Everybody loves Melanie and Ciaran Breslin’s atmospheric Primrose Café - and it was clearly just what Derry City was looking for, as it was an instant hit from the day it opened in 2012.
With its soft blue tongue and groove woodwork, white painted furniture, oilcloth covered tables and mismatched china, it has vintage charm - but that is only half of the story, as it’s Melanie Breslin’s passion for cooking that makes this little place stand out.
The former hairdresser dreamt of setting up her own café and developing her love of cooking as a business - and, by a happy chance, her husband Ciaran is a butcher. A reliable supply of quality meats may be a given, but they take pride in all of their sourcing, using quality seasonal ingredients and making everything from scratch.
The day begins with a hearty breakfast menu - featuring sausages and breakfast meats from Breslins Family Butchers, of course - and, along with Melanie’s freshly baked wheaten breads and sodas, there will be specialities like homemade pancakes various ways, and a vegetarian breakfast too.
Lunchtime brings a range of wholesome and well-priced popular dishes, often with a twist - try the Guinness and field mushroom rarebit, for example, or a chicken and chorizo meatloaf sarnie - and a daily special which might be a deeply flavoured shin beef, oxtail and mushroom pie with buttered cabbage and roast potato...
Between times, there’s a range of coffees and tea and all those gorgeous cakes, tarts and scones on display to tempt the hungry passer by - and, for fine days, there’s an attractive ‘Secret Garden’ outside seating area away from the busy road at the back.
They do outside catering too (look out for their quirky vintage caravan at events) and you can also hire the café for private parties.
Just the spot for a relaxed bite.