A little thought and reflection has reminded me of so many places where a glass of wine was “shared” with something of interest such as history, art, music, a landscape, a street, architecture …… Today’s favourite is closer to home than yesterday’s, in the centre of Harrogate in Yorkshire.
The Blues Cafe Bar is next door to its more famous neighbour, Bettys Tea Rooms in Harrogate, but they are like chalk and cheese in in terms of style and culture. One is renowned for its tradition, elegance, a time when afternoon tea was woven into the fabric of English culture. The other also reflects a different era, a time when rhythm & blues was becoming the style of music that would catalyse a music revolution in the 1960s with The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds …. all influenced by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf. I listened to them all on Radio Luxembourg with my crystal radio set!
We had been on one of our Tour of England trips, 5 days in Yorkshire, Durham and Northumbria taking in Whitby Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Dunstanburgh Castle ….. so much history and heritage that was still rattling around our brains as we stopped off at Harrogate for an overnight break on our way back home to the Cotswolds. We needed something different, a rest, so on arrival after we checked in to our hotel, it was time for a glass of wine in the Blues Cafe Bar. It’s maintained it’s old look, no plastic seating or slot machines, just a good old earthy bar with blues music playing in the background, not too loud, just background level. They have live music some evenings, but not on the day we were here. It was a memorable experience that took us both back to those days in the ‘60s …….. when we were young!
New book released November 30th