Those who live in or know Harrogate will be well aware that the town is becoming something of a restaurant hotspot, with a new one opening every week, it seems.
The Spanish-style La Feria restaurant is not exactly new, having moved up the road from a smaller premises on Royal Parade in Harrogate, where owner Jez Verity first opened in 2014, having been inspired the simplicity of bars in Andalucia.
The new La Feria is now at Cold Bath Road in Harrogate, in the building that used to be The Honest Lawyer pub, or before that, The Old Tradition. It has been renovated beautifully, with a new side wing, an iron canopy with a glass roof for outdoor dining, and a large terrace. It is the perfect place to enjoy a long, lazy, sunny lunch through to dinner, and beyond.
Inside, it’s just as lovely and impressive, with a contemporary yet cosy feel – rustic wooden floors, huge distressed shutters, beautifully unfinished plaster work, aged wooden beams, all set off by pendant lights and quilted leather chairs. The main restaurant is to the back, up a few steps, with shutters which means it’s dark even in daytime, but it’s very cool and laid-back.
The menu includes boards of cheese or cured meats, and tapas, served on wooden slabs and brown paper. These include: Pepitos de cerdo, or fine slices of pork infused with lemon and garlic served on bread (£4.50); Calamari (£6); Chorizo in sherry (£4), small ovals of paprika-spiced sausage from Leon; Almendras, or toasted Valencia almonds in paprika, chilli and cumin (£3.50); Boquerones, or marinated Cantabrian anchovies in olive and lemon (£5); Gambas al pil-pil, or flash fried prawns with garlic, red chilli and olive oil (£6), or Pisto mixto, roasted red pepper, red onions and tomato in olive oil and herbs (£4). All ideal with a drink and an afternoon sit-down, and there is also a bar menu featuring the tapas, charcuterie and cheese boards too.
Chicken is the main main – serves al Andalus and the spicier al Maroc. It’s rotisserie, on the bone, fragranced with spices including lemon, cumin and smoked paprika. Half a chicken for £10 or a whole one for £18, served on beautiful blue and white plates and bowls. Amazing.
The green chilli salad (£5) is so fresh, with shredded cabbage, carrot, radish, red onion, green chilli and lime juice, almost a cross between a salad and a slaw. Cauliflower and picada has a lightly spiced sauce and toasted almonds.
As for dessert, all I can say is Hot Spanish doughnuts with chocolate dipping sauce (£5). I have never tasted anything as heavenly.
La Feria on Cold Bath Road comes highly recommended by me, at least, and plenty of others, judging by how popular it has already become. It’s really friendly – and I reckon it has the best Ladies’ Loos in Harrogate.
* La Feria, Wellington House, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate HG2 0NA.
Telephone: 01423 538181
Opening times: Mon-Thurs noon–11.30pm, Fri-Sat 9am-00.30am, Sunday 9am-11pm