A year in Melbourne, Australia, inspired two young people from Chesterfield to open their own eatery back here in Crooked Spire country, to see if they could create a similar cafe culture.
Emily Chapman was just 22 when she opened The Lilypad with chef Iain Woodhead. They transformed the leased premises overlooking the Town Hall, and were surprised by instant popularity.
The Lilypad is fresh, clean, and spacy. Our visit was on a very cold day but we soon warmed up and enjoyed welcoming, attentive service.
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It was difficult to choose from many appetising options, but we settled for a Lilypad (full English-type) breakfast, smashed avacado on sourdough toast with beetroot hummus, feta, nuts, seeds and poached egg, and sautéed and pickled mushrooms on brioche toast, with poached egg, goats cheese and roasted cherry tomatoes.
The Lilypad spread included two eggs (I chose poached), spinach, sautéed (wonderfully tasty) mushrooms, rosemary tomatoes, a succulent Derbyshire pork and leek sausage and thick cut – but tender – bacon.
It was all beautifully cooked – full of flavour and both eggs soft-centred. I found the sourdough toast a bit too chewy but otherwise, an extremely tasty platter.
The smashed avocado was wolfed down by my Australian friend, who pronounced it an ‘absolutely perfect combination’ of foods, and similar appreciation was shown for the mushroom platter, although Cate said she found the brioche a little too sweet, to her taste.
We all felt healthily full and savoured the whole breakfasting experience, as were several couples, families, and a group of young people. Emily told us she has many ‘regulars’.
Choices include gluten-free options, smoothie bowls, homemade muesli with goji berries, cranberries and pistachio crumble, American-style pancakes with delicious fillings, and much more.
Water was supplied to the table, always a good sign. Our bill including coffees was £33.85. We left very satisfied. The Lilypad on Soresby Street has won two awards including a Cafe of the Year accolade in 2017. It opens every day and alcoholic drinks are available. I’ll be back to sample a Thai jungle chicken curry, or maybe a crispy duck and sweet potato waffle.