Harrogate’s booming independent food and drink scene will be bolstered with the arrival of the new permanent site by Norse this week. Norse will officially open on 8th April at their new site on Swan Road this weekend and will offer a tantalising casual dining menu influenced by Nordic cuisine and for the first time offer a lunch menu alongside the Evening offer they have become famous for. The new space will feature 40 covers and follows the refurbishment of £50,000 thanks to the successful kickstarter campaign. For almost three years, Norse quietly outgrew the after-hours pop-up style restaurant they shared with Scandi-inspired café, Baltzersen’s. It has been an incredible ride for them since, picking up two AA rosettes, and listings in the Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide plus runner-up in the Observer Food Monthly Awards twice.
Paul Rawlinson, Director of both Baltzersen’s and Norse, says: “I think we go to the point where co-existing with the cafe team was becoming more and more challenging whilst the equipment, working conditions and dining room were also limiting what we could provide for guests” Obviously it was a lot of hard work to set Norse up, get its name out there and concrete a regular customer base – but Norse was successful almost immediately, with a positive review from Jay Rayner after only six months. “In terms of technical innovation, I primarily work front of house so I am excited about the wine preservation system we are installing. It will allow us to offer more wines by the glass whilst being confident that the condition of those wines will remain at their peak.” With the busy few months after a very successful Kickstarter behind them (Norse surpassed its original goals within 100 hours, and reached its stretch goals soon after), Norse quickly received the funds it needed to implement the innovative ideas it hopes to employ in its new, Swan Road venue. The Kickstarter campaign promised innovation in the new venue, with new equipment as well as the time and space to try out new options
. Simon Jewitt, Head Chef and Director of Norse says: “There are so many new and exciting things that the move brings but the fact we will have our own kitchen and work space rather than sharing one and having to move things around everyday is invaluable to us . We are going into the new venue with the same resourceful way of thinking that we’ve had to adopt over the years but we are going to apply it to putting more refinement into the food for the customer.” The menu will focus on a seasonal rotation and feature a careful picked number of plates form Smaller to Larger plates. You can expect anything from Whitby Crab, served with Elderflower puffed rice and a chilled onion broth, to charred Mackerel served with scallop roe scraps to larger dishes of King scallops, kohlrabi cooked over pine and leeks to Celeriac baked in hay served with a beer cream. The menu sounds incredible interesting and a welcome addition to the Harrogate scene.
Paul Rawlinson says: “We’ve gone for a bright and airy space that is filled with lots of natural tones and textures. Wood is a big part of the design in a combination of oak and beech and we’ve retained the feature preserved moss wall and rustic window frames. We’ve added some fantastic artwork from local photographer Tristan Campbell. The artwork is mounted on noise reducing frames made from recycled plastic bottles that will greatly improve the acoustics of the room. From a guest perspective the first thing they will notice is comfort. It’s going to be a really nice environment to spend a couple of hours.”