• Handpicked Harrogate

How Harrogate's ‘indie’ bars are celebrating this festive season

Harrogate's North Bar.
Some people think these days there might be too many bars, cafes and restaurants in Harrogate.

Others welcome the new wave that has swept the town, chains and all.

Others still are glad to welcome the huge growth in independents, especially when it comes to bars.

The list of newcomers over the past couple of years is huge, from The Harrogate Tap to the Little Ale House.

Popular with hipsters and anyone who likes to look further than beer by big brewers, many of the independents step up their game in the run-up to Christmas, adding festive tipples to their craft beer staples.

One of the most popular of the recent ‘indie’ newcomers, The North Bar, is running a special winter drinks menu featuring delights both hot and cold.

Some highlights include mulled cider, boozy chocolate orange and Poinsettia, which is orange and cranberry fizz.

As for the end of 2016, the bar will be bringing in the New Year with tables, meat and cheese boards and fizz all available to pre order.

Located on Cheltenham Parade across from the back of Harrogate Theatre, the bar is also featured in Chase Vodka’s advent calendar.

It’s day is Friday, December 16 when it will be showcasing the Chase Rhubarb Crisp.

In contrast, the Spirit of Harrogate on Montpellier Hill in Harrogate is offering three private gin experiences to get gin lovers into the festive spirit.

The home of award-award-winning Harrogate-based artisan gin, Slingsby, it is throwing open its doors to guests during the festive season for the ‘Slingsby Gin Experience’, which includes canapes and specially developed Christmas cocktails, created by Spirit of Harrogate’s hand-picked team.

Expect their brand new limited edition batch of Slingsby Barrel-Aged Gin to feature in there somewhere.

Major Tom’s Social on The Ginnel off Parliament Street has always been associated with music since it first opened around three years ago.

As well as craft beers and handcrafted pizzas, the bar is holding a couple of special events - Fiction X Major Tom’s Social Christmas Brunch on December 21 and Harvey Wallbanger NYE Disco. on New Year’s Eve.

For lovers of high quality fizz, the place to go is The Champagne Concept on Oxford Street.

This temple to champagne is offering its largest Champagne tasting yet to date throughout December.

Its 12 Champagnes of Christmas will, as the name suggest, include 12 festive Champagnes including its most prestigious cuvée.

Or you can try a festive trio - its Three Christmassy Champagnes.

Not all of the area’s independents are newcomers. One of Harrogate’s most popular institutions for the past 25 years, the Blues Bar remains a popular watering hole in the festive season.

It’s popular Green Room upstairs has a special Christmas menu this month courtesy of top barbecue chef, Andy Annat.

As befits a bar with live music seven days a week, it is presenting a ticket-only music night on New Year’s Eve with live band The Bondurants.