Over the past couple of years, I have found that exploring a city can be even more enjoyable by incorporating a food tour. The food tours I have been on concentrate on giving guests a more authentic experience by visiting independent restaurants/cafes/bars. This is a great way to support the local trade and also indulge in good quality dishes made with passion.
On our recent visit to Harrogate, we joined the Vegan Tour organised by Yorkshire Appetite.
Kay and Louise founded the company about two and a half years ago. Their food tours are becoming more and more popular and it is clear why. They both have a great passion for food and travel and are keen to give visitors the best cultural and culinary experience in one of the happiest places to live in the UK, Harrogate, and the surrounding area (Yorkshire). Yorkshire Appetite collaborates with several independents that you may not necessarily come across when on a city break.
I am not Vegan but love to try different foods and it is also Veganuary so this tour worked out perfect.
The Food Stops:
There were four of us on the tour. We met Louise, our tour guide at 2:30 pm to start the food trail. We were forewarned to come on empty stomachs and I am glad we did. I was not sure what to expect however each stop wowed me and we got to have a variety of dishes.
- Papas’s: An authentic family Mediterranean restaurant that uses recipes passed down generations, Papa’s was our first stop for starters. We had a Greek sharing platter that was consisted of Dolma, Red Peppers, Olives, Vine Leaves, Fava Beans, Hummus, Pickled Beetroot, Gigantes and Baba ghanoush alongside some delicious pitta and falafels. The starter was full of flavour and some of the items I had never heard of but now I have on my list for my next visit to a Greek restaurant. I didn’t miss the Feta or Halloumi because the selection was perfect. A beautiful welcoming restaurant.
- Major Tom’s Social: An independent café, beer bar & pizzeria, Major Tom’s social has a relaxed ambience with vintage furniture and retro posters. We had the first part of our main course here. They serve a range of craft beer including a lovely low alcohol grapefruit beer (Schofferhofer Hefeweizen) which we really enjoyed. We had a Super Vegan pizza here which had artichokes, black olives, caramelised red onions, spinach, and pine nuts. The dough was soft. There was no mozzarella on top but it didn’t matter.
- La Feria: From Greek to Italian to Spanish cuisine, this was our third stop for some Vegan salad. The restaurant had an amazing Spanish feel to it especially with all the doors and tiles they have sourced from Cadiz and Sevilla. We tucked into a tomato, pomegranate, and red onion salad along with a roasted cauliflower salad with almonds. The flavours were delicious and portions generous. We could not finish the dishes and were allowed to take them home.
- Starling: It was time for dessert now and we went to an independent cafe/bar/kitchen. Like all the other stops, this was busy and had a great vibe. The environment was relaxing too. Here we had an Oreo Cupcake (baked by Mr Vegan Cakes) with Vegan icecream. I had no idea Oreos were Vegan. The cake was moist and paired with the ice cream it made a great dessert. It was just after tea o’clock time for me and I bought a chai latte (£3) to accompany the dessert.
- The Little Ale House: Our final stop was a micropub for a Vegan beer. The couple, Rich and Danni, set up this pub to in an effort to recreate a rustic country pub atmosphere and they have got it right. I went for a Sorachi Stout which had lovely coffee notes. Kev went for a Rhubard Cider and it went down well too. Louise passed on her knowledge on the brewing process that makes the alcoholic beverages Vegan.
We had a walk-in between the stops, some longer than others but they were all leisurely ones. Louise talked to us about the areas we were walking past and gave us some information and history about Harrogate. We were filled with information and had a great afternoon.
Yorkshire Appetite Tours are perfect as a gift or a way of exploring a town. They also offer Private Tours for groups. The tour costs £49 and lasts about 2.5 hours. It is value for money and you definitely get a great culinary and cultural experience.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary tour. All opinions are genuine and my own.