It's been such a long time since I visited Harrogate, so was delighted to be invited by PR Katherine Busby to visit Mama Doreen's Imporium on Station Square for brunch and to view some fabulous French fashions from Aurelie, set up by Lucy Robinson who I will be getting in touch with again quite soon, with the hope she will entice me away from my very 'black' wardrobe! Something I have been thinking about since my visit to Yorkshire Businesswoman partners Quilters who hosted an evening at their offices in Leeds with a style specialist who does 'colours' where I learned I was 'Winter' following years of being told by others I was 'Autumn'!

I decided to go to Harrogate on the train as I wasn't sure about parking. I was disappointed that there was no direct train from Wakefield, having to change in Leeds and not being able to book a seat. 8am at Outwood station and the train arrived seating about 100 people with at least 300 crammed onboard, please rail companies, sort this out, Leeds council don't want cars in the city but there is still insufficient public transport. I was delighted however when booking to see that I could get a direct train back and booked a seat in a discounted first class. I was looking forward to that.

Following a superb brunch at Mama Doreen's with great company including our member Rachel Peru, and a visit to Woods Fine Linens across the street where we were gifted with one of their famous dishcloths, I was looking forward to the return journey and a cup of coffee.

I arrived at the station nice and early only to find my train, which was the LNER to London, was cancelled with no explanation. I was told by a guard I could jump on the next train to Leeds and join the LNER London train at Leeds, where it had been rescheduled to start, to continue my journey to Wakefield. When I asked about a refund, I was told my ticket was not refundable! Now I get that, but I initially didn't want a refund, I turned up for the train, it was THEM that cancelled. There is a long way to go before our rail system is fixed here in the North. I journeyed to Leeds and opted to continue my journey by taxi! What a let down.

The day was enjoyable and I can highly recommend if you are in the Harrogate area, do visit Mama Doreen's with its china cups, chandeliers and delicious cakes and pastries, you won't be disappointed. Oh and don't forget Woods across the street, who recently boasted a visit from HRH Princess Anne who's great aunt we are reliably informed, was a regular visitor.

Gill x