Stray Talking: Spring into Harrogate in style.
STRAY TALKING: STYLE AND EVENTS FROM HARROGATE
The first in a new series of guest blogs with fashion editor, stylist and Harrogate resident Stephanie Taylor who shares her insider tips on where to go – and what to wear – in this quintessentially stylish town.
We don’t have a uniform in Harrogate. In a town where restaurateurs and retailers, estate agents and farmers, lawyers, designers and media folk all mingle and collaborate quite happily, as a way of life, we don’t feel the need to dress alike, as if in some kind of quaint or modish tribe.
We are blessed with an eclectic and enviable mix of restaurants, cafes and bars, both independent and quality chain options, which is fortunate, as we do love to go out. And when we go out, we like to dress well. Not in a flashy, showy, predictably “in-crowd” fashion, such as you might find in some larger cities; in Harrogate, we prefer to make a more subtle, more individual, style statement.
Thanks in part to its well-established exhibition centre and Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate is a town to which folk travel from far and wide, so there is ample opportunity to showcase to the world a touch of North Yorkshire style.
An important Yorkshire diary date coming up this month is the Spring Flower Show, which takes place from April 26 to 29 at the Great Yorkshire Showground. It’s a heavenly opportunity to see the world’s most beautiful plants and flowers while taking in garden design inspo, as well as a chance to meet up with friends both local and far-flung, and to show visitors just how we do spring daytime dressing.
In honour of the event itself, floral print is a must. If you don’t want to overdo it (no one wants to look like chintz curtains), Cordings has a collection of exquisitely fresh and joyous shirts in a selection of Liberty prints, scintillating yet subtle, and in the softest, purest cotton Tana Lawn.
This Amelie Floral Liberty Print Shirt is the perfect celebration of spring, introducing to any outfit an eye-catching and serenely beautiful pop of colour and pattern, which works especially well when teamed with easy pieces in rich, neutral tones.
Pair with soft green or fawn jeans/trousers, tucked in or fashionably half-tucked. (Incidentally, here are my two current half-tucks: 1. Tuck in the back and one side of the front, leaving the other flap hanging loose – ideal if you’re tummy-conscious); or 2. Tuck in all the front and leave the back hanging loose – great for diverting attention away from hips and flattering the waist.) Add a cream or camel trench coat (it is April, after all), a panama (essentially chic) and then ground the whole look with a neat pair of contrast suede and leather loafers (ideal for a variety of locations and terrains).
It’s an effortless, pulled-together look to take you to this spring’s outdoor events and festivals. Here are my top three diary musts, including the details for the Spring Flower Show that inspired the outfit.
WHERE TO WEAR
Harrogate Spring Flower Show, Thurs-Sun, April 26-29, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Tickets £21 at gate (£19 on Sunday), £2.50 discount if booked before April 17. Book at www.flowershow.org.uk or call 01423 546157.
StrEat Food and Family Fun Festival, UK’s only National Street Food Festival with more than 50 street food and drink traders and entertainment, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, May 26-28, Sat/Sun 12pm-10pm & Mon 12pm-8pm. Early Bird tickets are available now, £5 adults, children free. https://www.streatpr.co.uk
The Great British Food Festival, UK producers and street food vendors, celebrity chef demos, talks, lessons and live music, Harewood House, between Harrogate and Leeds, May 26-28. Tickets £12.50 adults, £7.50 children. www.greatbritishfoodfestival.com