Dear Rabbi Simon
I have a question for you from the and sun-deprived north. In my city, Shabbos comes in as early as 14:30 (surreal, I know…). Friday evening prayers are at 17:30 (Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv; no Mincha). Can I make Kiddush and eat cake, babka, or kichel and herring, for example, or even bread/challah (lechem mishneh) before going to shul? The reason I ask this is that one does get a bit hungry waiting 3 hours for shul to begin.
Thank you for your interesting question.
The simple answer is, under the circumstances, “yes, you may”. Kiddush and ha-motzi for challah if you like. Kiddush and mezonot if you prefer. Either way, best to create some sort of reminder so that you do not forget to go to shul/daven maariv. They may well be counting on you for the minyan as well!
Rabbi Rashi Simon