I know, I know – don’t shout at me. I’m aware I have been a bit MIA for the last week, but DO NOT PANIC! I still love you…I was just asked to sow a few wild oa-teas over at Tea Leaf Co. on their About Us page. Sometimes extra mari-tea-l affairs are good for you. Although don’t tell Miss Tetley Tiger Tits that, will you? Anyway, now you know where I have been poking my infuser since my last post, let the blog games begin!
FRIEND DATE STAGE 1: The Invitation
We’ve all been there. You meet someone at a bar, or the discotheque, or a satanic sacrificial slaughter and you click (or run very, VERY far away in the latter case). You chat away for hours about life, the universe and everything – and by everything I mean your top 5 favourite answers in Cards Against Humanity. Now, you already have an other half who you are madly in love with (chill out, Steph), so for once this is not a sexual thing at all. It’s more like a meeting of minds, a sashaying of souls, or a twining of teas. You think: ‘definite BFF material.’ But how do you get your claws into this willing victim without seeming like a freak, rapist or worse…the stalker girlfriend meme?’
This chaps, was the situation I found myself in when meeting the wonderful Laura (top name that, wish I had one) of Patisserie Rose and Curious Tonic fame, whilst behaving like a performing monk-tea during Octeaber. She’s pretty ace. So, to enjoy her ace-ness beyond the parameters of charity fundraising, I needed to present a strong ‘first friend date’ game to solidify my friend crush. Inspired by 90s pop sensation Touch & Go (yeah, I had to look them up too, but I promise you will see where I’m going with this), I thought of a killer friend chat up line:
‘I’ve noticed you around. I find you very attractive (in a completely plutonic pal kinda way, I won’t molest you. Pinky swear). Will you go to brunch with me?’ *trumpets play irritatingly catchy hook*
Obviously she said yes. Who could resist an invitation that included imaginary brass accompaniment?
FRIEND DATE STAGE 2: The Setting
After furious WhatsApp banter, lovely Laura (beautiful name that) and I settled on our first friend date rendezvous: the newly opened Four Corners on Abbeydale Road. I only found out about this place after coming across it on the last leg of my tea crawl in Octeaber. You see, the top geezers at Four Corners hate social media more than I hate hairy man batons waving in front of my face (or in any context for that matter); they only begrudgingly have an Instagram account, and a poor excuse for a Facebook page. How dare they exist in the real world physically talking to people, rather than constructing an elaborate, heavily vignetted hipster online identity to sell their wares. How could they be so last century?! We’re working on it.
I stumbled through the glass frontage of Four Corners after a 3 mile hike from Crookes, with all the elegance of a lame hippo drunk on too many sangrias. I was also bursting for a piddle, so the first words that Chris – owner of Four Corners – heard me utter were ‘I do hope you have a toilet, as I NEED A PISS NOWWWW!’. Fortunately, they did have a toilet, a gloriously rustic one that looked like a show loo from a beach themed shoot for Homes & Gardens. You know I love a well crafted tinkle throne, and Four Corners already had me impressed by the short and curlies.
Once I had relieved myself, I settled down to wait for Laura as I am always the keeno early one. (It’s a running joke that the Witch family are always early – my Dad turned up for a fancy dress party a week early once disguised as a flamboyant Bee Gee. He even got petrol like that too. Twat.) I was glad to have time to take in my surroundings. Inside, Four Corners resembles a well appointed beach hut, with palette block benches, a penchant for wood panelling and surfer-friendly geometric pastille patterns adorning the walls. I liked it – the understated cool setting and hodge podge of photos from around the world reflected the laid back attitude of the owners, and nodded to the cafe’s mission to serve quirky fusions of food and drink from every part of the planet. Although I do have a complaint about the cafe name. The world is A SPHERE. It does not have CORNERS. I concede however, that ‘Cafe of Food & Drink from Different Points on the Continuous Axis of Our Spherical Earth,’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
I also used the waiting time wisely by sipping on a Four Corners speciality – the Coffee Tonic. Half tonic water and lemon, half cold brew espresso, this beverage mutant was surprisingly delicious. Bittersweet yet creamy, the Coffee Tonic certainly was ‘just the tonic’ as a refreshing, alcoholic-esque brew that would be perfect for the summer and best enjoyed wearing a boho headband.
FRIEND DATE STAGE 3: The Main Event
Laura arrived, with macaron goodies in tow (I knew I had chosen new BFF wisely) and we prepared to tackle the Big Sur – Four Corners’ brand new breaky offering. This monster of a brunch was fit for a king…if that king was The Rock, desperate to make ‘dem gainz’ for his new role in Muscliest Man in the Universe in Steroid Accident, AND had only eaten Ryvita Thins for the last six months. It truly was EPIC. It was so big, that I am resorting to a bullet point list to describe its contents:
- Homemade hash brown that could keep a family of Inuits going for a week – STUNNING!
- Two American Biscuits, essentially little carb titties that are like savoury scones – WEIRDLY MORE-ISH
- Streaky bacon, but the nice kind, i.e not loaded with as much fat as that found on Kim Kardashian’s thighs – PIGGY PERFECTION
- Two eggs with hollandaise sauce and unidentified chilli seasoning with more kick than a bucking bronco – EGG-CELLENT!
- Token avocado and slices of fruit to curb the crippling guilt of eating so much in one sitting – NECESSARY HEART ATTACK PREVENTION
Oh, this was also served with a side of American style pancakes. With butter. And maple syrup. Perfect way to celebrate surviving the artery clogging, stomach battering and all round foodie onslaught of an outstanding breakfast that took nearly half an hour to consume. Seriously guys, I am running out of positive adjectives to describe how delicious this was. The food was on point. The service was impeccable. And the price was crazy cheap – £8 for a trough of glorious food to keep you going until Christmas is incredible value for money! I can’t wait to go back and try their other world food mash ups like the ‘Uganda Rolex’ veggie wrap (NOT a dodgy Casio rip off) and Bajan Caribbean Fishcakes.
PLUS, Four Corners do bostin’ tea. Proper, stonkingly good, Kent & Sussex Tea Company loose leaf tea. It would have been rude not to oblige, so I chased up my completely-worth-the-triple-bypass brunch with a smoky Russian Breakfast. And watched Chris sweat as he weighed up whether offering me milk and sugar with it would be the right idea or a ca-tea-strophic faux pas in the presence of a wanky tea blogger. (Luckily, he made the right decision and I didn’t have to kneecap him).
FRIEND DATE STAGE 4: Weighing Up the Second Date
You will be pleased to know that Laura, Four Corners and I will be seeing each other again. Not only was the company fabulous (thank god she didn’t work out I spend my spare time like Dexter Morgan), but the setting for the beginning of our friendship was AWESOME. For me, Four Corners is the new hidden gem of Abbeydale Road – nay, the whole of Sheffield – with its unique take on world food, signature drinks like the Coffee Tonic, and exceptionally quick service. The gents that run it are clearly passionate about what they do, which comes across in the food they make and the way they treat their customers – like bezzie mates who have popped round for dinner and fancy summat different. You should all rush out of your door RIGHT NOW to visit …and repeatedly pelt Chris with macarons until he sorts their social media life out.