Thursday 17 June 2010

The Barn Coffee Shop @ Stonham Barns (with update)

Stonham Barns
Pettaugh Road
Stonham Aspal
IP14 6AT
The coffee shop is found near the craft shops in Stonham Barns

The selection is not great but £3.90 for 10 items seemed a fair price.

Ella making a pot of much needed tea after a good 10 minute wait at the counter.

Lots of sugar and filthy cutlery but no ketchup.

A fork coated in dry bean juice, yuk!!

Finally it arrived.

Alive & V Dubbin 2010 was being held at Stonham Barns near Stowmarket so we decided to go along and see what was going on. A bloody great weekend and much bigger than we thought it would be. There were a number of businesses on site but the one that caught my eye was the coffee shop with its breakfast sign. After a late night of beer & cider me & Ella went with our hangovers in search of the coffee shop..

Upon entering - There was a large seated area in a conservatory and picnic tables outside. The blackboard was advertising a 10 item breakfast for £3.90. 8/10

Service - We waited bloody ages for the young chap behind the counter to sort out the fried eggs for the people in front. When it was finally our turn the guy very slowly went off to cook more eggs. Why he didn't just cook a load at once was beyond me, there was enough people queuing that would be wanting them. I could feel myself losing the will to live as I waited. The food was eventually bought over to us at the point I was photographing the rank dirty bean juice covered fork that we had taken from the cutlery tray. He did apologize but dirty cutlery is a sign the people working there really don't give a shit. 3/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, beans & tinned tomatoes. There was no other choices apart from toast but I couldn't be arsed to wait even longer for that to cook. 5/10

Presentation - The young chap serving clearly didn't have any passion for food, I could have platted it up better with my eyes shut! 4/10

The food - Nice herby sausages, overcooked but ok bacon, slightly odd looking but ok fried eggs, overcooked & chewy hash browns, slushy tinned tomatoes. The beans for me were spot on though! I love it when beans have been sat there for ages and have gone a bit slushy. 6/10

Value for money - A fair price but limited choice. 6/10

Veggie option - Hash browns, fried eggs, tinned tomatoes, beans & toast @ 55p an item or 10 for £3.90.

Overall - Close the place down, give the place a good clean, employ staff that know what their doing, re-open and they could be on to a winner. The whole breakfast idea is great but poorly executed. 5/10

- Update -

A year on from my last visit I couldn't resist popping in to see if things had improved at The Barn. The service seemed a little bit more together and the cutlery seemed a lot cleaner too. The nice sausages from last time had been replaced with economy ones that were not particularly nice, everything else on the plate seemed about the same as last time except for the egg which was really nice. Again, everything was served and the plate sat on the counter for a good 5 minutes whilst the egg cooked. The price for the 10 item breakfast had increased from £3.90 to £5.25 in the space of a year.

The coffee was really good but had the breakfast improved??

The fried egg was much better this time round but the hash browns had sat for too long and became a bit chewy and swapping the nice pork sausages to the economy sausages was not a good move.

Denmark Cafe - Norwich

(2018 review can be found here)

Denmark Cafe
162 Sprowston Road

I had heard good things about the Denmark Cafe so decided to give it a look.

There are about 8 parking spaces behind the cafe

There was a good selection of condiments huddled together neatly.

The place was clean and tidy.

A good mug of tea is just 60p!

The £5.25 fry-up was was huge and nicely presented.

Upon entering - The counter is at the back of the shop and has a large menu beside it on the wall so no confusion about what to order. The tables have all the condiments you should need neatly huddled together. The man behind the counter is really friendly and seemed to be well up for chatting about the weather and football. 7/10

Service - You're told to take a seat and it will be bought over, the food arrives fairly quickly. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 eggs, fried potato slices, beans, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms & toast. 7/10

Presentation - It certainly looks the part when it arrives and the eggs already on the toast I liked a lot. 8/10

The food - The sausages were not great, standard bacon, crispy potato slices, lovely fried eggs cooked how i like them, standard beans, slightly overcooked tinned tomatoes, standard mushrooms and toast. 7/10

Value for money - You do get a lot of food for your money but everything that passes your lips is quite standard. 8/10

Veggie option - yes

Overall - The place is clean, the staff are friendly and the portions are generous. The food is nice but nothing on the plate stands out as being particularly special, some fried bread or black pudding may have livened things up a bit. But well worth a visit if you are passing and just fancy a down to earth fry-up to kill your hangover. 7.5/10

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Places I am planning on visiting soon.

Now my blog is up to date I plan on visiting at least one new establishment per week.

Places I am planning on visiting soon include..

