Crocus Cafe

Tuesday 01 November 2016
reading time: min, words

The community cafe down Lenton Boulevard that'll fill yer belly fer next to nowt...


Nottingham’s oldest community cafe, Crocus Cafe, has recently made the move to a lovely building on Lenton Boulevard and appears to have settled in well already, bustling with activity on the Thursday afternoon when I visited.

It’s managed by the mental health charity, Real Lives CIC, and is a part of Super Kitchen (a network of members who run social eating spaces) and they receive surplus food from supermarkets to help create their menu. Not for profit, staffed by volunteers, as well as being vegetarian and vegan with a focus on fairtrade and locally sourced food, they also offer suspended meals to those in need – the same concept as many places have taken on for coffees.

This is the kind of establishment that you’d wanna give a massive hug and a high five, if it were human. But anyway, on to the food…

I opted for the falafel mezze (£5), a dish of homemade falafel with pitta bread. The plate was full with an aromatic mint and coriander couscous, red cabbage and mixed salad, along with hummus, yoghurt and chutney.  A lot of things to contend with on just one plate, no doubt, but all elements complemented each other perfectly.

My companion went for the vegetarian breakfast (£5) – the usual affair done very well, with sausages, hash brown, beans, fried egg, mushrooms, tomato and, I quote, “scrumptious” thick toast. There’s also a vegan breakfast option, with scrambled tofu replacing the egg. They were also able to knock up a piece of cheese on toast, not on the menu, for my four-year-old son, which he very happily wolfed down.

For dessert, we sampled three excellent-looking treats – all vegan and £1.50 each. The peanut butter millionaire shortcake was rich but fantastically tasty within all three of its complementary layers – chocolate, peanut butter, shortcake. My companion’s mango and raspberry sponge was soft, moist and delicious – “spongeylicious” as he put it. My son went for the large double chocolate cookie which was intensely – and pleasantly – chocolatey, as the name suggested.

There are gluten-free cake options, too, and they are happy to transform any of the dishes to suit dietary requirements. There is also coffee and a good selection of soft drinks and teas on offer.

Crocus host BYOB evening meals at their Wanderlust Nights, when they present various world foods, specialising in vegan, raw and gluten free cooking, with the likes of Thai, pie, Mexican, and ‘fish’ and chip menus, I’m sure to be back. This excellent cafe is definitely worth the trip out of the city centre, day or night. Harry Wilding

18 Lenton Boulevard, NG7 2ES. 0115 950 5080

Crocus Cafe website

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