Thyme Café Sheffield cheeseburger

Thyme Café

After Storm Abigail and before Storm Barney hits various parts of the country, we had a miserably wet weekend.

This also coincided with a visit from my sister and our five-year-old nephew.

When we have visitors to Sheffield of a weekend (we don’t have any family in the city), we often make our plans based on being outdoors and things we can do with the dog. Add in the responsibility of needing to amuse/tire out a five-year-old, and being outside seems like a particularly wise course of action, considering all the great walks, parks and playgrounds we are fortunate enough to have here on our doorstep. Luckily, we squeezed in a jaunt around Graves Park and an energetic game of fetch for the hound before the rain started.

Once the heavens opened around lunchtime on Saturday, we needed a wet weather plan. Having burned off our pancakes and bacon breakfast on the walk, we decided to head up to Broomhill for a late lunch at Thyme Café before heading to Weston Park Museum.

Thyme has been in the same spot since it was established in 2003 by Richard & Victoria Smith and Adrian Cooling. They operate a no-booking policy, which has only left me table-less and disappointed once over the years we’ve lived here. Still, I’d rather it was thriving than standing empty. And it deserves to be busy.

Thyme Café, Glossop Road.

It had been a little while since we’d been to Thyme, and we always like to take guests to unique Sheffield places they’ve not been before; so we grabbed our raincoats and brollies, piled into the car and headed over to Broomhill, windscreen wipers going full pelt.

We arrived at 2:45pm and the place was busy- not surprising, given the weather. Still, we were seated easily and got to work perusing the menu; Thyme’s signature is that their menu changes daily and is written up meticulously on a few massive chalkboards around the place, so that you should always be able to read one wherever you’re sitting.

Daily-changing chalkboard menu at Thyme Café

An attentive waitress quickly brought over a kids’ menu, printed on paper with some colouring in to be done alongside it. Children have a great choice of options at Thyme- no breadcrumbed frozen stuff with baked beans here. The kids’ menu featured fresh options such as chicken breast, risotto of the day or a cheeseburger; or you could even ask for a kid-sized portion of something from the grown-up menu. What’s more, if you visit for lunch or tea Mon-Fri (12-3pm and 5-7pm), kids can eat free, with one free kids meal per adult main ordered!

For reasons unknown, J (the nephew) had been adamant he was having fish and chips all the way there in the car, despite not knowing if that was an option. He was delighted when he read on the kids’ menu that this was on offer (I was just proud to see him read a menu).

We were very grateful that our waitress took his order right away, while we three grown-ups carried on perusing the chalkboards. As I’m sure you’ll know, a hungry five-year-old is a vocal five-year-old.

For £5, including a drink, he did pretty well:

kids' menu fish and chips, thyme cafe, Sheffield
Kids’ menu fish and chips

The chips were amazing (I helped him finish the last few), as were the homemade mushy peas.

We gradually dried off as the rain continued to lash down outside. When our food arrived, it was glorious.

The roast chicken and bacon ballotine (£14) with caramelised onion purée was served with truffle and parmesan fat chips, tenderstem broccoli, peas and a chicken velouté:

Roast chicken and bacon ballotine, Thyme Cafe, Sheffield
Roast chicken and bacon ballotine

It was piping hot, comforting and full of flavour. The chicken was tender and the bacon was properly chunky- no disappearing streaky rashers here. I’m normally quite cynical with fat chips that you’ll get just three or four on the plate, stacked in a jaunty fashion to try and make it look like more. This wasn’t the case at Thyme, where the chips:everything else ratio was bang on.

My sister and I have similar tastes in many things. Our menu choice was no exception. We both went for the Thyme Café cheeseburger (£10), served with aioli, fries and relish. I added bacon for an extra £1, because why would you not? No regrets:

Thyme Café Sheffield cheeseburger
Thyme Café cheeseburger with bacon, aioli and fries.

I managed about 1/4 of my burger as a handheld sandwich before reluctantly accepting it was time to use a knife and fork and stop embarrassing everyone! It was a big burger, as you can see, packed with quality ingredients. The homemade patty was juicy, the seasoning was well-balanced and there was a decent amount of meat. I felt pretty pleased with my choice. And those fries were cooked just to my liking.

After whiling away a bit more time, and realising that the rain wasn’t letting up, we decided we were too comfortable to hurry off into the downpour, so we decided to order desserts. Again, the portions were generous and well worth the £5.50 each:

Bread and butter pudding with crème anglaise and ice cream
Bread and butter pudding with crème anglaise and ice cream

My bread and butter pudding was a hearty slab, with a good amount of wobble- which is also a pretty accurate description of me by the end of the meal. It was so good and the perfect winter warmer dessert. The others’ desserts also went down well:

Fig and frangipane tart
Fig and frangipane tart
Chocolate brownie with ice cream

J had a scoop of ice cream and played with his Paw Patrol toys. He also coloured in a Pudsey bear picture, aided by my other half. Everyone was content. We had a great waitress who interacted with J and joined in with his comedy dancing while we were putting our coats on.

A few hours in Thyme Café was the perfect way to spend a few hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon, watching the world go past and catching up with family. I love Thyme because it’s relaxed and not pretentious, though the food is always original and of a great quality.

That said, I was glad to get home and unbutton my jeans.

Thyme Café is located at 490 Glossop Road.

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