Exploring Market Harborough

2 May, 2015

What’s more relaxing than spending a cold English morning in a quaint little village, wandering through the streets and enjoying gorgeous cakes in a cute café while warming my hands over a frothy cappuccino?  Not much, to be honest!

the old school house and vintage market
the old school house and vintage market

I’d taken the weekend off to visit my uncle in England in the tiny village of Gumley (yes, I mean tiny – there is only one street!) – and decided to spend the morning checking out the beautiful (and larger) town of Market Harborough.  The streets are very cute, lined with sweet boutiques and cafés, and it really is a beautiful place.  I was fortunate enough to visit in the spring when the streets were decorated with blooming flowers and the sun occasionally deciding to peep through and bless us with sunshine.  I took my time exploring, at one point finding myself lost in a second-hand record store, and then wondering through a vintage market under the old school house.  There was also a small but impressive and well-managed museum in the local library which detailed the discovery of the Hallaton Hoard, a very large collection of Iron Age coins which were found in the area of Leicestershire.  It was fantastic, and the staff were so incredibly friendly!

But the highlight of the morning would have to be, without a doubt, The Cookshop.  A deceivingly small entrance reveals only one aspect of the shop, the homewares store, though if you take the leap and step right through, you will find the absolutely gorgeous café and courtyard which lie behind.  I was greeted by a super friendly barista who made me welcome and whipped up a coffee even though I had arrived before opening.  I settled onto a cushioned chair and couldn’t help myself from smiling as I took in the floral prints and pastel colours.  My cappuccino arrived in a beautiful mug with creamy milk chocolate flakes on top – none of this powdery stuff – and I was pressed for choice as I peered at all the lovely home-baked sweets in the pastry cabinet.  I was in sweet-tooth heaven!  If you wish not to feel jealous/hungry, avert your eyes …

Such a delicious morning tea !
Such a delicious morning tea !
Seriously - how cute is this!
Seriously – how cute is this!

The staff were so wonderful and asked me about my travels, seeing that I was an Australian.  As more customers arrived, I realised that this was a local hot-spot visited by regular customers – the barista seemed to know everyone and there was a comfortable air of community which made the coffee-and-sugar-scented atmosphere even more welcoming.  There were little books on each of the tables in which customers could write comments and it seemed that I wasn’t alone in my appreciation and praise!  It was the best way to start my morning and left me glowing with content for the rest of the day – definitely a place to remember for future visits!

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