Coffee is an elixir which should be celebrated. Whenever I stumble across a good coffee place, I see it as a public duty to grab my virtual tannoy and shout out about it from the rooftops. When I discovered a café was open on the former site of one of my coffee hangout spots (Baked), I just had to hop along.
The name is intriguing. Squashed Tomato is memorable, because it’s fun and well, unique.
The interior remains thankfully the same. Sunshine streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the best tables are window-side to people-watch.
Through the door and an array of cakes and pastries greet your eyes, both on and in the glass counter. You take a seat and place your order during table-service.
I love it inside Squashed Tomato. It has a warm, cosmopolitan vibe and is great for a meeting place for business lunches, coffee dates, or just a time-out from a hectic schedule. (Next time I’ll be rocking up with my journal, as I try to practise more mindfulness whilst sipping great coffee and nibbling on a pastry.)
I ordered the usual (latte, extra hot, extra wet), and it arrived within four minutes steaming hot. The coffee bean is good, with soft caramel tones that come through a few seconds after the swallow.
It was mid-morning, which is why I ordered a sausage barm cake. (No it’s not a cob, it’s a B-A-R-M C-A-K-E.)
The bread was pillowy soft with proper butter, glistening sausages wonderfully herby. I drizzled on ketchup (always red sauce) and thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s something special about tucking into good food and just watching the world go by. You can definitely appreciate good food at Squashed Tomato in cosy yet light and comfortable surroundings.
After a long conversation (I tell a lie – not so lengthy – I just feel compelled to say that in case you wondered why I was ordering another food item), we ambled over to the food counter.
The scones looked good, and we ordered two more coffees to go with it.
Now, pay attention.
Cakes and pastries at Squashed Tomato are all home-made.
Yes, I know the bulk of coffee shops sell supplier-made goods, hence the “home-made” badge, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Personally, I feel it just gives food that extra level of authenticity when a product is actually made on-site.
I was surprised to see Anna, the owner, baker (maybe not candle-stick maker, but definitely all-round superstar) pop out from the cavernous kitchens as she chatted to customers a brief while, before heading back to her cooking domain.
The scones were fresh, oven-warm (warm scones, WARM I tell you), light and delicious. I think I have just made myself hungry thinking about them, so let’s just move swiftly on.
Squashed Tomato is a welcome addition to The Strand. It is quaint, cosy and warm. And those scones, they were gorgeous.
That girl (Anna) knows how to bake, having baked and cooked for her catering business these past few years. I won’t be surprised (wishful thinking perhaps?) if she were to set up a bakery. I know I’d be queuing up for her pastries.
For service with a smile, and great coffee with home-made cakes, head to Squashed Tomato now.
Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)
Value for money: 8
Café name: Squashed Tomato
Address: 16 The Strand, Derby, DE1 1BE
Opening times: Mon-Fri 8:00am – 4:00pm / Sat 9:30am – 3:00pm
How to make reservation: Message via Facebook / telephone
Call: 01332 348793
Front of House: Claire
Chef / Owner: Anna
Wheelchair friendly (but toilet limited access)
Family friendly (child play corner, changing mat in toilet, children’s menu)
Whilst in the area check out: Selena’s florist a few doors down from Squashed Tomato. Pop in to spruce up your flat with some pretty plants and festive flowers.