Our Autumn food tour took a little unexpected turn, meaning that we needed to come back home for a day. The good news being that we had a little time before our next stop in Abergavenny on Tuesday evening, so we popped into Worcester for an early lunch at Wayland’s Yard.
A quick re-cap if you don’t already know the story – in 2016 Sam Smith, a former rugby player for Worcester Warriors, retired from the game due to injury, and took the opportunity to shift his focus onto his long-term dream. Sam wanted to give something back to his hometown, Worcester, and launched a new coffee shop on Foregate Street in 2016. He had set up a crowdfunding campaign to help raise some of the funds to complete the project.
The ethos of Wayland’s Yard is to serve ‘proper coffee and proper food’ to its customers. Despite having now been open for 12 months we hadn’t yet been along, so our unexpected free day gave us the ideal opportunity to visit. After recently setting up a new Facebook group for Worcestershire Foodies, many of the groups members were recommending Wayland’s Yard as a great place to eat, which is what made me want to find out more.
There’s plenty of seating in the front room to drink coffee, have a bite to eat and catch up with your emails. In the back room is a slightly more ‘cosy’ area with comfier chairs – great for meeting up with friends. At the very back is the yard, a large outdoor space with swing chairs and bench seating, which is the perfect spot in the summer for sitting outside, and for the larger events which also take place there. Upstairs is the community room and is available for hire as well as being where Wayland’s Yard host their daily yoga classes (the first one’s free, so why not give it a try?).
Sadly I don’t drink coffee, but Mr R is a fan so he ordered an espresso which he described as being very strong (apparently this is a good thing), with a good depth of flavour that tasted almost chocolatey. He only realised just how good after ordering an espresso at another local coffee shop which didn’t come anywhere close. Wayland’s Yard use Method Roastery hand crafted coffee as only the best will do. If you are a serious coffee addict you can even book onto a homebrew class at Wayland’s Yard in their coffee school – what a fantastic Christmas gift idea! If you’re like me and it’s all about the food, then keep reading…
The breakfast (served until 12pm) and all day brunch (served until 5pm) menu sounded great and there was so much that we wanted, so eventually we came to a compromise of choosing 2 options from the lunch menu (served from 12-5pm) with a couple of sides.
We went with a portion of halloumi fries with jalapeño mayo (there’s also a choice of sriracha, honey mustard mayo, BBQ or blue cheese if you prefer), and some fully loaded curly and sweet potato fries – aka filthy fries. The halloumi batter was very crispy from the oil, unfortunately some of the cheese seemed to have escaped from the inside so weren’t the best version we’d ever tried, but the jalapeño mayo was a great choice of dip and we also used it for dipping our fries.
The filthy fries weren’t actually filthy, just very very naughty. A mix of curly and sweet potato fries arrived in a cast iron skillet, it’s likely they came directly from being under the grill. They were seasoned with chilli salt and topped with a generous helping of melted mozzarella, jalapeños, peppadew peppers, BBQ pulled pork, parmesan shavings and finished with blue cheese sauce – AMAZING!
Also amongst our feast were the Sriracha quesadillas (toasted soft flour tortilla with mozzarella, marinated veg and poached egg), and were our absolute favourite from our selection. A seemingly simple sandwich alternative for lunch or brunch, which is also suitable for vegetarians, or vegans without the egg (swap for avocado) of oozy cheesey veg, toasted and finished with a delicious hot sauce…feeling hungry yet?
Finally we tackled (excuse the rugby pun) the mozzarella dog. The quality made sausage dog came sandwiched between a soft Ma Baker’s bun on a duvet of melted mozzarella, then drizzled with a homemade, hot cherry and mint compote. The combination of pork and cherry was a first for us, but it was really tasty and a fusion that really does work. I love a classic though, so now I know just how good they are I look forward to trying the hot dog with tobacco onions, ketchup and American mustard on a return visit.
After getting in touch with Sam to check a couple of details about the menu, he tells me that the baked eggs, avo smash, Vietnamese Banh Mi sub, as well as the quesadilla are 3 of his favourites. Have you been to Wayland’s Yard? Let me know what you’d recommend trying in the comments box below…
Cost: £22.80 (food only)
2 lunch dishes, 2 sides
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom – last visited in October 2017
Food Hygiene rating – 5/5 very good – last inspected February 2017