Inside this sizeable High Street building is a calming vista of crisp white, pale timber and greenery. The open courtyard it leads to is a welcome surprise. Besides the sunshine, it’s a fine place to enjoy a Coffee Bird espresso and innovative breakfast dishes from head chef Rory Greenwood-McNeair, whose loose brief was to create a menu that was healthy-ish, different, half vegetarian and challenges people out of their comfort zone.
The dish of heirloom carrots epitomises the cafe’s vision of minimum waste; it focuses on an oft-overlooked vegetable by using it top to bottom. The carrots are prepared in several ways: soaked in coffee beans and roasted, confit, pickled, and as a dust made from the carrot hats. It comes with a lentil puree, wild rice, peanuts and pickled ginger.
Hiatus’s bubble and squeak – with potato, sauerkraut, fennel, zucchini, house-made soda bread and an optional poached egg – is surprisingly light with a zesty dressing. The fennel core is used in the potato cake, then the tops are ground and used with mustard to macerate the zucchini.
For those after a more traditional offering there are eggs, house-cured bacon, and house-made butter, jams and corn bread. Teff crumpets are a restrained sweet option with in-house coconut yoghurt, strawberries, lime and poppy seeds.