads of love when I posted about it last week, you can get the low down on my blog post Win a bespoke map of Harrogate, from original hand-drawn illustrations

8.) A voucher for a party sized dessert from COOK Harrogate


9.) A £25 gift voucher from The Lingerie Rooms

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10.) A snowy village Advent calendar from Flamingo Paperie

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11.) An introduction set of essential oils from DoTERRA

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12.) The hardback copy of the book; My Little Book of Big Freedoms, illustrated by Chris Riddell – with thanks to Imagined Things Bookshop


13.) A beautiful bouquet from 4Seasons florist


14.) A box of Six macarons from Taylor + Bennett


15.) A gorgeous cushion from Peonie Cole

Stocking Peonie Cole

16.) A gift bag from ‘Littlecote Soap Co’ with thanks to Hampsthwaite Gifts

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With so many gorgeous gifts to choose from it’s going to be an amazing raffle! I only wish I could enter! At the last event we raised loads of money for the Harrogate Homeless Project too – so I’m sure this time we’ll do even better!

Here’s the low down on who’s who at the event if you’re planning your night… Christmas Tribe Night Out Suppliers Revealed…

Thanks to all the lovely local Harrogate suppliers who have donated such amazing prizes and thanks to you lovely lot for coming to what’s set to be a great night out! Can’t wait to see you all on Friday and enjoy that glass of Fizz! The night starts at 7.30pm and you’ll need your ticket to get in!

Lucy xx


Win a bespoke map of Harrogate, from original hand-drawn illustrations

As you know being a Harrogate Mama, I am a little bit in love with all things Harrogate! So I have totally fallen for this gorgeous bespoke illustrated map of our home town created by the uber-talented Holly Francesca.

Win A Harrogate Map and get 10% off at Holly Francesca

Read on below to see how you can WIN this beautiful map for FREE and get 10% off everything at Holly Francesca too.

Framed Map of Harrogate
Holly Francesca Map of Harrogate

Since 2012, Holly Francesca has created colourful and unique illustrations based on the most iconic places in London, the UK and the World. Her work is all from original hand drawings, and the illustrations are created into home products including; greeting cards, art prints & tea towels.

As well as the core range, Holly offers personalisation’s too (such as adding your home to an existing design) – such a cute idea & completely bespoke commissions too.

Brand New Illustrated Map of Harrogate

I first met Holly at the Harrogate Home and Gift Fair last year- she featured in my blog post Gorgeous Finds for Mamas from Harrogate’s Home and Gift Fair.

Holly and her family have since relocated all the way from Hastings to Hebden Bridge and we’re thrilled that she’ll be coming along to the Harrogate Tribe Christmas Night Out!

To celebrate her move to the North Holly has created a brand new illustrated map of Harrogate and I’m delighted to announce you can win one of these prints on the blog today!

How many places can you spot? You can view it in more detail over on Holly’s website.


Win This Illustrated Map Of Harrogate

You can win this bespoke art print map in A3 size, unframed which is worth £34.

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is: send an email to with the email subject – Win a Map and leave your name and email address.

One lucky winner will be selected on Saturday 18th November 2017 and the print will be delivered to you. Terms and Conditions are all below.

Get 10% off everything at Holly Francesca

Holly Francesca are also offering all Harrogate Mama readers 10% off any purchases from their online shop with the discount code HARROGATEMAMA – which you can just enter at checkout. There is a beautiful Yorkshire map too!


Yorkshire Map


About Holly Francesca and the Harrogate Map

Holly shared with me some of the reasons she created the map and how she goes about designing them…

“We first came to Harrogate last year for a trade show at the convention centre and really loved the town and surroundings. With impressive buildings, lots to do and super friendly folk, we had a strong desire to come back. Well we did much quicker than planned, as we have moved to Hebden Bridge from Hastings in August, and so we are able to visit and explore more of Harrogate again 🙂 Which has lead us to creating a Map of Harrogate design here and also exhibit at the Country Living Christmas Fair taking place in Harrogate, 30 November – 3 December.

