Students launch café in former Hartlepool church

FOOD AND DRINK: Students from Catcote Academy help run the event at The Vestry Cafe in Christ Church.
FOOD AND DRINK: Students from Catcote Academy help run the event at The Vestry Cafe in Christ Church.

A SELECTION of ‘holy-some’ food is on the menu in a student-run cafe which has opened inside a former church.

The Vestry has been launched in Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Church Square, Hartlepool, staffed by pupils from Catcote Academy, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool.

FOOD AND DRINK: Student Helen Taylor, 13, from Catcote Academy helps run the event at The Vestry Cafe in Christ Church, Hartlepool.

FOOD AND DRINK: Student Helen Taylor, 13, from Catcote Academy helps run the event at The Vestry Cafe in Christ Church, Hartlepool.

School bosses say pupils will be able to build their experience in a real working environment, while council bosses who run the art gallery says it will provide a unique opportunity for visitors.

The Fair Trade cafe will provide teas and a selection of coffees plus a range of food that is freshly-made on the premises.

This will include scones, cakes and cookies, plus light lunches and afternoon teas, featuring salads, a selection of sandwich fillings served in a variety of breads, homemade soups, jacket potatoes with a range of fillings, plus vegetarian and vegan options.

A take-away service will also be available in The Vestry – named to reflect the building’s original use as a church.

Alan Chapman, Catcote Academy headteacher, said: “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity by Hartlepool Borough Council to provide a quality catering service for visitors to the gallery.

“It gives our older students an opportunity to demonstrate their excellent culinary skills and enables them to build their experience in a real working environment, which is one of the Academy’s key aims.

“I have no doubt that customers will be impressed by the quality of our food and our friendly service.”

David Worthington, the council’s head of culture and information, added: “We are really pleased to be working with Catcote Academy and we wish this new venture every success.

“This is an opportunity for people to enjoy great food and great art in a beautiful setting and to support an exciting social enterprise.”

The cafe is open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Hartlepool Art Gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 5pm and entry is free.