Retro-themed Doorsteps cafe/restaurant

Becca Mears of Doorsteps cafe, with one of her special cream teas

Becca Mears of Doorsteps cafe, with one of her special cream teas - Credit: Archant

Young Ipswich chef Becca Mears has a passion for cooking; and now she is achieving her dream with her first business, in St Nicholas Street.

Sumptuous cream tea at Doorsteps, Ipswich

Sumptuous cream tea at Doorsteps, Ipswich Picture: DAVID VINCENT - Credit: Archant

There is a retro theme to Doorsteps cafe in St Nicholas Street.

Chef Becca, who runs it with the support of dad Terry, loves the classic styles from the 1920s

And with her Betty Boop hairstyles, and classic reproduction dresses, you might think she is from a bygone era.

“I love the styles of the 1920s through to the 1950s,” she said, “I try to stick to the 1940s, when people will know it more.

“We have a bit of a Retro theme here.

“My mum made all the traditional Christmas decorations.”

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Doorsteps had been a sandwich shop/cafe before, but since they took over, in May hot food has been in the menu, and lots of it.

“Our breakfasts are very popular.

“Everything we do here is freshly-made, and we source locally whenever we can, from the market, and Proctor’s sausages.

“We do special market trader meals, and `doorstep’ deliveries for businesses now.

“I love cooking. I couldn’t wait to do Christmas dinner, for the whole family and friends invited from uni.

“A beef roast, a nut roast and all the trimmings, pigs in blankets and orange and carrots, all the vegetables.”

Miss Mears has been a vegan for 15 years, and has made the cafe a vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly zone.

While some restaurants have one vegan dish - Doorsteps has a complete menu which mirrors the `meat-eaters,” choices.

She explained: “We have some people who come in especially for a vegetarian breakfast, on match days.

“And quite a lot of meat-eaters want to try vegan dishes.”

One of her previous jobs was pastry chef at The Ivy, in King’s Road, Chelsea and she has made a special feature of cream teas, with everything home made - sweet and savoury, and presented on vintage cake stands.

Retro china has come from her two grandmothers, and is also picked up from local charity shops.

The day I called in she had been in the kitchen the night before; and had made traditional triffle, soup, Victorian sponge and curry sauce (not for the same plate).

The winter warmers menu includes a popular roast dinner in a Yorkshire pudding wrap.

Her CV is an impressive one; after studying media at Suffolk New College she went to university and studied photography.

Returning to Ipswich and working in various pubs and restaurants, including the Fludyers in Felixstowe, she found she loved working in hospitality.

So she took at patisserie course at Colchester Institute, and moved in to cooking.

That lead to her to working in London, including opening cafes in Regent Street and Soho, for other people, and also a vegan restaurant in Brixton.

But she missed home; and Dad began looking for premises for her to open her own restaurant.

They both agreed Doorsteps in St Nicholas Street was the ideal choice.

I returned to try out her special afternoon tea - where everything, from the jam to chocolate spread, was home made!

It wad delicious