Have you ever been to Hereford? When I moved to Wales almost ten years ago(!) my Mum took me shopping there to revamp my wardrobe. I was twelve, had just joined a much bigger, mixed sex school and all of a sudden realised I hated my pink Reebok trainers and pale blue flared jeans. I wanted tight dark jeans and 'skate shoes'. Aren't you glad we don't live in 2004 anymore.
After three years spent studying and living in Cheltenham, I declined to visit Hereford as much as I did when it was just a thirty minute drive away. But now I am living back in Abergavenny, and I find myself taking a trip to Hereford more often than ever. It's such a pretty city, and a lovely place to go for some quiet Saturday shopping when the rush and scale of Cardiff is just too much effort. Plus, there are some lovely little cafes right in the centre of Hereford.
I have been to Cafe at All Saints a few times now, and I thought it was about time I shared it with you. It is one of my favourite places to go for lunch. The food is always delicious, fresh and interesting, and the setting – in a beautiful church – makes you feel like you're eating your lunch at home, with friends. There are no lurking waiters or waitresses, no cramped spaces. It is light and atmospheric.
So it's one of those cafes where you have to queue up and get your food – canteen style. Not my chosen way of doing things but the quality of food and service makes up for it. The staff have got the system nailed and, in a way, it makes it feel a little more homemade.
Sandwiches are also on the menu, and they are made to order, so if you're ordering one of them, you get to take one of these colourful spoons back to your table.
I was impressed by this. Most places offer tap water but it's not often that filtered water is available.
Additional seating is available upstairs, but because we had Olivia in the pram, we stayed downstairs. It was busy, as always, but we got a good table with plenty of space.
I had the butternut squash, sage, ricotta and parmesan quiche with a leafy salad and mustard dressing. Emily had the same but a carrot and cumin kind of salad, and my Mum went for the parsnip, cheddar and rosemary soup with a cheese scone.
I tried a bit of Emily's salad, and I had never tasted anything like it. I love unique flavours in salads, and this one certainly delivered. If you want to try something a bit different, this is the one to go for. It tasted sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time.
The quiche was perfect. I wouldn't usually choose this, but my mum convinced me, telling me how good it is. She wasn't wrong. It was sweet and creamy, thanks to the butternut squash, but the cheese gave it enough saltiness, and I had a fat splodge of HP sauce on my plate to smear each forkful in as well.
Mum's soup was good, as was the cheese scone – but obviously nowhere near as good as the ones she makes at home.
After we had eaten I went back up to queue for coffee. It was hot and set me up just right for the next hour or so of browsing the shops. I could explore Hereford all day, and eat in each and every cafe and coffee shop. There are so many that I would like to visit, but one at a time, one visit at a time.
What do you think? Are you tempted to go to Hereford? It's a small city, but quaint and worth a visit for all the independent shops and cafes, especially Cafe at All Saints. I can't wait to go again! Find out more here.