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Howden’s not so hidden gem is always a hit

Liz Powell pays a visit to one of the East Riding’s most popular lunch and afternoon tea venues.

I’ve visited Kitchen at Howden numerous times since it opened in 2015 – usually with my girlfriends for lunch – and I always look forward to it. We’re not really a tough crowd – as long as what’s put in front of us is hearty and homemade, we’re happy.

Kitchen always passes muster on both points. We never fail to leave satisfied, having treated ourselves to generous sandwiches, flatbreads and salad bowls. Not forgetting chunky wedges on the side. Do we really need them with such generous portions? Not really… But we order them anyway. It’s a treat, right?

On this occasion, we visited on a Monday, arriving at around midday, which we knew was a little later than is usually ideal. As a result there was a small queue and we had a wait of around twenty minutes. Anywhere else that would feel like a bit of a drag but here you’re waiting opposite the deli counter, where you can feast your eyes on truly scrumptious cakes, meringues and savouries.

In my experience, around 11.30am is the ideal time to arrive for lunch in order to beat the queue. There is a pleasant seating area upstairs, and in the warmer months, there is a heated outdoor area where you can eat al fresco.

It’s essentially a bakery, deli and gourmet café combined. They have you as soon as you walk into the mouth-watering deli section and I’m sure we can’t be the only ones who find it impossible to leave without stopping at the counter to buy a slab of cake or a pastry on the way out (‘for the kids’, obviously).

Whenever I’ve visited, the waiting staff have always done their utmost to seat us quickly, and the service is helpful and polite. From salad bowls to ‘super’ sandwiches, flat breads to gourmet burgers and sharing boards, there is almost too much choice.

There are also brunch and afternoon tea options on the menu – the latter you can enjoy with pink champagne. There is a children’s menu too, which should tempt even the fussiest little eater.

On this occasion, between four of us we ordered ‘super’ sandwiches, a truly enormous gourmet burger, and a salad – although the word ‘salad’ really doesn’t do it justice. This one came with a lightly spiced chicken skewer, mango chutney, and little pots of bread, houmous and pasta!

Kitchen is always busy (as is its sister tearoom in Snaith), but it certainly isn’t a victim of its own success. Standards are always high and we have never felt rushed to vacate our table, even when a queue is clearly visible at the bottom of the stairs.

Presentation is obviously important – think oversized earthenware bowls and chunky wooden boards. There is no pretension though – just good, honest food which ensures you’re nice and full until the evening.

You will have gathered by now that I’m a huge fan of Kitchen. What it does, it does very well and I’m a firm believer in giving praise where it’s due. Give it a try, if you haven’t already – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And I guarantee you won’t pass the deli counter on your way out without buying a little something. Because what’s life without the occasional treat?

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