Cafe at the Square Chapel, Halifax
What do you mean, you haven’t been to ‘Fax? It’s the Shoreditch of the North, you know! Built in 1772, the stunning Square Chapel is Grade II* listed – thirty years ago it was falling apart, when a handful of forward-thinking people clubbed together to rescue it, buying it for the grand sum of £25. Along with the magnificent Piece Hall (next door), extensive additions and renovations were carried out and in early 2017 and the cafe/bar reopened. It’s a fabulously stylish space; light, airy and almost always filled with the happy babble of folk having a good time. It’s a place to head for if you want a good coffee and a piece of AMAZING cake (whovever is in charge of those in the kitchen, hats off) but if it’s a more substantial plate of food you’re after, fill your boots.
The menu changes every six weeks or so, and they roam the world; the Lebanon, Spain and currently Sicily. Choose from the likes of tagliatelle alla norma (slow cooked aubergines and tomatoes, ricotta, basil and parmesan), arancine and Sicilian tomato sauce with orange and fennel salad – an absolute steal at 7 quid, or the mighty Nduja and prosciutto with black olives, fennel and mixed leaves on a doorstep of sourdough. There are sharing platters piled high with Caprese salad, sfincione bolognese, tallegio, Polpette di ricciola and a very passable caponata stone baked pizza. Did I mention cake? The Sicilan lemon sponge is simply the business. Sit on the terrace on a good day with an espresso and a slice of this and you’re in Palermo. Shoreditch? Pah.