I was recently visiting Alderley Edge in Cheshire for the weekend and my boyfriend took me to this cute little café called ‘The Yard’ because, I quote, he thought it would be ‘my sort of place’! Reluctantly, I have to admit he was right. If you’re wanting healthy, wholesome food, a friendly welcoming atmosphere and a smoothie/juice menu that’s larger than the food menu, then the Yard is almost certainly for you.
My first impression on entering the building was that they really have thought about every detail – from the quaint chairs and table decorations, to the cute lighting and artwork on the walls – but at the same time it’s not too ‘try-hard’. It feels like you’re entering another little world; a place where you can really relax.
Opened in 2012, owners Stuart and Jeannie Pickering converted an old garage to house this venture. There are two areas, or ‘yards’; at the front there’s the café itself, complete with bakery, butchers, offerings of homemade ‘guilt-free’ cakes and a fresh juice bar, and in the other room you’ll find a shop selling a range of ethical products, from crafts and homemade beauty products, to yoga accessories and herbal remedies.
With regards to food, we went late morning so chose from the breakfast menu. I’m a massive porridge fan so I went for their oat porridge, served with blueberries, flaked almonds and honey. I have to say it was possibly the best porridge I’ve had – and I’ll definitely be trying this new combination at home.
I thought it couldn’t get much better until I tried the smoothie I ordered. Usually I’m quite predictable with my smoothies – I tend to go for fruity ones, something like strawberry and mango or banana and berries. But I couldn’t find anything like that on the menu… so instead I decided to be brave and went for the ‘let’s get it on smoothie’, made with bananas, cacao powder, maca powder and coconut oil. OH MY LORD. It was delicious. I could drink it forever. It had the perfect consistency and thickness from the banana and the cacao gave it a hint of chocolatey-ness that was just divine. Smoothie lovers of the world, if you haven’t tried a cacao smoothie yet, put it on your to-do list now!
So I left the Yard a very happy person. The only travesty is that they don’t have a branch back home in Bristol! In fact Alderley Edge is their only location. I guess that’s important to keep the feel and individuality of the place though. Overall, it was a great find and I’ll be sure to make a trip back; if just to have another smoothie!