The Town House , 2 Skinner Street,Stockton on Tees, TS18 1DY
Judges comments - July/August 2017
'I arrived just before lunchtime to give me time to enjoy a coffee whilst studying the extensive menu and choosing lunch. I was greeted by a friendly and welcoming young lady who took my order and passed it onto the owners. I was then offered a choice of dairy free milks and we discussed the type of coffee I wanted. I felt totally at ease and welcomed. I witnessed this welcome with each and every customer who came through the door.'
'The menu is extensive! The first page explains their policy and their ability and willingness to cater for everyone and all dietary requirements. The cafe is 100% gluten free and they cater for all allergies and lifestyle diets... dairy free, egg free, vegetarian, vegan, carnivorous, even halal and have excellent protocols in place for keep everything separate.'
'The menu is cleverly designed in that some dishes look different but have the same base ingredients that can be used to create different dishes to suit different diets. My meal (vegan GF lasagne) had salad and cole slaw with it. I was offered vegan mayo and they checked that I could have mustard before making it. '
'The food was piping hot, the salads varied and attractive and very tasty and the coleslaw delicious. For dessert I simply had to try the chocolate cake with coconut ice cream, made with a recipe that they have has veganised. It was light, moist and very moreish. I loved it...'
'This is not a gourmet restaurant but a cafe catering for the needs of the community. They know everything there is to know about their customers – and they look after their every need extremely well. They have regular customers who need them as a vital community asset. This isn't just an ordinary cafe. Once the bills have been paid all profits are ploughed into the food bank.'
'Not posh, not gourmet food – it's not supposed to be. They just want to cater for everyone with every dietary requirement and allergy and I felt extremely confident eating there.'