When designing a map, knowing what to add is the hardest thing. Often there is simply too much in one area, therefore we have to be selective and make sure that we have a good range of places to add. We don’t want to have only pubs or churches, we want to add in places that local people and visitors regularly enjoy or easily recognise.

For us, as lovers of the Great outdoors, there is nothing better than a walk through Valley Gardens that is our favourite place in Harrogate. Many places were a dead certain to be included because they are so iconic in Harrogate, such as the Turkish Baths, Royal Pump Room, Royal Hall and The Majestic Hotel. Then there was food, and nothing we felt was more synonymous with Harrogate than Betty’s.

With Entertainment we included some pubs, the theatre, the cinema and highlighted plenty of shopping locations. We even gave a nod to RHS Harlow Carr, although it is off the map, it’s within touching distance and is so beautiful. Harrogate was a very enjoyable map to draw and with no shortage of different places to add, we think that you could spend a very long time taking all of the design in. We hope you like the outcome and look forward to more Harrogate visits now as Yorkshire residents.”

Lucy xx

Giveaway Terms and conditions:
1.) The giveaway is for you to receive one A3 illustrated map of Harrogate (unframed) worth £34
2.) The giveaway will run from Monday 13th November until Friday 17th November at 23.59hrs.
3.) The winner will be contacted on Monday 20th November by email.
4.) A reply to the winning email is required within 24 hours before a new winner is chosen.
5.) There is no cash alternative for the giveaway.
6.) Holly Francesca will be responsible for the redemption of the giveaway, any matters arising must be taken up with them directly.
7.) No purchase necessary to win.
8.) Entrants need to be over 18 to enter the giveaway.
9.) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.
10.) I will not share or sell your email address with any other parties.
11.) The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
12.) Harrogate Mama blog reserves the right to publish winner’s first name and last initial.
13.) Harrogate Mama blog also reserves the right to choose a different winner in the case that the randomly chosen winner refuses to co-operate with rules, reply to winning email in 24 hour time period or does not have a verifiable entry.
14.) When you enter this competition you are signing up to receive emails solely from Harrogate Mama blog which will be sent infrequently and to which you will be able to unsubscribe at any given time.
15.) Only one entry per person please.


This Year’s John Lewis Christmas Ad Unveiled – what do you think?

Have you seen the new John Lewis Christmas Advert yet? What do you think? I heard the song on the radio this morning and LOVED it immediately, but then I’m always a bit of a sucker for some Elbow! They cover the Beatles song ‘Golden Slumber’.

Am I a fan of Moz the Monster? I’m not sure, but I do love the scene where he carries the Small Boy back to bed.

What do you think?

Lucy xx


Brewtown Tours – Who knew beer was so on Fleek!

Last weekend I had loads of fun buzzing around Leeds, visiting very cool clandestine bars, being chauffer driven in a mini-bus all while indulging in a fine tipple or two! Although it sounds like I was on a crazy hen-do I was actually enjoying a really great trip around local independent breweries in the city with Brewtown Tours!

Down with the Hipsters drinking real ales

The Indie Beer Scene

The indie beer scene is incredibly en fleek at the moment, craft ales are very much a  thing of the present and hipster beards were in abundance at some of the awesome independent breweries we visited as part of the brilliant Brewtown Tours beer experience we took part in at the weekend!

Enjoying the beers at Quirky Ales with Brewtown Tours

The trip saw us visiting three breweries across Leeds, all in such glamorous locations as Garforth, Sheepscar and Holbeck! And while these may not be the place you’d expect the young people to be hanging out on a Saturday you’d be surprised to hear that’s just where they were!

Beer tasting at North Brewing  Co. with Brewtown Tours

The whole experience was incredibly interesting for me, as a self confessed Gin and Prosecco lover! I never knew beer and craft ales were such hot property at the moment and I learned loads.

Beer Buddy Wing Man

Des, my beer wing man, and I at Northern Monk Brewing Company

I went with my good friend Des, who I’ve known since I was eleven, and as he’s been drinking real ales since before it was cool to do so, he was my perfect wing man for the afternoon of fun! We trained-it in to Leeds where Mark Stredwick, from Brewtown Tours, picked us up in his mini-bus along with six other beer fanatics!

