On the day we signed a contract to rent a house in Chester, our minds suddenly filled with anxiety. I’d been living in London for over twelve years, didn’t know anyone in the area and I was yet to find a new job that didn’t involve commuting back every week. What were we doing? Our stomachs were grumbling after a morning of estate agents, and with eyes glazed over from the fear, we happily stumbled upon a cute little cafe that reminded us exactly why we’d fallen in love with Chester in the first place. Marmalade is a small, friendly independent cafe and on that day was serving baked potatoes with homemade vegetarian chilli. Winner.
The breakfast menu is available until 1pm during the week and all day on a Sunday, and has a good mix of everything from cobs to a Full English. If I wasn’t vegetarian, I’d say the Bacon topped English Muffin sounded like a good way to start the day, but there’s also a decent selection of options I can choose from. Breakfasts are served with hot buttered toast, which could also be laden with peanut butter. Wash it all down with a deluxe hot chocolate, or opt for one of their Italian style coffees.
We’re talking brunch, and here comes another reason I love Marmalade – they do a vegetarian sausage sandwich (or cob if you’re from up here). This may sound simple to some, but it’s my favourite late breakfast treat – especially when feeling a little ropey. And, surprisingly hard to find. They’ll even add a bit of halloumi to it if you ask. Hurrah. If you need a top up, you could go for a boozy hot drink like hot chocolate with brandy, but on a cold winter morning, I’d pick a hot chocolate with chilli every time.
Food and drinks here are reasonably priced. Breakfast cobs start at 3.50 to 5.25, while a Smoked Salmon English Muffin is 7.95. The Full English is 9.50 or 8.50 for vegetarians. Coffees and hot chocolates are priced between 2.50 to 3.75, and for a drop of the hard stuff in your hot drink the price is just 4.50 to 4.95.
Marmalade is about a 3 minute walk from Storyhouse. Keep walking up Northgate Street away from town, past the Blue Bell and it will be there on the left. Alternatively, it’s an easy stop off point if you’re walking the walls.