Grass Hopper Cafe - Hope - Peak District

Entrance into the Grasshopper Cafe

Entrance into the Grasshopper Cafe

Do Photographers go ‘off-duty’? The BF says No.

I am not really convinced that there is anything such as a photographers day off - I mean I take my camera with me everywhere, much to the chagrin of my wonderfully supportive BF (we do get around this by having no camera no tech dates to keep a work life balance and guarantee fun conversations with full focus) As such this is why I am able to give you a little mini insight into one of our favourite coffee shops in the Peak District!

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October Mini-Break with Photos

I love October as a time to get away on a mini-break. Mainly because you can still get warm sunny days, but also get the beautiful light of autumn, with the low warm angles of light and autumn leaves... (not that any are in the above photo which as actually taken late morning!!)

I know right…. coffee shops are obligatory to an afternoon out, a mini-break or even a holiday. Therefore while he puts up with my camera, I put up with his regular need to stop for coffee and just photograph it!!!

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@hoppercafehope

@hoppercafehope

This is the #grasshoppercafe in Hope (Peak District) which we discovered first two years ago and it was a revelation, the second visit merely was a pause outside sadly viewing the closed sign (It must have been a Wednesday when they sensibly close, a point I explain later).

Happy day oh happy day, when we arrived on this particular Monday walk from Castleton, across the ridge from Mam Tor via Lose Hill to Hope and found a very friendly lass @hoppercafe to serve us coffee and cake. We returned the next morning and a wonderful chap (who I think is the owner) then made us our fantastic coffees.

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Opening Hours

An Important bit of information to share - it was a Monday… in the Peak District National Park… In October! Have you worked it out yet? Loads of coffee shops DO NOT open on a Monday in the Peaks but as you can see from my photograph of this building front, there is a very open door.

Now I understand a small business needs to close so that the owner can have a day off… however I do question why Monday? The 4th day of the long weekend in a place people escape to go walking!?

Grass Hopper - I salute you - and I know from our conversation Mondays can be a busy day for you as a result of your wise decision!

Me ‘putting’ up with coffee :)

Me ‘putting’ up with coffee :)

Photographing Fresh Flowers

One of the details I absolutely love in this cafe, hence couldn’t resist photographing, is the fresh flowers. With multiple arrangements around - one for each table, hear are just a few in delicious pinks and purples. I never used to appreciate flowers (although felt I should as a woman!) until I started to photograph them, and now I jump for joy when a florist commissions me to produces photographs for their business. I’d love to hear from you if you need photographs producing for your business - cafe, coffeeshop, florist or other independent.

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Fresh Flowers @hoppercafehope

Fresh Flowers @hoppercafehope

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Wonderful Dried Flower Arrangements

This Peak District cafe also had fantastic dried flowers like the beautiful wreath on the door and fireplace arrangements seen below. A local florist, Tricia from Sheffield @Wilkiet, comes regularly to refresh the arrangements and apparently according to her instagram her paths normally take her to a decent coffee so hardly surprising she is supplying a wonderful coffee shop! I love to see places where local businesses are collaborating to rock it together!

On that note - Tricia is running a Christmas Wreath making workshop using natural materials and bling if desired on the 6th December at this very cafe in Hope, Peak District so contact the Grasshopper Cafe to book!

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Working with Artisans

On that note it would be rude not to comment upon the fantastic workmanship of Richard Emmingham Bespoke Joinery of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. I absolutely love the smooth finish with a rustic edge on the tables and other shop fittings, and lovely stripey backed seats (as seen below) which despite appearances were not in the slightest bit rough while giving that look. The panelled coffee bar pictured further down is also quite lovely!

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Holiday Photo Challenge (not a fully equipped job)

All these images are just off the cuff - so no preparation - no tripod for still life’s and low-lit shots so they are all handheld - no dressing or table arranging.

Only my 50mm lens so no fancy lens tricks or ability to zoom or get other angles - no wide-angle lens to get better premises shots or zoom lens to compress the foreground

No off-camera lighting I can control just the ambient from the light fittings & window lighting (which might I add makes it a real challenge to get angles and space while avoiding weird colour casts and get the white balance to work well!) Challenge accepted and I think succeeded upon even in the photograph above of the bench seat and art gallery!

I really hope you like the results - pop a cheer in the comments below if you do!

Interesting modern lighting selections - much in keeping with coffee-shop trends

Interesting modern lighting selections - much in keeping with coffee-shop trends

Coffee Shop & Cafe Trends

It always intrigues me to see how trends go around - recycled wood for seats and tables, local art galleries to give a sense of place, funky lighting, and look - even a cacti & succulent in the corner. The only one I think they have missed is putting out niche magazines and having their water with cucumber in an earn - however they have gone one better!

You can just make out by the top of the right orange bag on the counter front a brass tap - this is there water tap with plentiful glasses on the counter to help yourself! Boom. Oh and they stylised the toilet handwash basin taps the same way - copper taps with exposed plumbing and a stone floor! Old fashioned styling with a modern twist!

Big Plus - Muddy Boot Friendly!

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Supporting Local Suppliers

I really do have a lot to say for a company which chooses to support local! They definitely get my vote. View their list of ‘fab suppliers’ on the blackboard presented proudly for all to see!

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I enjoyed my fantastic food so much I couldn’t photograph it - i was too hungry…. (and this was a holiday!)

Enjoy the wonderful window views while you have your flat white (beans from Smith Street Coffee Roasters) with a bacon butty before 11am or a warming Cappuccino (@smithstreetcoffee) with a slice of homemade cake which I can also recommend - especially the apple cake with lovely hint of cinnamon and the divine rich gooey chocolate cake- sadly no pictures - I was too hungry! Or on warmer days why not take your delicious Rhubarb ice-cream by Hope Valley Ice Cream (I can totally recommend it) into the back garden seating area or perhaps one of the Grasshopper cafes delicious tea blends like White Peak or Muddy Boots (what great names!) by the Birdhouse Tea Company in Nether Edge @birdhouseteacompany.

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Plus Points

- Nice people

- lovely little details made with care and ATD (attention to detail)

- a suitable renovation

- good business sense about days off and remaining open on a Monday

- a carefully crafted menu and supporting local!

- great coffee and food

-beautiful flowers and ambience

Verdict - Go Visit!

It wins for me - hence why I return on my trips to the Edale area. I recommend a visit if you are in the white peak to The Grass Hopper Cafe, 18 Castleton Road, Hope.

Also if you like supporting local and fancy a wreath workshop this December contact the cafe or Tricia the florest @wilkiet. Or if you need a joiner and shopfitter for your own independent business refurb check out @richardemminghambespokejoinery.

I’ll be back with more photo journeys and reviews soon - don’t miss a post again - follow on facebook @lizzybiggsphotography or better still on instagram @lizzybiggsphotography

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