In the quaint courtyard on Montpellier Quarter sits a little independent restaurant called Timberlakes. Now for those locals who have not ventured into the Montpellier Quarter in recent months or even years. Shame on you! Shame on me too as I haven’t either.
Since Christmas the street has seen a decline in the number of people walking past and many locals don’t even think to wonder by. Just meters from the main road (Parliament Street) lives a hair salon, tea room, gallery, jewellers, spa, interiors, gin shop and Timberlakes restaurant.
Eating Out in Harrogate
Specialising in British classics such as Sunday lunch, the new owner Steven is urging you to give Timberlakes Restaurant a try.
Steven relocated from Scotland just a few months ago with an ambition to create flavour-full dishes in a warm and welcoming environment. The small and intimate restaurant looks out onto a gorgeous little courtyard. It’s the perfect eatery for Harrogate locals.
What’s on the menu at Timberlakes
For starters, my temptations chose the Pan Fried Gnocchi (£6.25). Twice cooked, it was like no other Gnocchi I’ve had; the crisp outer shell was infused with sage and brown butter, and once broken into the shell, you experienced the light a fluffy inside – a winning combination! It was served with a side of green salad and garlic bread.
Word to the wise – don’t eat the garlic bread if you want the pudding – you won’t have room!
To accompany the food I chose a glass of Finca La Colonia Malbec (£6.05 per glass); in all honestly I wish I’d ordered a bottle. A beautiful subtle wine, perfect for a week night.
My friend John chose the Sun Blushed Tomato Arancini (£6.95) for his starter. Again a beautifully thin breadcrumb crisp on the outside with fluffy arancini on the inside – Steven has an art for cooking this type of food. I must say the chutney which came with the arancini was also divine.
John has dined at Timberlakes before and choose the Black Pudding & Haggis Bon Bons (£6.95). He said for those who love meat, this dish is for you!
For mains, I decided to let Steven cook up something and he served me a Smoked Haddock Fishcake (£15.95). Oozing cheddar and chive sauce appears from the centre of the fishcake which cut through the mellow taste of fluffy mash and subtle fish. The fishcake was accompanied by fresh asparagus, spinach and smooth garlic mash topped with a poached egg.
John had Roasted Skin on Chicken (£14.95), he said the chicken was cooked to perfection – no dryness here! He raved about the gravy and was close to asking Steven to move in it was so good!
All that was left was pudding and instead of ordering two they offered us a sharing board of three puddings. We had a gorgeous sticky toffee pudding with ginger chunks and custard and a delicious sauce, a plum and blueberry crumble with ice cream and the final dessert was their homemade rhubarb gin fool…. oh my gosh! Give me a bucket load! Made with Slingsby Rhubarb gin this was the best dessert I’ve had in a while. A sharing platter is available upon request – say you saw it on here and you need to try the fool!
Overall thoughts on Timberlakes
Good food, good wine, reasonably priced and beautiful location.
Steven urges you to visit his restaurant, well now, I urge you to go try it too!
Harrogate high street in decline
In the past few months and even years, we’ve seen some strange happenings on our high street. The heady mix of the decline of footfall and increase in business cost has seen so many independents and chains withdraw from Harrogate. Jamie’s Italian, H&M, Topshop have all closed their doors and no doubt other chains will follow… Carluccios. It was a sad day to hear Norse had also shut up shop and I know other independents struggle.
You may have seen independent book shop Imagined Things in the news recently after the owner, Georgia tweeted about what a rubbish day she’s had, taking just £12.34.
It went viral and Georgia has been inundated with support. However, sales like Imagined Things £12.34 are a stark reality for a lot of independents.
How can we help?
Your opinion on our high street is yours to have but this is mine. We need to work together on this. Harrogate has a strong offering – Investment comes from chains on our high street while our difference or uniqueness comes from our independents. I don’t know what is going to happen to our high street nor do I see it getting easier anytime soon, but what I do say is, go out there and shop, dine and support. Indie or not, try and spend more time and money on Harrogate’s high street this summer instead of online.