Dinner Out: Lunch at the Essentially English Bakery and Café

Scott Campbell

We have the Royals, we have Beefeater Gin, we have Adele…and now we have the Essentially English Bakery and Café. And the good news is: it is in Hantsport! You don’t have to fly across The Pond to enjoy any of the delights that are available there.

When my editor contacted me about the Essentially English Bakery and Café, she suggested it wasn’t the usual type of place I’d write about. First of all, it’s a bakery, but they do offer a sit-down lunch menu so I was convinced. I am very happy that I accepted this particular assignment. My family lineage goes almost directly back to the UK so there was already a sense of familiarity with the bakery/café when I arrived. There was a soup and salad special of the day so I opted for that. One of my dining friends, also with a British pedigree, opted for the traditional steak and kidney pie. We were both blown away.

The soup was corn chowder, and the sandwich was ham and cheddar cheese on white bread. It was a hearty meal indeed. The sandwich was brimming with delicious, sliced ham stacked on the thickly-sliced homemade bread. The corn chowder was piping hot and full of creamy corn goodness. The steak and kidney pie looked incredible, with a golden crust and steaming roasted meat soaked in rich gravy. My dining friend took a bite and looked up and said, “It tastes exactly like I expected it to taste.” That is high praise coming from his very discerning palate.

But as good as our main course was, the showcase full of fresh baked pastries would prove to be the jewel in the crown. I asked our server what she suggested and without hesitation she told me that the cherry and almond cheesecake was one of her favourites. I did not need convincing, but there was something else I knew I needed to try with my dessert: a cup of tea. When your cup of tea arrives in a china mug, you know you are enjoying a little slice of Britain in the Valley.

It was an amazing dining experience, but I would be remiss if I did not also point out the exceptional fresh baked bread offerings. I got a loaf of white bread which was beautiful (yes, I squeezed it). There is also a wide selection of groceries imported from the UK. We left with a jar of their orange marmalade.
If you would like to treat yourself to a wonderful lunch served in a warm and friendly little café and you’d like to take some tempting British treats home with you, and you don’t want to travel across the Atlantic, go to Hantsport and visit the Essentially British Bakery and Café. Cheerio.

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