If you have your eyes peeled, walking down Oxford Street in Harrogate you’ll find FARM Bistro and Bakery. Aimed to echo the owner’s farming childhood, this first floor cafe with its almost hidden entrance boasts a rustic charm and warming atmosphere that is a reassuring sight once you’ve made it up its stairs.
With the horrible weather this week more closely resembling November than July, this bistro is a wonderful hideaway spot. Upon entering, you feel as if you’ve walked into a highly decorative farm house in harvest time, as the cafe is adorned in autumnal decor, complete with a fireplace, hanging pots and pans and weathered painted wood panels. Overall, it has a comforting feeling that makes it the perfect place to sit on a murky day as you can watch the rain from inside while warming up over one of their wonderful hot cups of tea, picking from the fairly substantial menu.
The food is like memories of lazy Sundays at my Grandparents’ house. Serving traditional with a twist comfort food, FARM offers all the nostalgia of childhood favourites but with added tastiness. From Eggs Royal, Thyme Buttered Mushrooms & Poached Egg, All Day Breakfast and Battered Haddock and Chips to warming puddings like Sticky Toffee Pudding, FARM is a great place for delicious but familiar food in the heart of Harrogate.
There is added incentive to visit this charming bistro in that their food is sourced locally, with their baked goods including their breads and cakes made fresh everyday on site in their artisan bakery on the ground floor. They also grind their own peanut butter, and make their own jams, marmalades and tomato sauce. Wow.
But it’s not all about tradition, with FARM’s menu offering some more modern twists to old favourites as well as tasty drinks such as their smoothies and juices. Their teas are one of my favourite drinks to order as they have great flavours and a decent variety on offer. My personal favourite is Turkish Chunky Apple tea, which has really apple pieces in it; it is wonderfully warming, with a real taste of autumn to it. The teas are served in dark grey Japanese iron cast teapots with an inbuilt strainer, so not only is there is no lumps in your tea but you get a great tasting drink with fresh flavours as it’s brewed there and then. The teas also come with small timers which show you how long it should be brewed for, so you are guaranteed to enjoy you tea at its maximum deliciousness.
Despite needing better signage outside for the cafe, which is less well known than its ground floor bakery, FARM is a lovely little cafe. With attentive staff and a great attitude to food, this small bistro offers a brilliant taste of local produce and skill in the heart of Harrogate, while still being reasonably priced and modern yet traditional.