Tuesday 11th December 2018
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Words: Katrina Burrill
Featured in the September 2018 issue

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This month Katrina Burrill visits Café Culture at Downtown, Grantham where family recipes are the key to their homemade cakes, scones and savoury dishes.

THE motto ‘All under one roof’ could not be more appropriate for a day spent at one of the Oldrid family-owned stores. Their department stores and superstores in Grantham, Boston and Scunthorpe offer leading brand names in furniture, fashion, electrical, gifts and much, much more. There is plenty to interest and tempt discerning shoppers. Taking a break for refreshments is a must whether you are making big buying decisions or you are on a sociable, shopping trip with friends. Downtown, Grantham has a large and well stocked Garden Centre, where on the first floor you can enjoy a welcome refreshment break in Café Culture. With seating for well over 100, the café was already busy with morning coffee drinkers and we had just anticipated the lunch rush when we arrived shortly before 12.

The café is self-service, so after locating our seats we went to make our choices. The sandwich, panini and salad display was full of tempting flavours including ham and mustard, bacon, brie and mango chutney, and more.

I had taken a guest with me and we were both tempted by the many hot dishes available. After some deliberation I choose a jacket potato whilst my guest opted for lasagne and chips. It’s been a long time since I had a jacket potato and the café has a special potato oven, so I knew the flavour would be spot on. Fluffy inside and crispy skinned, a hard combination to achieve, the potato was beautifully cooked. There was a range of toppings, but it was a warm day so coleslaw and cheese tempted me most. My guest quickly tucked into her lasagne; very filling with the side of chips.

Portion size aside, we still had room for desserts. The homemade cake display looked very appealing and after changing my mind numerous times I went for the classic Victoria sponge, whilst my guest chose a classic fruit scone. There were so many choices including a spectacular ‘rainbow’ cake and many other varieties of scones.

The bakers in the kitchen at Downtown have established quite a name for themselves with their fresh, homemade scones. Made to a secret family recipe which is closely guarded, every day there are cheese, fruit and glacé cherry varieties but customers have really enjoyed the ‘Scone of the Week’ promotion which has included blueberry and mango, white chocolate and raspberry or flavours such as walnut and apple, or cheese and spring onion. The scone was light and delicious, served with butter and available with a choice of jams. With more than twenty recipes for ‘Scone of the Week’ it could become an addiction and as the festive season approaches Christmas scones will be on the menu.

The café had really filled with customers while we were eating. Some were shoppers taking a refreshing break while others appeared to be regulars, meeting up with friends or enjoying homemade food without the hassle of washing up at home. There is plenty to see and plenty of free parking at Downtown, so I will be returning soon and browsing for longer next time.

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