Barnsley – The Old George

I feel like I should start this with an apology to the people of Barnsley, as this is a very small-minded statement, but I’m not going to lie, I honestly did not think Barnsley would deliver such good food. I’m sorry, I said it. I’ve never seen Barnsley as a must-stop for culinary experiences, and now, along with the delicious food there, I’ll eat my words.

Today me and Chris are in Barnsley as we are headed to a food factory to have a quick visit and a look around their site – all very glamourous stuff, I assure you.

We stop to get breakfast before we head to our destination and I’ve got to say, my expectations were low, but I trust Chris. Chris also shares my passion for good food and knows me well enough to know what I like, and more importantly, don’t like.

What feels like longer than it should be to find the café Chris has looked up prior to this trip, his satnav on his phone leads us to the door of The Old George. I am shocked. We walk in and straight away two bubbly gents behind the counter greet us – but I vaguely remember them, they are a blur behind what is staring right at me. A brownie-bar. Yes, a cabinet running the length of the bar with several tiers of brownies. Am I in heaven? What happened before this? WHY DO I ONLY JUST KNOW ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW!? I’m staring at a utopia of baked chocolatey scrumptiousness and my eyes don’t know what to focus on. Rhubarb, pistachio, salted caramel, mint choc chip…. The list of flavours goes on.

I pull myself away as Chris has already marched off in the direction of a seating area near the bar, I follow him to a table and snap my self out of the brownie bubble I’m in to look at the breakfast menu. As I stated before, I didn’t have high hopes for Barnsley, so you can imagine my surprise at not only the incredible brownie bar, but the array of flavoured coffee options (including pistachio and caramel) and vegan options on their menu, YES, VEGAN OPTIONS. They actually have a surprising amount of vegetarian options considering in most places its usually the one token option, and here at The Old George, the vegetarian options, can be made vegan.

After pretending to mull over all the incredible choices, we order what we knew we were going to the whole time. Even after expressing we wanted the “light option” today, two Vegetarian full English breakfasts please. When our breakfast came out, my eyes about popped out my head. The plate was huge! Linda McCartney sausages, mushrooms, beans, tomato, puffed hash browns, toast and an egg. Our breakfasts were visually impressive, the eggs were poached into dome shapes just googly eyes short of a wee ghost, or a top hat depending on your perspective. Lovely garnish really made the dish pop with contrasting colours, and tomatoes still on the vine! And it tasted great. I think I went in too much too quickly though, or maybe it was downing the large iced latte before my breakfast came out, either way, those last few mouthfuls were my Everest. Not wanting to waste a lovely meal but also wanting to be able to stand up after it, decisions had to be made, forfeiting certain items on the plate for other ones.

Needless to say, I will be returning to The Old George, and now that I have been proven wrong about Barnsley and its lovely eateries, who knows where I’ll end up next. Watch this space!

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