Major Tom’s Social at Space is just what Dr Cool ordered for Harrogate – a stylish but totally welcoming café/bar, offering great food and a fine range of drinks, all at very (very) reasonable prices.
So, Space, in case you haven’t discovered it yet, is THE retro/vintage fashion and homewares emporium at The Ginnel, just off Parliament Street in the town. Founded in 2009 by Steve Elvidge, former front man of 1980s group Age of Chance, Space moved recently from a single storey building just next door to where it is now, and Major Tom’s is on the first floor, above the main part of the shop.
It’s slightly tucked away but a great spot for a new eat-and-drinkerie, especially when you consider that Jamie’s Italian is going to be opening close by later this year, hopefully encouraging throngs of happy and hungry punters in search of fairly priced grub and tucker.
Major Tom’s is open every day from 10.30am to 1am. If that suggests a pretty chilled approach, you’d be right. You can just wander on up the stairs, though, if during shopping hours, do call in first to the Space shop on the ground floor, because it really is a magical world of vintage clothes, accessories, home wares and furniture – the best the 20th Century had to offer, though much better than you remember it, all in wonderful condition and a feast (for the eyes, the memory, not to mention for an acquisitive nature that simply must have gorgeous stuff – like, now). You’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from Wall of Sound Records too, also on the first floor, because this is quite amazing, with loads of vinyl (Sharon and I recognise far too much of it) and CDs of fabulous oldies that you might have mislaid in house moves over the years (so far I have treated myself to Nirvana and Edwyn Collins – again, great prices).
Anyway, marching on to Major Tom’s Social. It’s a great space, with a pinky/purply illuminated bar and comfy lounge sofas and low tables, and then some tables of varying sizes, some trestle size and some smaller, with benches and chairs. Some of Space’s vintage wares have crept upstairs to take over a large corner of the café-bar, so you can lust after record players from the 1960s and ‘70s or fabulous retro lamps or telephones (I just love the idea of shopping as you dine).
Back to lunch. My teenage daughter and I popped in for a bite and a sit-down one Saturday lunchtime a couple of weeks ago, and we both really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the food. The menu is small and simple, but beautifully executed and presented.
There are sour-dough pizzas, all freshly made, with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Toppings include: Mozzarella, Parmesan & Pesto (£5); Roast Squash, Goats Cheese and Roasted Pine Nuts (£6); Chorizo, Chilli and Chargrilled Peppers; Parma Ham, Parmesan and Rocket; Mushroom, Courgette and Toasted Pine Nuts (£6.50).
Then there are stews and soups, made fresh and cooked slow by Leeds-based The Grub and Grog Shop. The stews include: The French Peasant (a cassoulet made with pork belly); The Buccaneer (made with three fish and fennel); The Blathered Beast (beef cooked in ale); and Mr Crosby’s Egyptian (a veggie one with beetroot and chickpeas). The meat and fish ones are £6.50, while the veggie one is £5.50, and all are served with a hunk of fresh bread. The soups change every week and all also come served with chunky bread.
I had the fish stew, which was delicious, and my daughter had the parma ham pizza – fresh and fantastic. Sharon and her daughter went last week and tried the veggie pizzas, which they also pronounced wonderful, the best they have had in ages, and a complete bargain at £5 each.
When we were there (mid-February), I noticed that there were plans for platters and salads with cheese and charcuterie (they might be there, all ready and waiting, by now).
Next I want to try Major Tom’s for evening dining with drinkies, as I have heard that it’s even more chilled, cool and retro-fabulous at night. It’s true that Harrogate already has some great restaurants and bars, but it really needs a place like this – reasonably priced, a bit quirky and different, with a down-to-earth yet stylish vibe, and somewhere that all ages can feel comfortable in and really enjoy. So well done, all involved, because this is a venture that deserves to do very well indeed.
There’s a new joint in town, and it’s well worth checking out.
Major Tom’s Social is at Space, The Ginnel, Harrogate. It’s open 10.30am to 1am daily. You can find out more at www.spaceharrogate.co.uk