Harrogate made its name in Georgian England as a spa town for the gentry. These days it holds the title of ‘happiest place to live in Britain.’ It’s also one of the prettiest, with grand houses, leafy streets and the Stray, 200 acres of park and gardens that unfurls itself directly opposite this stylish hotel. Outside, you can sit at tables and watch the world go by. Inside, the bar and restaurant come as one, a lively spot that draws a crowd and comes with leather booths, chic bar stools, lots of colour and style. Cocktails, locals ales, wines from around the world all wait, as does some excellent bistro food, perhaps moules marinière, rack of lamb, apple and caramel tart. Bedrooms are lovely: crisp linen, the best mattresses, smart TVs and cool bathrooms. Bigger rooms at the front overlook the Stray, smaller ones at the back share the same style. Stay on a Sunday night and you can ‘eat your bill;’ whatever you spend on dinner will be removed from the cost of your room! Don’t miss the Turkish baths or the gardens at Harlow Carr.