Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Hub Cafe - Liskeard's Hidden Gem

Way way back, when we first moved to Liskeard, there was a move to create a community centre in a recently vacated primary school. Politics was very much in evidence, but eventually disputes were resolved, the community brought on board and money raised. We now have the Liskerrett Centre, a wonderful community asset which hosts a number of artists studios, a computer suite, a monthly cinema, all sorts of events, rooms for hire and The Hub Cafe.

The Hub Cafe has been quietly producing good vegetarian food at very reasonable prices for the last few years and those in the know are highly appreciative. Cathy Ross, the cook and owner of the business provides a varied lunchtime menu, all chalked up on a blackboard, as well as coffee, tea and of course homemade cake. Different diets are catered for with gluten and dairy free options. Whenever possible Cathy uses produce from the Liskerrett garden; you can't get much more local than that. The ambience is welcoming and family friendly. It's the sort of place you'd feel comfortable at whether eating alone, with a group, accompanied by young children or wanting a cosy tete a tete. Although the cafe stops serving at 14:00, because it is the community centre, you can finish off your food, drink and talk in a leisurely fashion and won't be thrown out.

Cathy herself is also an artist and her work, along with a few others, is exhibited around the cafe; this adds to the general interest in the room. The space is bright with large windows and lots of well tended plants which adds to the convivial atmosphere. There are newspapers and magazines to read and plenty of toys to keep the young ones amused. If bored with the adult conversation, older children can slope off to the IT suite where use of the computers is free.

My blogging neighbour Jane from The Hedge Combers and I met up at The Hub Cafe for lunch one day recently, to have a chat and to review the cafe.

Being vegetarian, it is such a pleasure to be offered a choice; it always takes me a while to figure out what to have. There was of course soup, but I make soup all the time at home, so wanted something a bit different. So what to go for? Feta tart, homity pie, lentil fritters, a burger ...? Most of the mains come with a selection of salads so I knew I would get a goodly proportion of my five a day.

After a little bit of head scratching, I opted for the bean burger and Jane went for a lentil fritter. The lentil fritter normally comes with yogurt sauce, but Jane doesn't eat dairy. However, it was a simple matter for Cathy to swap this for the same tomato sauce that accompanied my burger. Our plates arrived, full to the brim. They looked colourful, vibrant and enticing. I really like having lots of different tastes and textures to try and this felt like getting an all in one tapas or mezze. There was coleslaw, mixed salad, two rice salads, couscous, a pasta salad and a bean salad. All of it was delicious. The bean burger was very soft and I don't think would have survived being in a bun. However, this was not a problem as it came bunless and with plenty of spicy tomato sauce. All this for £5.95.

As an occasional customer, I knew what to expect, but it was all new to Jane. Thankfully, she seemed delighted, both with the venue and the food. Full after her meal, she watched me consume a large piece of chocolate cake. Now, I'm always a little wary of eating cake in cafes as I am often disappointed with the quality, but as part of the review process I just had to give it a go. I'm so glad I did. This wasn't any old chocolate cake, although I'm sure Cathy doesn't make that sort of cake anyway, no, this was a chocolate potato cake. Yes, a cake made with potatoes. Served warm with cream, it was truly delicious. The potato gave it a lovely smooth consistency, so it almost melted in the mouth and it tasted of chocolate. The cake was covered with a rich dark chocolate ganache and then topped with white and milk chocolate curls. This was one piece of chocolate cake I wasn't in the least bit disappointed with. Cathy was kind enough to give me the recipe, so you may well see a chocolate and potato cake appearing on the blog in the not too distant future.

If ever you are passing Liskeard, I would strongly recommend popping into The Hub Cafe for a bite to eat. And if you're local, I would hope you are already a regular.

Thanks to Cathy for the meal. I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

32 comments:

  1. Lovely review, and lovely meal! I'm still full after eating that humongous fritter & salad!
    So nice to be able to go out and eat 'real' food rather than reheated/processed stuff that most cafes serve. 10 out of 10 to Cathy and her team :)
    Janie x

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    1. Thanks Janie - really enjoyed the meal and really enjoyed meeting up with you.

