Until recently, Sheffield had been lagging behind in the baked goods stakes. It was a city riddled with Greggs and its low-fibre, over-processed sandwiches, pasties and baguettes.
Today, Sheffield has a handful of brilliant bakeries. Cake ’R’ Us, Devonshire Street's Chinese bakery, serves a variety of tasty buns, tarts and gateaux. On London Road, Yaadgaar offers a largely under-explored world of Indian confectionary, such as ras malai, gulab jamun and jalebi. For more western tastes, Seven Hills Bakery serves up traditional bread and French-influenced treats on Sharrow Vale Road.
Most exciting of all is Forge Bakehouse, an artisanal bakery on Abbeydale Road.
Forge Bakehouse was set up by Martha Brown in 2012. Since its first breads went on sale, it's established itself not only as a good place to get bread, but a destination in its own right – a much-loved part of Sheffield's informal Food Mile. It’s a two-mile walk from my house, but I make the trip specially for their dark rye bread.
After two successful years in its previous wedge of Abbeydale Road, Forge moved to a bigger space in December 2014 – literally carrying the bakery down the road. And three years later, it grew again; it now fills both floors of number 302, with the ground-floor bakery, cosy cafe and terrace joined by a licensed cafe upstairs. With the larger space, Forge offers the best brunch around – which is, of course, baked eggs. It also means there's space for more evening events, like supper clubs, complete with cocktails.