All the warm welcome from Quirky Ales

Quirky Ales

Our first stop was at micro brewers Quirky Ales where the extremely passionate Mike Quirk filled us in all about how beer is made and its history, which was really fascinating coming from someone who didn’t even know what hops looked like (is that just me then?) before last weekend!

What Actual Hops look like

We got to understand the brewing process, try three craft ales made right there on the premises, see all the kit and how it all worked and bottled our own beer to take home! Loads of fun!

Bottling like a pro (with my Bollywood night Henna – 😆)

I love a ‘behind the scenes’ tour, and that’s what Brewtown Tours really offers. Des, who is obviously far more switched on in his beer knowledge than I am, especially loved Quirky Ales ‘Porter’ ale and I surprised myself by enjoying their ‘Blonde’.

More Quirky Ales bottling action

Northern Monk Brewing Co.

Next we scooted on to Holbeck, which was wall to wall with hipster beards as part of a food festival linked to the second brewery, Northern Monk. Northern Monk Brewing Co are a much bigger brewery, two of their indie beers are now stocked by Morrisons supermarkets.

New World from Northern Monk Co is now stocked in Morrisons

I was bowled over by the packaging and design of the cans that they use – you can pick up a can of  ‘Eternal’ (the second beer we tried at Northern Monk) in Morrisons too.

Grade II listed Building loveliness


‘The Dark City’ – which was the first beer we tried there has this incredibly designed label which incorporates their premises, nostalgic for me as I used to work there in a previous life! Loved it!

All the pretty of some of  Northern Monk Brewing Co, can packaging

Mark from Brewtown Tours, wowed us with his beer facts and showed us how brewing has moved on in lots of ways whilst the methods used are time old and well tested. We tried a third ale and I even managed to guess some of the flavour combinations in the NEOPOLITAN PALE – Ice Cream Pale Ale.

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Mark Stredwick from Brewtown Tours

North Brewing Co.

By this point I was beginning to really enjoy beer tasting (nothing to do with the drinking of it of course!), everyone seemed to be having a great time and it was time to move on to our third and final brewery for the day.

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North Brewing Company

The last stop was at North Brewing Company which is at an industrial unit in Sheepscar, whilst it doesn’t sound like somewhere you’d like to be spending your Saturday evenings, it was really busy!

North Brewing Co. – Brewery Tap

One of the nicest things about all the breweries was the really great vibe they all had about them. As part of their set up they all incorporate a bar area (the Brewery Tap) so whilst you’re stood listening to how the brewing process happens, watching someone tip hops from a ladder into a beer vat before your eyes, there’s a group of friendly people hanging out on leather chesterfield sofas enjoying their pint. It’s really surreal, but a really good atmosphere. (In the first bar at Quirky Ales a family had walked their dog to the brewery and they were sat with their kids playing scrabble whilst enjoying their drinks – just like pubs used to be!)

Actual Beer being made

Brilliant Way to Spend a Saturday Afternoon

Overall we had a brilliant time, it was so much fun to do something completely different on a Saturday afternoon and the tour was really well organised. It started at 1pm and we were on the 6.30pm train home – so all in all a fabulous afternoon out, meeting new people, trying new things and learning loads. Mark was a great host, sharing his knowledge and making sure we always had a glass in hand of something new to try.

Brewtown Tours Brewery Buddies for the day

Perfect for Gift Giving

I think a Brewtown Tours experience would make a great gift for the hard to buy for fella in your life; your other half, Dad, brother, Father-in-Law and actually it’d make a great ‘date-day’ trip out to go on with your other half too (and I know some girls like beer too so it’s not just for the chaps out there!)!


You can find out more about Brewtown Tours online by visiting their Facebook and Instagram pages or looking them up online. They run tours in York too and their tours are on Tuesdays to Saturdays. You can also book a group booking for a Christmas party and they sell gift vouchers on their website and get amazing reviews on Trip Advisor too!

Lucy xx


Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with Brewtown Tours