Ok, this is it folks. The Sheffield caff to trump all other Sheffield caffs. After two days of disappointing restaurant visits and inspections for the outfit we can’t divulge (or we’d have to kill you) my jaded belly thought it couldn’t take anymore. Until I fell into this brilliant little life-saving caff on the business end of Abbeydale Road. I’ve been meaning to call in since I spotted it in Our Fave Places – an indispensible guide to all things Sheffield.
Inside, scuffed wood floors, mis-matching furniture, 50’s posters and footie kit on brick walls, shelves of irrestistable Italian store cupboard stuff stacked hugger mugger and the heady smell of fresh coffee – you know how fascistic we are about coffee – and it doesn’t disappoint. Perched on a high stool in front of the gleaming Gaggia I watch the big-haired barista boy strut his stuff. He looks about 12 but assures me he’s been learning his trade for eight years in various places, and sure enough, delivers the perfect macchiato. Can’t resist a rhubarb and ginger croissant the size of a small shoe and I’m glad I did.
If I hadn’t endured a rubbish lunch elsewhere there’s no way I wouldn’t have had a sandwich; the fennel, salami, red pesto and vine tomato in ciabatta looked particularly gorgeous – bread comes from the fabulous Forge Bakehouse next door – other options include focaccia and rosemary rolls – of course I nipped round and took some home.
The charming young staff greet regulars like old friends. I know I’m biased, being a local lass, but I’ve always thought Sheffielders exude warmth. If it was down the road from me I’d have named my own table, it would be my office and I’d be doing business from Bragazzis, taking Adam Faith’s lead, installed as he was towards the end of his life in Fortnum & Mason’s tea room, dispensing financial advice to celebrities. True!