A taste for old-fashioned delights

Sarah and Gareth Schofield, La Petite Salle
Sarah and Gareth Schofield, La Petite Salle

Sarah Schofield has had a taste for catering since learning the art of silver service as a teenager. But it has taken her 25 years to achieve the ambition of running her own place.

Sarah, of Bradway, tried her hand at numerous jobs, from nannying to reflexology: “But I’ve always come back to catering.”

Now she is putting her experience into practice at La Petite Salle, the bijou tearoom she has opened on the corner of Rustlings Road, opposite Endcliffe Park.

She first got a taste for the job at the former Churchill’s wine bar in North Church Street. By the age of 22 she was manager of Sarah’s in Chapel Walk.

A break to have her two daughters gave her time for a rethink and she became a qualified complementary therapist: “But that didn’t last long: I get bored very easily and my heart is in catering.”

A spell at Vittles café in Broomhill got her back on track, but when the former Joe’s Ices came on the market, she knew this was her chance to realise a dream.

With the help of joiner husband Gareth and their two girls, she stripped, cleaned and painted the tearoom. Then Gareth fitted it out with cupboards, shelves and cake display stands.

Meanwhile Sarah sourced supplies and planned her menu. And now she’s at work by 7.30am each day, baking fresh cakes, soups and tasty snacks.

“I don’t mind coming in early and staying late because I’m doing what I love.

“The whole idea is to give people good quality, fresh-cooked food, with nice china, without having to pay any more for it,” she says.

La Petite Salle’s speciality is vintage tea for two at £7.95 including sandwiches, salad, scones, chocolates and tea.