Assembly House - Norwich

Poppylands - Horsey

The People's Palace - Norwich

Deepdale Cafe - Burnham Deepdale

Franks Bar - Norwich

Jarrolds - Norwich

Waitrose - Norwich

The Stores - Norwich

Belle Vue - Norwich

If you know somewhere that you would like me to visit please leave me a comment and I will add it to the list.

Friday 4 June 2010

BHS - Norwich

St Stephens Street 

Nearest parking - St Stephens multi-storey

Lots of choice but it will leave you wishing you didn't bother.

Upon entering - The vast restaurant has lots of seating and is usually quite empty during breakfast time. You grab a tray and decide what you want, there is plenty of signs telling you what is on offer. 7/10

Service - You queue up and the person serving asks what you want and plops it onto the plate very quickly and with very little passion. You queue up again as your food goes from hot to warm and pay the person on the till. Grab cutlery and condiments, find a seat and place your plate of now almost cold food onto the table. 4/10

Contents - Bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, bubble & squeak, hash browns, fried bread, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beans, toast & butter. 9/10

Presentation - Everything plopped onto the plate. 3/10

The food - Terrible economy sausage & bacon, almost wet black pudding, fried eggs that are like rubber and have been sat there for ages, dire scrambled eggs that have almost dried up, sliced mushrooms out of a tin, a tiny amount of beans, really slushy tinned tomatoes and an ok but cold slice of toast The bubble & squeak was not too bad and the fried bread was nice. Im sure if the food was hot it would taste a bit better. 3/10

Value for money - £3.25 for 10 items seems like a fair price, but it is not very nice so... 4/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - Lots of choice but not really worth it, you will leave disappointed wishing you had gone elsewhere. 5/10

Buttercross Tearooms - Bungay

Buttercross Tearooms
6 Cross Street
NR35 1AU

2 hours free parking on Trinity Street

The tearooms is on Cross Street which runs between Trinity Street and St Mary's Street. There is free parking for 2 hours on Trinity Street.

There is a nice paved garden out the back with a few tables and a nice selection of fish in the pond.

I assume the raisins on the tables outside were for the birds but I guess you could try one.

The big breakfast cost £4.95, it didn't include mushrooms but they were happy to add them at no extra cost.

The all day breakfast also cost £4.95, the beans & mushrooms replaced the hash browns & tinned tomatoes found on the big breakfast.

Upon entering - The entrance leads straight to the counter where the first thing you see is a poster with the 2 main fry ups on offer. The garden to the rear is not obvious and could easily be missed. The weather was nice so we sat outside, its really peaceful and there are a number of big fish in a large pond to look at while you wait for your food to arrive. 9/10

Service - The lady at the counter didn't seem at all bothered about us taking 2/3 minutes deciding what fry up to go for, she even added mushrooms to Ella's at no extra cost. The food is bought out to you and sauces are offered by the friendly waitress. 9/10

Contents - I had the all day breakfast - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, fried bread, mushrooms, beans and bread & butter. The big breakfast is what to go for if you would rather have tinned tomatoes & hash browns instead of beans & mushrooms. A 3rd option would be spot on that contained everything, you can however add individual things if you want. 8/10

Presentation - The person serving it places everything correctly onto the plate and it certainly looks the part when it arrives. 9/10

The food - Good quality butchers sausages and tasty bacon, perfectly cooked fried eggs with runny yolks but not at all snotty, the best ever fried bread, lots of whole mushrooms that are a tad over oily, nice beans and lovely fresh white bread & butter. I also tried some of Ella's delicious tinned tomatoes and crisp, tasty hash browns. 9/10

Value for money - A lot of delicious food for less than a fiver. 9/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - You will not be disappointed by the Buttercross Tearooms, they certainly know how to make a decent fry up. 9/10

Thursday 3 June 2010

A closer look at The Kingfisher Cafe in Walcott as recommended by Simon Sadler

Kingfisher Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour
Coast Road
NR12 0AP

It faces the sea on Coast Road in Walcott and is easy to find.

There is plenty of seats outside and a cracking view.

The food here is bloody amazing and there is plenty of it.

Back in May whilst The Grit were doing a soundcheck at The Man on the moon pub in Cambridge Simon Sadler was telling me over a pint about a Cafe near to where he lived. He was telling me about how good the fry ups were at The Kingfisher Cafe in Walcott. Shortly after that he sent me a photo and told me about a fry up he had just had there, it looked and sounded well nice so I had to try it for myself. Me and Ella took a trip to Walcott in her pink Beetle and discovered it was well worth the trip!

