Review: Lidgett Lane Larder, Leeds
All but one of the tables were occupied when we arrived at Lidgett Lane Larder.
A young man with a laptop sat at one, a thirty-something professional couple at another.
An elderly gentleman with a newspaper was having a coffee alone. Two middle-aged friends chatted like they had nowhere to go. And there were two groups of mums trying to have lunch between looking after their children.
They say you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but Lidgett Lane Larder appears to be pleasing lots of people a lot of the time.
This was mid-afternoon on a Monday – when we had expected to have the place virtually to ourselves – and it was a hive of activity.
We were grateful to grab the last table on offer.
The small cafe has only been open a matter of months but it has clearly already acquired a loyal clientele.
Simple, good quality food, a warm welcome and a charming interior are a successful recipe in a corner of north Leeds which had been strangely devoid of a destination offering just such a combination.
The owners describe it as “a shop you can eat in” and, true to its name, there are shelves filled with lots of produce – much of it locally sourced – from preserves to breads, chocolate and tea and coffee.
Their lunch menu consists of sandwiches, soups, antipasti and specials from the counter.
I had a sweet chilli and rhubard pork pie.
Sourced from the award-winning Cryer and Stott stable, it was a novel twist on the humble classic, though there could have been more chilli heat to counter-balance the sharp sweetness from the rhubarb.
It came with a really pleasant side salad and a deliciously punchy piccalilli.
My dining partner’s portion of goat’s cheese, tomato and oregano quiche was a fine example of its type. Salad, savoury race and broad beans provided a medley of sides.
We ordered two cakes to take away.
My dining partner’s chocolate brownie struck the right balance between gorgeously sweet and cocoa rich. It was chewy and dense and moreish.
Looking at a cross-section of my slab of tiffin was like examining geological strata. Layers of nuts, fruit, marshmallow, biscuit, chocolate and rice crispies combined to make a treat that I unwisely ate in one sitting. It could easily have been spread across two or three.
With two soft drinks the bill was a modest £17.40.
I’m told the owners of Lidgett Lane Larder hope to expand upstairs if all goes well. On this evidence, the real question may be whether two floors are enough to satisfy the demand.