Waiting for a delayed train on a cold winter’s night in Harrogate was a dispiriting experience.
Not any more thanks to those good people who started the Sheffield and York Taps. Taking over redundant buildings on those stations and turning them into warm and welcoming oases for us drinkers, they’ve recently turned their attention to Harrogate.
The Tap has valiantly rescued what remained of the old refreshment rooms, part of the original Victorian station, most of which was pulled down a few decades back and created an environment which looks as if it could be from a century ago in its cosy style. There’s a cheery and warming log fire, long leather banquettes, much gleaming brass, and (as with the other Taps) enough excellent beers to keep even the most demanding member of Camra cheerful – some delicious Thornbridge was strongly featured the other day.
There’s not much in terms of nourishment apart from a few crisps and nuts. However, a room adjacent to the main bar has been earmarked as a kitchen, and there are plans to open that up in the very near future. The really nice thing is that travellers are still discovering this new venture – they peer through the windows, and a look of delight passes over their faces. On my visit, there was only one thing that wasn’t quite right – the clock above the bar. It had stopped at a few minutes after 1pm. “That,” said Tom the manager,“is going to get fixed. Can’t have people missing their trains, can we?” However, if anyone does miss the 1.44pm to Leeds, we now, and at long last, have a very nice little snug bolt-hole in which to pass the time.
The Harrogate Tap, Harrogate station, Station Parade, HG1 1TE.