From Instagrammable flat whites to the rise of craft beer, small batch spirits and street food pop-ups, the UK has enjoyed something of a love affair with artisanal food in the past few years.
And the best eateries are those which are unpretentious and showcase the best of local produce. It was exactly this ethos and the desire to make and serve delicious food everyday, which led Kate Lewis and Veronica Clarke to open the doors of their Gifford café in October 2018.
With nearly 50 years experience between them in the hospitality industry – Kate, a chef of 26 years with Michelin-starred restaurants and Veronica in front of house with similarly high profile restaurants. They drew on this experience to set up a bespoke fine dining catering business, Lewis & Clarke Artisan Kitchen, offering outside catering in a client’s home, business or holiday accommodation and selling their own produce at local farmers markets.
Opening a café was the next step for the duo. Passionate about food, flavour and good design, the pair had very clear ideas for their venture. We wanted to be able cook and serve locally sourced-food that tastes as good as it should, Michelin-quality, but not Michelin-prices” explains Veronica. “Equally it was just as important that we were able to do this in a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere.”
Walking through the door of Lewis & Clarke it’s evident that the place is all about life’s simple and genuine pleasures. The best of local produce brought to your plate with minimum fuss and maximum flavour. Reclaimed scaffold boards and East Lothian potato boxes are used to create a stunning interior and the vintage 50s school chairs add a touch of retro charm.
With an exceptional understanding of food trends and flavours, Kate creates a constantly-changing menu which is fresh, seasonal and innovative, using locally sourced suppliers wherever possible. From smashed avocado on toast with The Tobermory Fish Co’s smoked trout and poached egg (from the Brand Family’s chooks) to the outrageously brilliant bacon sandwich served with their own bacon jam. The mushrooms on toast are a whole new world and don’t miss the selection of the award-winning East Coast Cured charcuterie accompanied with artisan bread from Dunbar Community Bakery and Black & Gold chipotle oil, olives and their own confit tomatoes. Not to mention the mini chocolate tarts served with their own creation, harling – caramelised popcorn and honeycomb. The fine coffee is a rich, almost chocolatey blend from Glen Lyon who source the finest beans from around the world and roast them in small batches at their roastery in Aberfeldy.
And if you don’t have time to stop, don’t worry as most of the produce is available to buy in store. This place is a real find, a proper local gem where there’s always time for a chat, it’s a wonderfully relaxed friendly place to settle in with the papers, where life stops for a moment, and allows you to enjoy the pleasures of simply stunning artisan food.
LEWIS & CLARKE
Tue-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm, closed Mon
2a Main St, Gifford, Haddington EH41 4QH | t:01620 811001 | www.lcartisan.co.uk