Harrogate – Conferences, Cakes, & Concerts

I’ve been to the vibrant spa town of Harrogate a lot recently, receiving a warm Yorkshire welcome each time. In the summer it was all Victorian charm, pavement cafe culture, sunshine, pristine lawns, and hanging baskets in full bloom. Exploring the International Centre’s extensive conference space – auditorium, modular suite, exhibition spaces and stunning floral hall, we planned receptions, a welcome dinner, gala dinner, an exhibition, and plenary and breakout sessions.

I saw the Holiday Inn, with its direct link to the centre, the stately Majestic Hotel and the charming Old Swan all within strolling distance of the conference centre, perfect for delegates and the social programme. I left with a bag stuffed full of local goodies – Yorkshire Tea, Specialty Shortbread and Coffee from Betty’s.

The next time was autumn (sun still shining), the third time it was a beautiful winter wonderland and snow covered the Yorkshire Dales, outstanding natural beauty, and that’s official.

I started with Betty’s and afternoon tea in the Imperial Room. It’s perfect for special events, and private hire – quintessential Harrogate. The champagne and the tea were perfectly poured, the piano perfectly played, the macaroons, the chocolate, and cream filled scones were an indulgence to celebrate….., the tea room burst into song – Happy Birthday on three occasions, and then, the cherry on the cake, so to speak, The Proposal!! She said yes!!!!! Groups can recreate their own goodies at Betty’s Cookery School, fancy ‘A slice of Betty’s’ ‘Baking with Chocolate’ or ‘It’s all in the pastry’?
It’s a special and decadent event space indeed.

Next stop was Rudding Park, a lovely countryside retreat, warm and welcoming with roaring log fires. A sip of wine and quick change, then…….an evening of 80s nostalgia beckoned back at the International centre. It was transformed for the show and full to the brim, all 2000 seats filled for the Deacon Blue concert. We were dancing in the aisles.

Harrogate knows how to charm, it knows how to conference, and it sure knows how to party.

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