I don't know about you but the thought of something delicious to eat after training is a real motivator! Usually I make my own refuel meal so that I know exactly what's in it but there are places I can rely on where we can (and do) bend the rules a little. Ok, sometimes a lot.....
We are very luck to have so many independent shops, cafes and restaurants here in Harrogate. For those who don't know, we have a Guesthouse as well as our shop, FIT Harrogate, and it's one of the things our guests comment on when they stay here. So many people are impressed with the diversity and choice, we are spoilt really - according to Trip Advisor there are 351 (!!!!) restaurants in and around Harrogate.
To help our guests find independents and 'unique to Harrogate' dining experiences, we created a file for the guest rooms. Like many things we do it was our own experience that led us to do this. A weekend away where we hadn't been organised or pre-booked anywhere and ended up wandering the streets of Bath trying to find somewhere to eat. We ended up in a chain restaurant we'd been to (in several other cities) which was frustrating and something we vowed we'd never do again.
Now, we can't include them all here but I thought I'd share with you a few of our favourites. All of them are independent as we practice what we preach..... Please "Think Inde" whenever you shop, we think it's important that we keep our high streets unique and thriving with local business. Again, I'm not saying we don't shop online or use supermarkets at times but we do our best to shop local.
I am also putting a disclaimer in here: I know the foods I'm mentioning aren't always necessarily healthy but I believe in balance; life would be very sad without it.... So, here are some of our favourites:
Gianni's Brio @GiannisBrio
We were introduced to Gianni's by Jon's parents when we first started looking for a Guesthouse and we've been regular visitors ever since. It's almost too convenient being at the end of our street but the pasta is delicious and have you tried their ice cream? I'm not even a big fan of ice-cream but theirs is something else (salted peanut, coconut and Italian breakfast are THE BOMB). When I'm going lower carbohydrate, high protein and fats (the sad days where no ice-cream is consumed) the seared, sesame-crusted tuna starter is a great option for a main course and they are very accommodating with dietary requirements.
Two words. CINNAMON BUN. Seriously, have you had one of theirs? They are Jon's weakness. Also one of the best coffees in Harrogate; flat white is my preference. They do have lots of other, healthy(ish) options, one of my favourite refuels usually incorporates sourdough somewhere along the line so their poached duck egg on toast goes down a treat. Also try the rye porridge; sounds weird, tastes great.
Shaun Hallett @thebodydocs, I'm looking at you (regularly) in here. If Shaun's in here it's got to be healthy..... The aforementioned sourdough makes another appearance, are you noticing a trend? This is a true family business and a real labour of love. Co-owner, Venora makes all the Sourdough herself and I have to stop myself from buying and devouring it by the loaf. Everything on toast and lots of wholesome, hearty and clean eats. Try the chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic - fantastic. You'll find the whole family front of house and they really care about what they do. The amazing interior was painstakingly created by Andrew and it's worth a visit just to see what one man on a mission can achieve.
Now you might not even know there's a cafe in this cycle specialist shop but you're missing out if you haven't tried it yet. They certainly don't 'just do bikes'. It's opposite our shop and again, a little too handy but there are some really lovely whole food salads (broccoli, prunes, seeds and orange - who knew that could be so great?) high protein and 'good fat' breakfasts (smoked salmon, avocado and scrambled egg) and if you want cake, they have it by the slab - cyclists need the carbs right?
Have you tried any of these? Let us know your thoughts! If not, happy sampling!....