Upon entering - You walk into the large cafe area and the guy on the till greets you. There are plenty of tables that are clean with clear menus displaying the selection of fry ups on offer. If the weather is good there is a large outside area facing the sea. 9/10

Service - I liked the way two people bought the food out so it all arrived at once, they check to see what sauces you need and bring them straight away. 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, lots of black pudding, 2 bacon, fried egg, fried potato slices, mushrooms grilled tomato and toast & butter. 8/10

Presentation - Everything sat side by side in perfect harmony on the plate and looked really impressive. 9/10

The food - The sausage and bacon were amazing quality and I imagine were sourced locally, the black pudding was the best I have ever eaten! Although im not a huge fan of fried potatoes on fry ups these were perfectly crispy but not greasy and complimented everything else really nicely. Delicious mushrooms that were not dripping in fat, a perfect fried egg and a tasty grilled tomato. The toast was sliced thickly and covered in butter. 9/10

Value for money - Worth every penny due to the quality of the food and size of it. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - This place is amazing, the owners are obviously proud of their fry ups and the quality shines through. It took me a while to decide what to order as there are 4 options available, 3 meat and 1 veggie. I payed £6.20 but for £7.40 another option is to lose the black pudding but get an extra egg, sausage, beans and fried bread. It's a bit off the beaten track but if your out that way do yourself a favour and try it. 9/10

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Pit Stop Restaurant - Santa Pod Raceway

Found beside the main strip @ Santa Pod Raceway

Unless you are planning on cooking your own this place is your only option.

It won't be winning any prizes for presentation and it didn't taste too good either.

Upon entering - Seeing the Pit Stop Restaurant for the first time with its blackboard outside displaying "Big Breakfast" did make me feel somewhat over the moon. The feeling of excitement did rapidly disappear as I entered the building though. A mass of dirty tables that needed clearing lead me to the counter where a selection of cooked breakfast items were on display. If it was anywhere else I would have left but the thought of a fry-up made me persevere. 3/10

Service - Tell them what you want, they pile it onto the plate and you pay, no smile included in the price. 3/10

Contents - Sausage, 2 bacon, fried egg, hash brown, fried bread, beans, tinned tomatoes, tea or coffee. 6/10

Presentation - Not good at all, the photo says it all really! Even if more effort did go into serving it what chance did it have on a polystyrene plate. The beans & tomatoes clearly were not happy and decided to escape. 3/10

The food - A sausage that was so economy I still to this day try not to think what it contained. Bacon with lots of fat (which I rather like) and not as bad as that sausage. A fried egg that most cafes would have binned half an hour before, it may well have been older than me! Fried bread that was cooked well but in really smelly old oil. Bits of tinned tomatoes and economy beans that seemed to swamp everything. 4/10

Value for money - Not worth the money but as it is the only place on site that sells a fry up they can charge what they want. It felt worth about £2.95. 3/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - If you are at Santa Pod for the weekend and must have a fry-up then making your own at the campsite has to be the better option. If you do try the Pit Stop then remember, you have been warned!! 4/10

Unthank Kitchen - Norwich

- Latest review can be found here -

117 Unthank Road

A small but nice outside seating area seems the best option if the sun is shining.

A good mug of tea is served here

£5.90 seemed a fair price for what was a bloody good fry-up! A bit of a shame about the square plate though, I have always hated eating off them.

Upon entering - Unthank Cafe is a popular and regular haunt for UEA students living around the Unthank Road area so expect it to be busy, especially at lunchtime. Having lived on or near Unthank Road for many years in the past I love people watching on Unthank Road and reminiscing about the past. Expecting it to be rammed I got there at 11am in the hope there would be a table outside, luckily there was so I went inside to order. The place is not very big inside but the menu on the counter clearly stated what was on offer. 7/10

Service - The lady behind the counter seemed very friendly, took my order of the £5.90 fry-up, gave me a mug of tea and told me to take a seat and she would bring it out. After just 10 minutes the food arrived, she left me to eat it in peace without asking every 5 minutes if it was ok. I don't mind being asked once but more than once becomes hassle and you usually always get asked as soon as you have filled your gob with food. Yep, good service! 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, beans, 2 fried eggs and toast & butter. They have a selection of fry-ups on the menu including a veggie option. 7/10

Presentation - Everything was presented nicely apart from the toast, it balanced on the edge of the plate in an unmelted butter kind of way threatening to pop the egg yolk. I could not ignore the fact it was served on a square plate which always plays on my mind and leaves me feeling a bit disturbed. 7/10

The Food - The sausages were excellent quality butchers ones with a hint of herbs and the bacon was clearly top notch stuff too. The hash browns were as they should be, nice and crispy and not dripping with oil. 2 perfectly fried eggs, good mushrooms and a nice amount of beans. The butter on the toast had not melted so I helped it on its way by putting bacon between it. 9/10

Value for money - Well worth what you pay as good quality items are used. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - Considering the location it is reasonably priced and a real bonus if you can eat outside. The service and food is really good but where was the fried bread, black pudding & tinned tomatoes? Well worth a visit if you are on Unthank road. 8/10