Self-catering review: Royal Parade Apartments, Harrogate

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If it's all about location, Royal Parade Apartments in Harrogate, which opened just over a year ago, has got it both right and wrong. On the positive side, these three elegant self-catering properties are stacked like delicate sugar-dusted pancakes in the froufrou heart of Harrogate, opposite the Royal Pump Room Museum (, just down the hill from Bettys tearoom and the renovated Turkish Baths, and within a Farrah's toffee's throw of both a branch of Toast and Alan Titchmarsh's favourite public park, Valley Gardens (

But is Harrogate really the place for such high style? London, Bath or Edinburgh would be more obvious destinations for accommodation of such a decadent kind. Harlow Carr gardens ( may be on the doorstep, but without a run of world-class museums or truly landmark attractions does Yorkshire's finest spa town promise enough entertainment to persuade more traditional city breakers to add a night here to their itinerary?

Sleeping up to four, with one double bedroom and one double sofa bed, each apartment is a variation on a theme. Brooklyn, on the third floor, is a vision of salvage chic, second-floor Rajasthan is slightly more colourful, and eclectic first-floor Royale, my base for the night, is the most traditionally styled. Co-owner Janet Love has a background in antiques and interior design, and it shows. She admits she loves recycling old pieces, especially bits sourced from Gallery Forty One ( in London, and even in Royale there are plenty of nicely quirky items, such as the enormous studded metal coffee table, made from a ship's carcass, tucked in among the 17th-century fire irons, antique prints and French mirrors.

Then there's breakfast. Though this is self-catering, all guests get the first meal of the day thrown in (private chefs can be arranged for other meals). I'm not sure this is strictly necessary but there was no complaining when I found the kitchen stocked with honey toasted muesli from the "organic with attitude" Side Oven Bakery, Truly Scrumpious bread (the company's own misspelling), Taylors teas, creamy organic Birchfield yoghurt and eggs so fresh they still had feathers on them – much of it from local food emporium Fodder (

Though Janet recommended a no-fuss dinner at the Restaurant Bar & Grill ( or "really amazing food" at Van Zeller (, I settled for a quick pint at gaslit Hales Bar (, Harrogate's oldest pub, before dinner with some local relatives. Staying here may be a bit like navigating a glitzy spaceship that's touched down in uncharted territory but beam me up any time.

Follow Rhiannon on Twitter @rhiannonbatten

• This article was amended on 27 April 2012 to update prices at the apartments

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