This summer we’ve been out and about discovering and exploring new places to eat, drink and go outside the city centre. Top of our list was this crafty little cafe nestled in the quiet village of Methley where we were told we could bring our precious pooch while enjoying a casual lunch.
We were not fully prepared for everything that we would find there! Not only is the cafe situated in a beautifully transformed former pub, providing plenty of space for its customers, but it’s absolutely full of homemade wonders – from the food on the menu to the products in its dinky shop.
We can certainly recommend their thoroughly enjoyable lunch and breakfast menus with fresh coffee and locally produced bread, as well as seeing groups hard at work in the craft space and picking out your favourites in the shop. We spoke to Margaret, one of their sellers, to find out a little more about Methley’s best kept secret…
Who are you and how did you get here?
The café was founded by Jo Plenderleith seven years ago when she took the plunge and put all her efforts into turning an old and unloved pub into a craft café and alongside that she decided to rent out a space in the café to a group of ‘microbusinesses’ who could run a shop with a difference.
Since it opened the café has become a local hub, welcomed by the village as a place for a coffee, for all manner of children’s activities during the holidays, for the local WI to meet, as well as a book club, and where we offer free space to a local children’s cancer charity, local business networking, and there is a slew of craft and hobby classes and workshops.
What do you think makes the Rivers Meet Craft Cafe unique?
Alongside the cafe, the shop has developed to house nine micro businesses. We have The Beadshop, Yorkshire Fabric, Sharon’s Essentials, Archangel, Winnie’s, Ready Planted, Rose & Lavender, Dreamweavers and Yorkshire Handbags all representing a small one woman business. The shop gives us a base to meet customers and an outlet for our goods which are wide ranging!
Alongside the locally designed leather handbags are natural handmade beauty and skincare products, a children’s dress agency, beading, beautiful homewares, made to order dreamcatchers, Fair trade gifts, flowers and plants.
What can customers expect from you?
Regulars have come to expect a treasure trove and a regularly changing stock in the shop – they’ve also found they don’t have to go into town to find a little gift for a friend, and that they will find something out of the ordinary on their doorstep.
The cafe itself is a welcoming, warm place where you can bring your family or friends for a tasty lunch. It’s very relaxed and with the shop to visit too there’s plenty to discover.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
A large cappuccino! A strong one! Our large coffee is just £2.50. There are often specials – recently the deli platter has been a big success, but also there are regular seasonal bakes – this week it’s been blackberry and apple pie.
What are your favourites and bestsellers in the shop?
In the shop Yorkshire Handbag Company has a loyal following of ladies who love the bags. They know good value when they see it and Julie who runs this little business is on the point of launching a whole new collection. She focuses on quality, style and value.
Ready Planted also offers a floristry service for weddings, parties and events as well as selling a range of fairtrade gifts which customers really appreciate. They can find something a bit different knowing that their purchase will make a difference to the people who made it.
What do you think makes Leeds so awesome?
It’s a big city with a wide and diverse offering, something for everyone… but it still feels easy to get out to the country and green space.
Where do you like to hangout apart from your own cafe and shop?
The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton – Ready Planted do their hanging baskets and flowers and it’s an easy place to
relax. Also Bella Vita in Garforth, a family-owned Italian. No hassle just good food.
Finally, describe Rivers Meet Craft Cafe in three words…
Friendly, welcoming, engaging.