A QUICK trip to the post office at lunchtime ended up with a discovery that was really first class (sorry).
My errand took me past Bank Street Arts, an exhibition space tucked away in the back streets of the city centre, and I remembered it had a cafe, so I headed in to see if they could sort me out a takeaway.
It turns out that the cafe, now called To The Lighthouse, was recently taken over by the co-operative who run The Rude Shipyard, a popular cafe on Abbeydale Road in Highfield.
There aren’t many lighthouses in the basement of a building.
To get to the cafe, head through the exhibition and head down the stairs.
However, it makes more sense when you remember the shipyard link and add in the famous novel by Virginia Woolf, a giant print of which hangs on one wall.
The cafe resembles a secondhand bookshop and there’s lot of fascinating tomes to flick through while you wait for your order.
The menu has sandwiches, soups, snacks and salads as well as hotpots, many of which change daily.
These are written up on a blackboard behind the serving hatch where you order.
They also have a fantastic spread of cakes sitting temptingly on the counter.
I went for three salads as the amazing smell was wafting over the counter. They were spinach, fennel, orange and basil, tabbouleh and aubergine, mint and chilli and cost only £3.
I couldn’t resist adding in a little chocolate sponge made to look like a mini pint of Guinness for £1.
The salads were beautifully prepared and bursting with flavour and freshness, especially the fennel one, which included slices of fennel bulb with spinach and basil leaves and orange segments.
The little chocolatey sponge was pleasant enough but it was brought to life by the rich cheesecake-style topping.
Apparently the Rude Shipyard made full pint-sized ones for St Patrick’s Day, which sounds amazing.
Venue: To the Lighthouse, Bank Street Arts, Bank Street, Sheffield S1 2DS
Tel: 0114 346 3034
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 3pm
Delivery: Not yet
Verdict: Incredibly tasty, cheap and healthy!
What I had: spinach, fennel, orange and basil salad, tabbouleh and aubergine, mint and chilli salad, £3, mini Guinness cake, £1.