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  2. The food looks so tasty! As I am near to the Liskerett I can vouch for Cathy's cakes being superb, and she is a lovely lady who makes everyone very welcome.

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    1. Hi Felicity - really good to hear from you and pleased to hear you are a fan of the Hub Cafe too. Maybe we could meet for a piece of cake there one day?

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  3. Looks like a cosy place with good food! My friend's parents live in Liskeard, I'll have to forward her the link.

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    1. Oh please do Sarah. I didn't know you had a Liskeard connection - other than me of course ;-)

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  4. how lovely to have a community centre that really has been developed by the community and has a cafe where the food is actually edible!... and vegetarian too!.. win win!

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    1. So very true Dom, it's good for me to remember some of the advantages we have living in a small market town.

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  5. Fabulous! lucky you, you know there are so many bloggers in London and we seldom get to meet up - and even more rarely in somewhere so friendly with such wonderful food!

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    1. I do nothing but read about your London blogger meet-ups Fi! But it is great to have Jane living not so far away and I am very grateful for this cafe.

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  6. what a great place - community place and where they don't just dish out premade food. Wonderful place and I wish we had something like this close to us

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    1. Thanks Nazima, we are lucky to have it indeed. I keep thinking the age of pre-made food is over, but sadly it limps on!

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  7. That looks like a lovely place to relax and enjoy your lunch. I love the sofas.

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    1. The sofas look very inviting Janice and I really must try them out!

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  8. Can't believe how many extra salads you get with the meal, looks delicious! Must pay a visit when I'm in the area. If you need someone to accompany you on review visits further west just give me a shout!

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    1. You would have loved it once! Maybe when you're feeling a bit meated out, you can pop over to Liskeard for a lovely salad meal ;-)

      Will definitely bear you in mind for reviews down West - if ever I'm lucky enough to get any.

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  9. Lovely review and I am drooling over the cake.

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    1. Thanks Nayna - a cafe you'd be happy to eat in I think.

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  10. Fab review and delicious looking meal! Looks like the place have a character and great atmosphere!

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    1. Thanks Sylvia - it's a good place to hang out.

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  11. What a great little place. The food looks delicious and that chocolate cake looks amazing! I'd be a regular visitor if I had somewhere like this

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    1. Yes Katie and plenty of gluten free too :)

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  12. It looks lovely, and one to watch out for when we are next down in Corrnwall!

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    1. Stopping off in Liskeard when you are next in Cornwall would be a real treat for me Helen.

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  13. FABULOUS review and post and the first photo of the centre looks so cosy and inviting, as does the food too! Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen, it really is cosy and inviting when it's pouring with rain and nice and bright when sunny - win win :)

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  14. looks like a fantastic cafe - and what a bargain price for the lunch - I haven't been to a place with such nice salads for a while and really crave some - love the decor too - it sounds a bit like our local neighbourhood house but we don't have a cafe as there are so many roundabouts - am curious about if there are lots of other local cafes and what happened to the school - did it close or move location?

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    1. Thanks Johanna. Feel really lucky to have this cafe as there is not a great deal of good veggie food around here. There are a few cafes in town, but nothing as good as this one. The school closed, but I'm not sure when. It was empty for quite some time before people got together to turn it into a community centre. I think all of the old school's closed, presumably they didn't think the buildings were fit for purpose. There are new schools that have been built though - not nearly as attractive of course!

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  15. Looks like a nice cafe and I love the pic of the chocolate cake, right up my street :-) x

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    1. Thanks Charlene - it was a very nice chocolate cake :)

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  16. I didn't even know it existed!!!!!! I'm going to have a meal there!

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    1. Oh no! Glad you know about it now - hope you enjoy it. Always happy to meet up for lunch with you there at some stage.

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