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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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?
Disclaimer: Filmore and Union invited us to try their new junior menu with their compliments, the views are my own.
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!
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
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!
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?
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 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!
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!
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!
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 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.
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!
Disclaimer: We were invited to review the performance with complimentary tickets, and the views are my own.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Harrogate Papa, being a traditionalist, plumbed for the Christmas Turkey too and loved every mouthful, a particular highlight being the Yorkshire Pudding!
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.
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?!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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
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!
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!
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!
Best of all the night raised a whopping £588 for the Harrogate Homeless Project – which is amazing!
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.
There was plenty of gorgeousness to be spotted everywhere you looked…
And so many amazing local products, handmade by fantastic local folks!
A chance to meet local business owners and find out more about them…
To get to meet some other lovely local bloggers and Instagrammers (who also do lots of other amazing things too)
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 …
And best of all getting a top notch goody bag to take home at the end of the night too!
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 HarrogateMama@gmail.com 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!
Last night I was out at RHS Harlow Carr to see their GLOW illuminations and let me tell you – they are super gorgeous!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
To enter the giveaway all you need to do is: send an email to HarrogateMama@gmail.com 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!
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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’.
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.
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.
‘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!
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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.
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!
Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with Brewtown Tours