Java Cakes – Breakfast at The Coffeehouse Social
We're told to breakfast like kings, aren't we? ('Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper' – Epigram Ed)
But with demanding jobs and busy social lives, I'm guessing that most of us are lucky to throw a couple of slices of toast or a bowl of cereal down our necks before dashing out the door. It's sad that nothing really changes at the weekend either, not for me anyway. I'll be out and about as early as possible to ensure that I make the most of the day and if I'm meeting friends for lunch then I'll sometimes skip breakfast just to make sure I turn up hungry! Bad Clare!
A good brekkie – especially if it’s a more luxurious weekend sit down – can take a real effort and some serious organisation but it really does set me up for the day. It’s still generally a private affair though – I don't even think to ask any of my friends to join me for brunch and generally, for me, it's a meal to be enjoyed in solitude, or with the husband. There's no real reason for this though and Jon from Tamper Coffee and Sally from The Chimney House, have cottoned onto this point. Say hello to the new Coffeehouse Socials, which I was lucky enough to get a sitting on last weekend.
Both Tamper Coffee and The Chimney House are passionate about food, coffee, supporting good local businesses and getting people together and it seems that they have hit on the perfect partnership here, as the Coffeehouse Social pulls all four of these passions together to create a truly memorable experience. I knew that I would be fed the best of the best that Sheffield has to offer and with both PJ Taste and Nonnas also on board, I had no doubt that this was going to be a breakfast fit for a king!
Booked into the second sitting on the Saturday morning, the husband and I made our trip to Kelham Island and into The Chimney House (so called because of er… its chimney). Located at the top of the building the main meeting (training, conference, party and dining) room was perfectly set for a breakfast banquet; two long solid wood tables adorned with fresh flowers and flickering candles. Comfy seats, papers and magazines are obligatory brunch accompaniments and all were present, as was the sun which streamed through the windows giving a magical feel to the room.
Both Tamper and PJ Taste are respected purveyors of fine Sheffield food so finding bottles of Sheffield's Our Cow Molly milk dotted around the table wasn't a surprise for me, but it was a nice touch, especially as it was served in the traditional old school style bottles. Menus had been released a couple of days before the event, but servers were on hand to remind us what we had to come, and having not eaten anything before setting off, and with delicious bacon smells wafting into the room I was really looking forward to getting started.
For first course (yes, there were courses to this breakfast; three in fact) we kicked off with a healthy granola made with organic Yorkshire oats and Sheffield Honey, with cranberries, figs and local hazelnuts (2012 wild crop). It came with an amazing selection of fruits (apricots, figs and the like) which had been soaked in jasmine tea along with some yoghurt freshly made by PJ Taste. It was all delicious; the sweetness of the granola and the fruit worked with the tangy yoghurt. Thanks to Tamper I could also have my caffeine kick of choice; an expertly crafted flat white.
As we ate our fellow diners chatted, read the papers, completed crosswords and used their phones. There are no formalities at Coffehouse Social and as such, everyone relaxed into the experience and in turn added to it. Whether you want a bit of 'me time', to meet new people or to meet up with a group of friends the Coffeehouse Social caters for all; you can make it what you want it to be.
Our next course was the one we had been waiting for; pancakes with bacon and PJ Taste home brew Birch sap syrup. As an extra treat, PJ Taste had included a couple of blueberry pancakes in each stack and we eagerly tucked in. The pancakes were thick and fluffy and the bacon was good quality. But what really amazes me about this dish is that PJ Taste made the syrup. Talk about attention to detail and using local produce!
We finished off with toast made from locally baked breads and a selection of PJ Taste jam including plum jam using plums from Woodhouse, lime & orange marmalade and a raspberry jam using fruit from Whirlowhall farm. Perfect and, to be fair, by this course I was done. Fed and watered I felt set up for the day and it was time for us to go… which was a shame as I must admit to having fallen a little bit in love with the place…
To find out more about the Coffeehouse Socials – and other pop up events (including the odd secret supper) – sign up to The Chimney House mailing list on their blog.
Clare's Food Blog is sponsored by Nonnas Cucina. Get 50% off Nonnas Pizza every Wednesday when you quote Exposed! Open Sunday to Friday 5-7pm.