In a new series trumpeting the loveliness of places where we love to scoff when we’re out of the house, Hazel Davis acquaints us with her favourite Huddersfield cafe.
I recommend you Eat Here: CoffeEvolution, in Huddersfield, love.
Is it a restaurant, cafe, bistro, takeaway, drive thru, chippy, road-side van or motorway services? It’s a cafe.
What kind of food do they serve? Light lunches, homemade cakes, the best coffee in West Yorkshire, possibly the whole north, probably the UK.
Paint us a picture. CoffeEvolution sits snugly in what we Huddersfieldians like to call “the creative quarter”. Well, it’s more of a street; well, a building; well, CoffeEvolution IS the creative quarter.
This is where the town’s students, writers, performers and dudes hang out. And me. Practically every day. You’re hit with the smell of fresh coffee (they roast their own nearby) on entry and that sets you up for an increasingly rich sensory experience, whether it’s some nifty falsetto from jovial barista Harry or some arch banter from James and Jeremy, the ‘Bean Brothers’ (they’re really brothers!).
There’s artisan coffee-making equipment dotted about the place and artwork from local artists on the walls.
What’s the scoffing soundtrack you’ll hear, here? The cafe benefits from being run by a sibling trio, two of whom are trained professional musicians so music plays a key part. Sometimes you’ll hear sister Sally’s glorious contralto wafting over the tannoy and other times you’ll get a blast of string quartet (Jeremy is a viola player).
Harry the barista can be relied upon to accompany almost anything with his (actually pretty impressive) falsetto. The musical vibe is mixed but you’re never more than three songs away from a Belle and Sebastian.
Who might you expect to see here? Apparently Carey Mulligan sat in ‘my’ seat when the Mumfords were in town, but during the day it’s usually a mix of self-employed hipster types, artists, trendy newly-retireds and students.
What are your top three dishes on the menu? I am a big fan of the salami, cheese and olives board (with hummus). It’s basically LOADS OF CHEESE on a wooden board. With some olives for show that always get left behind.
When I come in for a morning’s hard graft on my laptop, however, I always order cheese on toast (which isn’t actually on the menu, so makes me feel extra special).
Those aside, the soup of the day is always really tasty and Sally’s freshly made cakes and biscuits are epic.
When and how did you first find this place? I think I might have been born here. It’s a Huddersfield institution, is all.
Why do you love it so? I love that I can walk in at any time and be more or less guaranteed an insulting word or two-fingered salute. I really love that the other day when I went in, I was introduced to the man who (ALLEGEDLY) brought the Moonwalk to Huddersfield.
“CoffeEvolution sits snugly in what we Huddersfieldians like to call “the creative quarter”. Well, it’s more of a street; well, a building; well, CoffeEvolution IS the creative quarter.”
I love that most of them find it very hard to leave and I love that it opens early and stays open till 7pm when other cafes don’t. I love that the customers are mostly addressed by name and sometimes it’s just nice to go somewhere where everybody knows your name.
What’s the best meal you’ve had here? You can’t beat cheese on toast with swears on.
Mates, a soul-mate or solo? I pretty much meet everyone here. My children are ALWAYS in here. I meet friends here, I have business meetings, I sit alone and read the paper. I may as well sit underneath the counter in a sleeping bag with my mouth open.
Budget or bank balance busting? Prices are super-reasonable. The fact I shed about £50 a week here is more to do with how much time I spend there and in no way a reflection of cost.
It’s good value, though, which is why the students love it (AND CELEBRATE THIS BY LISTENING TO THEIR PHONES OUT LOUD DOWNSTAIRS WHILE I AM TRYING TO DO A CONFERENCE CALL. DON’T THEY KNOW IT’S ALSO MY FRONT ROOM?).
You can find CoffeEvolution (and most likely Hazel Davis) at 8 Church Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1DD. www.coffeevolution.co.uk1996 Views
Hazel Davis is a freelance writer from West Yorkshire. She has two tiny children but the majority of her hours are taken up with thinking about Alec Baldwin singing sea shanties and the time someone once called her "moreishly interesting".