YOU’RE spoilt for choice in Seaham when it comes to quaint coffee shops.
Unlike Sunderland, there are a number of eateries making the most of this coastal stretch, but this latest addition to the scene offers something a little different from its coffee shop contemporaries.
Carved out of the gable end house on the rather grand Bath Terrace, Black Truffle certainly seems to have found a niche, combining retail therapy with laid-back lunches.
I visited on a Saturday afternoon with my pal Angela, who was home from the Big Smoke for a weekend.
We decided to shop first and checked out the boutique to the rear of the cafe. It’s a lovely little shop: very girly, very stylish and very reasonably-priced.
It’s got a lovely feel to it and has been beautifully decorated with some hand-finished wallpaper complete with crystals and glass butterflies.
We admired some pretty tea dresses, some funky pictures made out of buttons and some cute jewellery before heading back into the cafe.
It’s an equally stylish affair with vintage-style wallpaper blended with sleek fittings. There was a host of yummy-looking food on offer, all cooked on site in the kitchen.
The cakes, in particular, looked divine. On the day we visited, there was a lemon and ginger cheesecake (£2.30), lemon loaf (£1.4O) and fruit scones (£1.40)
I went with one of the panini options, which are all priced at £4.50 and served with side salad and crisps. My choice, mozzarella, roasted red pepper and jalapeno, was served promptly and was packed with filling and flavour.
For an extra £1 you can order a small cup of soup to go with your panini or sandwich – a nice touch. The portion of soup of the day, tomato and basil, went down a treat.
There’s also a good selection of cold sandwiches ranging from beef with caramelised onion relish (£4.20) to cheese savoury (£3.80).
For those with a bigger hole to fill, jacket potatoes are priced from £3.60; home-made corned beef pie is available for £4.20 or there’s a hefty Ploughman’s lunch for £4.95.
The home-made quiches in particular – different flavours are made each day – looked delicious. There’s also plenty of choice for children, including baby food, for parents with kids in tow.
There’s a good early morning menu too which is available until 10.30am.
Angela was having a sweet tooth kind of day so she ordered a slice of coffee and walnut cake (£2.30).
She was presented with a generous wedge which was moist, not too sweet, and lip-lickingly good.
Word has obviously got around about Black Truffle and the place was bustling when we arrived.
We managed to get a seat just before our food was served, but it’s worth sending one of your group to order at the till while the others bag a table and chairs.
With coffees, our lunch was £11 and, despite the competition for tables, we felt no pressure to leave as we nattered the afternoon away.
For ladies that lunch – and love to shop – this place is a must to visit.