More tales written two blocks from the war zone that is, apparently, uptown top ranking Hamburg. Though I think the screams are from beer tourists realising the choice is Becks or the one with the heart on it.

More tales praising Harrogate.



As with Scarborough, a night in a B & B in the town is a rite of passage for Englishmen.

Pleasing as it is to stay in a disaster of a Guest House (Burton – 1994, Worthing – 2017), I can’t fault Acorn Lodge,  and can’t really fault them for my hangover the next morning.

That would be down to Hales Bar, the Harrogate Tap and 10 Devonshire Place.



I’m an unashamed fan of the many and varied Taps, and Harrogate again impressed with a much wider mix of folk than you’d expect from a modern beer place.  The proper seating around the wall actually gives it a bit of a social club feel, though most groups are clearly “pre-loading” before heading off for a night out in Horsforth.


From the seat above I enjoyed a pint of the Atom IPA (NBSS 3.5) and then, even more unwisely, a half of something incredibly strong on Key Keg.  Scott will know what it is, seen here skilfully decanted into a pint glass.


On a third visit, the Tap is firmly back in my good books; even a reliance on sales of Bernard can’t diminish its appeal as a pubby modern bar. Nearly as expensive as Copenhagen, mind.

This unnecessary imbibement preceded my new GBG tick, the unpromising sounding 10 Devonshire Place.  Clearly, all pubs should have the words Head, Dog or London Pub on the pub sign, or they’re not real pubs.


A pleasant five minute stroll to the east, it’s next door to the GBG Swan, a pub pulling in similarly smart young professionals (not professional drinkers).


10 Devonshire Place


It was dark, and I squinted at the clips, searching in vain for John Smiths or Bass in a sea of unfamiliarity. At the bar, a lady stood turning the pump clips round. “They don’t even know which of their beers are which“, I surmised.

Sorry to keep you.  I was straightening the pumpclips.”  I was ashamed.

Seeking a steer, I was recommended the North Riding Mini Citra.  It was nectar (NBSS 4.5). Suddenly, I loved the pub, candles on tables, handled jugs and all. I’m very shallow.


Again, a good mix of drinkers, and proper seating, as well as stellar beer, had won me over.  They said “Thanks for coming” when I left, too.


It is just a tiny bit likely I was taken with the loo labelling too.

For men,


For ladies, “Allo Darlin”.

All of a sudden, Harrogate has five pubs worth travelling from Boston Spa for.







  1. Martin, you state that spending a night in a bed and breakfast in Harrogate is a rite of passage. I am somebody who is terrified of paying for overnight accommodation to the point of walking round Camarthen instead. I am also somebody, who aside from passing through on a train which did not stop, has never visited Harrogate. After recovering from his incredulity at learning this fact, Simon informed me that I wouldn’t like it. Is there any way out for me?

    Please can you provide details of the Burton guest house in case I do the sensible thing rather than what I consider the obvious move back towards home after our glorious win at season’s second rarest ground tick?


    1. Well Tom, we’ll have to agree to differ, won’t we(actually, I won’t, you’re wrong). Waking up in a strange bed covered in last night’s Singapore Fried Rice and Radio 5 still on is a Reason for Living. I’m sure Newton would agree.

      You must visit Harrogate. Simon is wrong.

      The Burton Place was in Stapenhill just over the bridge and called something like Cedar View. It cost £32 for a double (1994),for that you got dirty sheets, an unwashed sock in the bed, an egg cooked in the microwave and a landlady washing her teeth in the kitchen sink, Win !


      1. There is nothing to stop any of that from happening when dossing on a train in the small hours, in some cases with the added excitement of Maidenhead residents being on board. I’m right.

        Harrogate is on the list along with Milton Keynes.

        I consider £32 too expensive now, let alone in 1994.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “I loved the pub, candles on tables, handled jugs and all.”

    I initially read that as “handled mugs” and thought that pub must be a cracker since you loathe those types of beer mugs. 🙂

    But then I realized my mistake… still sounds like a cracking good pub though.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have Timmy Taylor gone mad and started kegging a super-strenghth version of their Porter at a premium price?
    I always found Harrogate really lacking in decent pubs, glad to see it’s improving. Used to be only the Tap & Spile was worth visiting in the early 90’s., although I do recall being dragged into a basement bar at one point and getting my first experience of keg American IPA.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d have assumed it was a joke as well, but I know somebody who applied to manage it! He’s about to run the new Brew By Numbers tap room instead, so a bit of a comedown in location. Were the chip shops in the Faroes as good as they’re meant to be?


  4. H’gate is a proper beer drinkers paradise now. And because it’s small you can just meander around. Tapped always has an excellent choice of cask & keg, often Arbor and similar. There’s even a North Bar outpost now! North Riding beers are just awesome, but you knew that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s almost got that Northern French, railway bar type feel to it to me. A place of resort for refreshment and brief discourse, but not a place to frequent. Moi? J’aime bien! La bierre est toujours excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have re read this post and the replies and have some thoughts on it.
    Harrogate is not a drinkers town and i doubt never will be,far too posh and the only large town that i had not been to before where i had to ask where any pub was.

    Me and the wife went to Barrow in Furness with my mate and his wife in 1989 when my wife was heavily pregnant,we were there before opening time and found a book shop and i got a Cumbria guide.
    We all decided it was a shit hole and went up to do all pubs in Dalton in Furness.

    Martin i missed the first music clue “up town to ranking” Althea & Donna from years ago and it sticks in the mind once you have heard it,nice one

    Martin,i am sure the posh people who live in Harrogate would not go out to Horseforth for a drink,i think another piss take.


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