07 Feb

Let’s move to Ilkley, West Yorkshire: a la-di-da spa town

It’s like a miniature Harrogate, with smartly painted Victorian townhouses, Bettys and a beautiful lidoWhat’s going for it? Ilkley ticks all my fancy-pantsy, bobo, middle-class boxes, big time. A handsome Yorkshire spa town: yes, please. It’s like Harrogate in miniature, all smartly painted Victorian stone townhouses and sans serif typefaces in understated Farrow & Ball tones. Leafy promenades containing all the key accoutrements of bourgeois life (kitchen designers, bridal boutiques, JoJo Maman Bébé, cafes and the like) so I can pass myself off as the Baudelaire of the Yorkshire Dales. Mais oui. A Bettys! Well, I’m a sucker for a fat rascal – that goes without saying. A beautifully kept lido with views to die for. A fierce community of wild swimmers, if you fancy a change of scene to accompany your butterfly stroke. A damn good butcher for the non‑vegans. A branch of Booths. I mean, who doesn’t like Booths? (And why can’t we have them down south?) Alan Bennett making regular appearances at its literature festival. An independent cinema. Stop it, stop it! Honestly, Ilkley is so la-di-da it’s a wonder they don’t just rename the infamous moor Le Jardin de Wharfedale and be done with it.The case against Not cheap, obvs. Not cheap at all. And probably not for class warriors. Continue reading…

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