I headed up to Bradfield Farmers Market on Saturday afternoon with a friend but I think we left it a bit late. By the time we got there (1.45), stalls were already clearing up and many were looking low on produce, so we bought a few bits that we needed and decided a late lunch was needed. Well, not for me as I’d gorged that morning on a full English breakfast from Forge Dam Cafe and was still full, but my friend was peckish.
We walked back around the village green, past the picnickers and cricketers and over the bridge to the Schoolrooms, which opened in May in the old school house of Low Bradfield School. It now houses a deli and cafe with a focus on local food, including meat from the co-owner’s farm (you can order meat boxes of mixed meats), bread from the Bakewell Pudding Shop and beers from nearby Bradfield Brewery. They also sell plenty of treats from further afield in the deli, such as Lime Tree Pantry Pies from Nottinghamshire, delicious puddings from Cartmel Village Shop in Lancashire and a good selection of cheese, including Lincolnshire Poacher, Cornish Yarg, Brie, Wensleydale and others.
We went upstairs for a quick bite – it’s a light and airy room and the air conditioning was welcome, as it was a warm day. You can also eat outside in the garden.
I liked the look of the menu, although prices are perhaps a touch above what I’d called ‘cafe’ fayre, as you can pay upwards of £6 for a light lunch. Still, portions are good (see the pate photo) and ingredients are high quality, so you pay for what you get and it’s by no means extortionate. My friend ordered the tasty smooth pate, which came in decent proportions with a mountain of melba toast, well dressed leaves and a little pot of chutney.
There’s plenty of other appealing dishes on the menu including mackerel and horseradish fishcake (£7.25) and burgers and sausages from their own butchery. The full cafe menu is online as well as a menu for their most recent bistro night (£24.95 a head for three courses with coffee), with further dates listed on a fortnightly basis. The Schoolrooms is fully licensed for both the cafe and bistro nights.
With so much going on in Bradfield food-wise (like the Farmers Market, Our Cow Molly farm and Bradfield Brewery to name but a few), The Schoolrooms is well worth a trip, not just if you’re in the area but as a destination for lunch, coffee and a good bit of food shopping.