STRAY TALKING: Classic buys and brilliant bargains – what to buy now at the Harrogate store
When it comes to sales shopping, Yorkshire is like anywhere else. Only more so.
Bargain hunting is part of our DNA, intrinsically linked with a desire – a need, indeed – for timeless style, quality and craftsmanship. As I write, Harrogate is buzzing with shoppers both local and from far afield. It’s clearly a popular place for a post-festive break and, as luck would have it, the weather has been fine and mostly bright, with just the hint of a bracing chill in the air – ideal sales shopping conditions.
First port of call on my bargain tour this year has to be the beautiful Cordings store on Parliament Street. The staff here tell me that they have been seeing quite a few customers from London recently, many taking a little Yorkshire holiday, staying either in the town or close by in the Yorkshire Dales. Those who usually shop at the Piccadilly store say they have been most impressed by the decor, the size and the offer at Harrogate.
The staff also tell me that the Cordings sale is set to continue roughly until the end of the month, although certain pieces are selling out quickly. Here is what’s on my best bargain hit list.
Women’s Powder Blue Alpaca Coat, Was £525, Now £425. It’s a tradition to buy a new coat in the January sales, and a quality classic will always be the best option. This one ticks all the boxes, single-breasted and a chic three-quarter length, in a beautiful blend of 60% alpaca and 40% wool. Best of all, the powder blue shade is soft and flattering for all skin tones, and it won’t date.
Women’s Richmond Tweed Two Vent Jacket, Was £325, Now £225. Equestrian-inspired tweed jackets are an ever-elegant no-brainer for weekend shopping, lunch in town, work meetings, country walks, whatever. What I love about this pure wool herringbone check style is its gently nipped-in, flattering cut and its lightness, which means that it looks and feels easy and understated, whatever you wear it with.
Women’s Olive Green Fur Trimmed Austrian Loden Coat, Was £625, Now £525. I feel drawn to the irresistible versatility of this subtly neat coat. It’s made especially for Cordings in Austria, in loden wool with 20% cashmere, and a zip-in-or-out quilted front with a fur collar, so it looks like a gilet but without the bulk. Ingenious, and gorgeous with jeans and boots.
Horsforth Cashmere Scarf, Was £65, Now £45. Now I know many of us got scarves for Christmas, but Cordings scarves are very special indeed. This one (it’s in the menswear department) is classic, cheery yet elegant, and made in West Yorkshire. There are also some beautiful lambswool scarves in the sale too, now at £15-20. Catch them while you can.
Men’s Green Loden Coat, Was £575, Now £475. Green Loden Coat, Was £575, Now £475. Every man’s wardrobe deserves a timelessly stylish yet supremely practical coat that will work for both formal occasions and weekends. This Cordings masterpiece is made in Tyrolean loden cloth, which has been felted for a robust yet soft feel. I like the volume, which looks dashing and means you can wear lots of woollies or maybe a jacket under when it’s very chilly. It comes in navy and grey, too.
Men’s Berry Red Needlecord Trousers, Was £110, Now £100. Any man considering injecting a dash of colour into his New Year look should make straight for the Cordings trouser wall. There’s £10 off all needlecords, cords, jeans, chinos, moleskins and washed cotton trousers right now, and the colour choices are brilliant, from out-there bright orange to a subtly striking sage green (and neutrals, should you prefer). I like this berry shade in the needlecord – it’s so easy to co-ordinate all year round with tattersall shirts, cashmere sweaters and tweed jackets. You can get them hemmed to suit for an extra £15.
Men’s Green Olive Field Check Shirt, Was £69, Now £49. I’m do pleased that Cordings tattersall shirts are now in sale, because they are such a key classic piece for any modern man’s work-to-weekend wardrobe. This olive green brushed cotton style is perfect for all seasons, cosy yet breathable and lovely against the skin for now, with knits worn over. The collars have removable collar stiffeners, for smarter or “at ease” days.
Where to where
Tennants Auctioneers, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. This has to be one of my top discoveries of last year. It’s a fascinating place to visit with a lovely café and restaurant, and exhibits to view in glass cases and in the sales rooms. There is a programme of auctions upcoming including a country house sale, one for taxidermy and ones for fashion and textiles. Quality bargains (often of designer labels) guaranteed. You can also take along your own pieces to be valued by the Tennants team of experts. See www.tennants.co.uk.
York Castle Museum and City Walls. Opened in 1938 in the abandoned women’s prison on the site of the former York Castle, this visually impressive museum specialises in bringing the past to life with a recreated Victorian street and wonderful costume collections. It’s £11 for adults and children are free. Follow with a bracing walk around the Roman walls of the city. See www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk.
Afternoon tea at Bettys Harrogate. The famous and fabulous Yorkshire tea room celebrates its centenary this year and the focus will be on Harrogate, where it all started. Beat the queues by booking afternoon tea in advance. For £19.95 per person, there’s a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and a pot of Tea Room Blend tea. Add a glass of Moutard Rose Prestige Champagne and it’s £27.95. See www.bettys.co.uk.