Feature My Town... Simon Cotton
Simon Cotton is General Manager of Cedar Court Hotel and current President of the Harrogate Chamber of Commerce
What do you love about Harrogate?
Just about everything really! I love that it’s not a sprawling great city where it’s difficult to get to know people, but at the same time it’s not too small either. I love how attractive it all is with the openness of the Stray, the floral aspects, parks, gardens, and the fantastic mix of shops, bars and restaurants throughout the town. On top of this we’ve got some of the best conference and event facilities in the country in the HIC and Yorkshire Showground putting on some superb events, along with great places like the Theatre, Royal Hall and Turkish Baths. Above all though, I love the people in this town and the passion they have for where they live and how they do business; I can’t see us ever moving away.
And the worst thing about Harrogate?
Without doubt traffic! Traffic and transport in general, both getting to and from Harrogate, and then driving around the town is always difficult. Through my work with the hotels and Chamber of Commerce I’ve been assisting in the lobbying for a better rail network direct to and from London.
If you could do anything to improve Harrogate, realistic or otherwise, what would it be?
Improve some of the leisure offerings. The cinema, whilst good, is a bit small, and it’s a shame we lost the bowling alley recently. A fuller leisure facility for families would be a great addition.
Where do you eat and drink out?
I often frequent some of my fellow hoteliers’ restaurants with The Orchid being one of my favourites. I also like the Boars Head at Ripley, and the Clocktower at Rudding Park. A decent curry is always high on my list of favourite foods and there’s a great choice of Indians in Harrogate. As for bars, John Street is where you’ll find me if in town, but my favourite place for a quiet pint is my local, The Travellers Rest on Skipton Road where Mike & Diane look after me very well!
Which is your favourite shop and why?
It has to be Harrogate Interiors on Cold Bath Road. Being a man I’m not big on the shopping front, but Harrogate Interiors is such a great shop with so many bits and bobs for the house, it’s great. What makes them so good though is the customer service; it’s second to none in Harrogate.
Harrogate Spa Water or Daleside Beer?
Both! I don’t like to sit on the fence with decisions but I like my beer, and I love the Harrogate Spa Water product too. We also sell both of these at the Cedar Court Hotel so I can’t possibly choose one over the other!
Describe your perfect day out in Harrogate.
Breakfast at Bettys (everyone probably says that, but I don’t do it very often); followed by a round of golf at one of the many great courses we have (I’m a member at Harrogate). My afternoon would be spent with my family in the Valley Gardens as my two boys love it there; and if there was time, I’d nip off for a massage at the Turkish Baths. My evening would then be spent with friends at the Orchid (with a cheeky pint at the Travellers on the way home)!
If you could write a slogan for Harrogate, what would it be?
Cosmopolitan lifestyle built upon the unparalleled beauty of a traditionally Yorkshire spa town.
Posted on Wednesday 1st September 2010
Queen Building, Park Parade, Off Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, HG1 5AH
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