The concept itself makes a refreshing change to all the Starbucks-inspired cafes that seem to be popping up everywhere. The interior is rustic and charming, based around a large farmhouse-style pine table for communal use, plus a few extra tables, an inviting leather sofa, an equally welcoming bookcase, and various deli items for sale such as homemade jams and chutneys. Oh, and there's a piano. Of course!
When you enter, you are greeted by a tiered counter groaning under the weight of all manner of goodies. We arrived at 11 to the sight of pastries, brownies, florentines, meringues and even homemade lemonade. What's a girl to choose? We started proceedings with a light rosewater and toasted pinenut meringue, a peppermint tea for my friend and an espresso for myself.
The most impressive thing, for me, is that everything is made in the small kitchen behind the counter. So, whilst innocently sipping my espresso, the smells of what they were cooking for lunch kept temptingly wafting over to our table. The counter was changed, and the daily specials were unveiled..
I decided to go for a slice of Leek, Mustard and Westcombe Cheddar Tart, still warm from the oven. I had a choice of sides, and opted for a butternut squash, rocket and pumpkin seed salad. The salad was delicious, with a generous portion of roasted squash, and the tart had a wonderfully strong savoury flavour with the just the right mustardy kick.
As recommended by the very sweet waitress, I also had an apple, ginger and mint juice, made fresh to order.