Red Brick Café is just the sort of place where you could picture yourself holed up on a blustery afternoon when the leaves are flying around outside, with a cup of coffee and a beautiful piece of home-baked cake.
The end terrace that houses the café is on a small private road in the centre of Blythe Bridge, and indeed it feels like you might have strayed into someone’s dining room when you settle in. Joe and Anna and their friendly team make you feel right at home, with the kind of atmosphere that makes you feel you could easily strike up a conversation with the next table but also where you’ll be left to your Full English and your own devices if that’s what you want. With around 20 covers, you won’t feel crowded even if the room is full.
Flooded by light from the large front window, the café certainly lives up to its name with a glorious wall of red brick, and artwork celebrating the local area. At least one of the bricks in the café – proudly on display – came from the Five Oaks works, which is recorded as operating in this area as far back as the 1870s. The eponymous red brick is complemented by forest green walls and blackboards spelling out enticing daily specials and offers. Breakfast is served until midday, but at lunchtime a special of chicken and halloumi skewers with couscous and herb salad is tempting, especially at a very reasonable £8.
However, you can’t go far wrong with a generous and warming bowl of freshly made soup. Pea, mint and watercress was delicious in the summer, but the menu moves with the seasons. It’s accompanied by a doorstop of seeded granary bread from local bakery Bengry’s or a sandwich for an extra £3.
The toasties are an ever popular option; proper ham and Staffordshire Cheese cheddar with caramelised onion chutney goes down a treat and is accompanied by crunchy house coleslaw and salad with a basil oil dressing.
Pride in the area’s heritage and support for other local businesses is not only limited to the food offering. Expect your coffee in a Steelite cup and your meal on blue and white Spode. It’s great to see independent businesses in Staffordshire proving that the traditional and the contemporary can work so well together, feeling clean and modern but rooted in the past of the place.
The cake looked too good to pass up, so we didn’t and were very glad! The dark chocolate Guinness cake is as rich, dense and velvety as you would imagine, with a cream cheese icing to provide the perfect contrast. We also tried a slice of the gluten free vanilla and ginger cake, beautifully decorated with edible flowers, which was excellent as long as you like ginger. Crystallised ginger in syrup sits in the base and the moist cake is complemented by a light, creamy layer of frosting on top.
Takeaway service is also available – cheaper than sitting in – but I certainly don’t think you will regret taking a pew. Red Brick Café is clearly deserving of all the love it gets on TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google Reviews as well as from those lucky locals who are in the know.
Red Brick Café
1 Wesley St, Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent, ST11 9QB