Haley & Clifford, Leeds
‘For the love of good food’ is the legend over the door of this café/deli in leafy suburban Leeds, and it’s blindingly obvious as soon as you walk in that there’s plenty of both to be had here. Love and good food, that is. Owner Val Berry prides herself in keeping it very local, with products coming from all parts of Yorkshire, but the nearer, the better.
Bread is supplied by an artisan bakery in Garforth; Thierry Dumouchel and his team make a fantastic additive-free range, including green olive and walnut & raisin alongside the regular boule and seeded battard (his fabulous cheese bread is served in the caff toasted, with (or without) marmite).
There are Yorkshire cheeses agogo, plus the brilliant Womersley’s dressings – if you’ve never tried the lime and lemon, you’ve a treat to come. Perfectly Preserved jams and chutneys are even nearer, made by Marilyn and Ian in a kitchen in Oakwood (raspberry jam with rose – mmm).
There’s a bijou eating area inside – but under the awning, streetside is the place to be; it’s a great place to people watch, especially around lunchtime when the Leeds 17 ladies descend on the Flying Pizza opposite. A very cute touch if you decide go al fresco are the Cath Kidston plaid travel rugs for your knees on a chilly day. Not that there are many of those in Leeds, of course.
The salads are very good; chickpea with lime, chilli, coriander and tamarind is a punchy, fresh plateful; white bean, chorizo and parsley fabulous with a slab of Thierry’s bread. Sandwiches are generous doorsteps filled with the likes of pastrami, cream cheese and dill pickle, or my favourite, houmous, red pepper and olive. And the cakes – ah the cakes. Meringues the size of elephant’s feet, chocolate malteser cake, dutch apple cake and ‘seriously good cup cakes’ washed down with a very good macchiato from a proper hissing Gaggia rounds the whole thing off nicely.
If you’re a bit of a packaging freak like me, it’s one of those places where you want to scoop up all the goodies into a huge basket and run out; down one long wall are shelves chock full of great Italian pastas, Greek olive oil and Moroccan cous cous. What with that and the meringues (and spotting the face-lifts across the road) it’s an hour well spent.