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Fashion photographer’s focus firmly fixed on new Harrogate bistro venture

A fashion photographer who has worked all over the world for some of the biggest names in the industry – including All Saints, Sonneti Jeans, Lewis’ and Laura Ashley – has his focus fixed firmly on a new venture.

For David Dresser is opening a new dining experience in Harrogate – something he has contemplated doing since attending sixth form in the spa town.

Fashion House Bistro, located on the corner of Swan Road and Cornwall Road, will be open from 9am until late, Tuesday through to Sunday, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Additionally, the bistro is also a bar, serving a range of beers, wines and spirits from noon onwards “until late”.

With staff taking up their positions this week, David and his team are now putting the finishing touches to the bistro – including displays of his own photography, ahead of welcoming their first guests on Tuesday, July 14.

David has appointed Mark Ambler, who started his culinary career in the kitchens of the town’s famed Balmoral Hotel, as his head chef.

Mark, who spent four years working as a senior chef at Zucco, in Leeds, has created a menu which he describes as a “crowd pleaser” for all palates pockets, featuring an abundance of classic Mediterranean and Italian dishes.

The food offering will change during the course of the day, from breakfast through to dinner with everything in between, to attract a varying clientele at different points of the day.

And once Covid-19 restrictions have been further relaxed, David is hoping to introduce live music, possibly once a week, and to host regular exhibitions for local artists and photographers.

David said: “Opening a restaurant has been something I’ve been contemplating for many years, in fact ever since a sixth form classmate at Granby High School suggested it!

“When I heard the premises was empty, I came and viewed it and decided the positioning, just across from the Valley Gardens, was the perfect location for the Fashion House Bistro.

“When I was growing up, my father used to own and run a number of pubs in Leeds and East Yorkshire. Working for him as a teenager gave me an early insight into the hospitality trade and what was needed to run a successful business.

“It also taught me that to achieve this you need a number of key ingredients, namely the right product at the right price, and a great team to deliver it.

“With the appointment of Mark and two fabulous ‘front of house’ managers, we are already a large part of the way there.

“We will be open for morning coffees and afternoon teas, and with a garden terrace overlooking Swan Road, there will be plenty of space for socially distanced drinks and snacks.”

David added: “Coronavirus has hit the hospitality industry hard and I’m acutely aware Harrogate has not been immune to its impact.

“However, I believe there is room for Fashion House Bistro in Harrogate, and it will make a welcome addition to Harrogate’s drinking and dining scene. We open our doors at 9am on Tuesday, July 14, and it can’t come soon enough.”

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