Harrogate is in North Yorkshire and Artists Cottages are a selection of cottages, 5 in total, perfect for a self catering stay.
I was lucky enough to win a 2 nights stay for a winter break at the end of 2019 from a Facebook competition for myself and Mr Fitz. My stay was originally planned for February 2020 but due to family circumstances and then the worldwide Covid 19 Pandemic my stay didn’t take place until the accommodation had been allowed to reopen again after Government advice.
Our stay was a Monday and Tuesday at the beginning of July, 2 days after it was open again for business. Before I proceed further I must state that writing this review was not a requirement for our stay. As a lifestyle blogger I love to share the things I do in retirement.
We enjoyed a lovely scenic drive from our home along the A59 through the Ribble Valley to Harrogate.
As I stated earlier Artists Cottages are a collection of 5 different places to stay, Artists House, Artists Loft, Artists Cottage, Artists Corner and Artists Place. All owned by the same team.
Our stay was in Artists Cottage. A 2 bedroom terraced cottage a short walk away from the centre of Harrogate, approximately 10 minutes.
We were met by Marie-Therese, one of the team and given a warm welcome, all socially distanced, due to the challenging times we are in.
The cottage had been empty during lockdown and had been given a thorough clean by staff who had been specifically trained and provided with Corona Covid-19 Certification.
There was hand sanitiser in the utility room as you entered the property and of course we brought our own supply too.
Downstairs it comprises of a kitchen, a lounge, a utility room and a bathroom. Leading from the kitchen is a steep staircase up to 2 double bedrooms.
The lounge is compact and cosy with a sofa and 2 armchairs all comfortable. There is a chest containing the garden seating cushions that doubles as a coffee table. Along with a TV and a vintage style record player. A small selection of vinyl records was provided. On the walls in the lounge are a selection of paintings from local artists to promote their work and are available for purchase. Most of the images were of local Harrogate scenes or Yorkshire landmarks.
The Kitchen is very well equipped with everything you would need for a boutique stay, including a coffee maker. As a welcome we were provided with milk, tea, coffee, local delicious Harrogate shortbread biscuits and a fabulous bottle of Rioja. Everything is high end from the kettle to the cooker.
Outside of the kitchen is small yard with a table and chairs for outside dining.
The bedrooms were similar in size and both contained a double bed, a wardrobe and a dresser. A hairdryer, towels and fans were available.
We chose to sleep in the rear bedroom and the bed was so comfortable.
As we were only on a short break we ate takeaways and didn’t choose to cook anything for ourselves – lazy I know but it was such a treat to be away from home after lockdown when we’d had ample opportunities to cook!
As I said it was short walk into Harrogate and that’s what we did both days of our stay. It was quiet when we were there pubs and restaurants had only been reopened 2 days.
We took the opportunity to walk around the town looking at the buildings and sites. It was a our first visit for many years and we wanted to familiarise ourselves plus we love admiring buildings and architecture. Amazed at how they were built and decorated without modern day techniques and equipment. There are many fabulous buildings to admire. Particularly the houses and properties around Swan Road close to the magnificent Swan Hotel. The Swan Hotel is famous as being the hotel the famous novelist, Agatha Christie fled to during her mysterious 11 day disappearance in 1926.
The Montpellier area is very picturesque and I loved the tree sculpture to commemorate the visit of the Tour De France in 2014.
We also walked around the shopping area. I visited the Rigby and Peller store – I have always promised myself one of their bra’s, however when I was inside browsing I wasn’t blown away by what was on offer. The products did not look any different from other brands but at extortionate prices. I was offered a fitting but declined. I didn’t see anything that I thought was worth the £100-£200 price tag. I also visited the Slingsby gin shop, a local Gin, after a recommendation from a friend. As you may have read I have been a gin drinker before it was fashionable. There were many fabulous Slingsby gins on offer and I was able to try 2 free samples. Oh yes please!
Betty’s Tea Room is one of the iconic places to visit in Harrogate, it was open with restrictions and under normal circumstances we would have enjoyed a visit or visited the shop to purchase a takeaway treat. As there was a need to queue we decided to give it a miss but it will be a must for our next visit.
We love pubs so we had a couple of drinks on both days in the Montpellier, the landlord was so friendly and welcoming with great social distancing measures in place. Also we visited All Bar One, where again social distancing measures were in place. I enjoyed a lovely Aperol Spritz as part of their 5 0’clock cocktail offer.
No visit to anywhere is complete for us unless we’ve visited the local Wetherspoons. Mr Fitz and myself are big fans of the pub chain. Harrogate has a large pub based in the site of the historic Royal baths. We love how Wetherspoons convert old historic buildings into pubs and hotels retaining the character and original features.
Harrogate is close to many beauty spots and sights but due to the times many events had been cancelled for the year due to Covid 19.
In summary we enjoyed a pleasant 2 night stay after staying home for 3 and a half months. Harrogate is a lovely town and somewhere we will revisit again as it is not too far from home.
The accomodation was lovely, the biggest plus was the decor. Each room was painted the same colour, which I understand from the owner was custom mixed to match the Laura Ashley fabric on the bedroom headboards. It was a subtle shade of greeny blue, taking on different hues in different times of the day. I would best describe it as a pale peppermint green. It was a very calming, peaceful colour.
The things that caused us problems was the heat – the heating was on and Mr Fitz and myself do not like to feel too warm. Our first nights sleep was broken by being too hot. The windows were original sash window and could only be open a small amount. We are used to having 2 windows open in our bedroom regardless of the time of year or outside temperature. The second night we had found the fan and cooled the room down before retiring for the night. Also the radiators had individual thermostats so we were able to bring the temperature of the house cooler to how we prefer it.
The bathroom and toilet being downstairs was a bit of a problem too – the stairs a re very steep with narrow treads. I had to leave the bathroom and utility room light on at night to enable us to see our way to the bathroom during the night. I have arthritic knees and Mr Fitz has size 20 feet too which added to the challenge.
But overall it was a lovely accommodation with luxury touches.