Yorkshire (near Harrogate)
Our Yorkshire showroom is in Bishop Thornton, 3 minutes outside Ripley, and just 10 minutes north of gorgeous Harrogate.
Harrogate is one of England's finest spa towns. Founded in the 17th Century, it has stunning architecture, including the Royal Pump room built in 1842, as well as the Stray, an amazing park, brilliant for picnics, flying kites, or as I do regularly, falling asleep in the Yorkshire sun.
In summer, you will find some of Britain's best displays of urban flowers, which is maybe one reason why Harrogate has recently been voted Britain's third best place to live.
It also has Betty's tea rooms, where I had what I can only describe as the best breakfast of my life, whilst setting up our new showroom. The special Rostii breakfast with an additional sausage on the side, with a fresh orange juice, that even the Spanish couldn't beat was as my kids might say…..awesome. If the Rostii is puzzling you, then that makes two of us, but my god it tastes good, and the staff can fill you in on their Swiss connection.
Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms
We all love Ripley too. Its compact, and for its size, it has plenty to look at. There is the castle set in a 1,700 acre estate; a glorious combination of stone cottages and cobbled squares; a 15th century church, and a series of marks on the east wall created by Cromwell's soldiers as they executed Royalist prisoners after the battle of Marston Moor.
If that is all too worthy for you, the town also claims to be the home of Ripley's world class ice cream. A competitor for Vivoli's in Florence? I will let you be the judge of that. The Boars Head Hotel is also where we sometimes rest our weary heads in the evenings.
It has good beer and damn good food if all that history
has begun to make your tummy grumble.
3 miles north of our showroom is Fountains Abbey, an 800 year old Cistercian abbey; the largest abbey ruins in Britain, and now a World Heritage Site. I have visited more times than I can remember, and at the risk of sounding corny, it still brings joy to my soul every time I arrive.
Fancy a really top notch lunch, to celebrate the sofa you have just bought? In that case, The Malt Shovel at Brearton is pretty hard to beat. The food is seriously good, which means finding the energy to walk afterwards is well nigh impossible.
If you have the kids with you, Lightwater Valley Theme Park is 175 acres of action-packed adventures.