Sunday 23 September 2012

The Old Bakery Cafe - Norwich

(Now Closed)   

33 Witard Road

All day breakfast available
Open from 7.30am (8.00 on Monday) 
until 3.00pm weekdays

9.00am until 2.00pm Saturday

The Old Bakery Cafe is located within a parade of shops on Witard Road.

Inside it is modern with a traditional twist, always nice to see gingham table cloths in a cafe!

There is a good and varied menu made up of quality items at great prices.

I am not a huge fan of sachets but more are available if you need them.

Chris cooked up a really enjoyable treat using free range eggs and quality meats, the sauteed potato slices were the best ever!

Toast and butter came with the breakfast, perfect to pop a fried egg on to.

And what great fried eggs they were, they couldn't have been cooked any better!

Sometime ago on my facebook page I was told about The Old Bakery Cafe by Chris the owner, he suggested I visit and try his breakfast. It always makes the visit a bit trickier when you are expected, especially with taking photos. I think I managed to pop in without Chris suspecting it was me at the time though!? 

Upon entering - There are plenty of parking spaces outside the cafe and a number of other shops including a great butchers G. Morris & son selling rotisserie chickens and amazing looking pies. G. Morris & Sons supply The Old Bakery Cafe with the sausages and bacon used in their breakfasts. The cafe has a counter and open plan kitchen towards the rear with tables towards the front as well as a few outside. The tables are covered in traditional gingham table cloths, each one complete with menu, condiments and a handy bowl to pop your tea bag in. There are newspapers to look at and wifi is available too. Place your order at the counter and everything is bought to your table when it is ready. 8/10

Service - The service here was very efficient and fairly friendly. I placed my order and before long the drink arrived followed by the breakfast. The tables were cleared and clean very quickly ready for the next customer. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, half a grilled tomato, mushrooms, saute potatoes, beans, 2 slices of toast and butter. 8/10

Presentation - A great display of colour and items that looked cooked really nicely, I knew I was about to eat something special. 8/10

The food - The quality sausages tasted fantastic with an excellent texture, the bacon was also good quality and full of flavour. The fried eggs with deep yellow yolks were cooked perfectly, I popped one on top of a slice of the hot buttered toast and it was a a joy to eat! Initially the idea of sautéed potato slices didn't really excite me too much but these were the best ever, fluffy inside with a crisp outside. The beans were rich in colour and the sauce was the perfect consistency, they accompanied the crispy potato wedges perfectly. Delicious mushrooms and a tomato full of flavour completed this fantastic breakfast that was cooked superbly and was a complete pleasure to eat! I can't think of any way the food could have been improved so... 10/10

Value for money - A breakfast this good at £5.45 is not to be missed! 9/10

Veggie option - Veggie versions of all the breakfasts are available with haloumi and veggie sausages. 

Overall - The Old Bakery Cafe is well worth a visit as the breakfast being served here is incredibly delicious and at a great price too. They offer good vegetarian options and outside catering as well. I certainly look forward to returning again in the future, great breakfast Chris, keep up the good work! 8.5

- Update February 2014 -

One of the veggie versions of the breakfasts at the Old Bakery Café, they also do an omelette breakfast.

- Update November 2014 -

The Old Bakery were trading for the last time today and to mark the event they were offering a final flourish breakfast. Chris kindly invited my wife and I along, we couldn't wait to try this breakfast, it sounded amazing!

When the breakfast arrived it looked stunning with an excellent selection of items, I love eggs so getting fried and scrambled was a real treat, there were two types of tomato too.

Here it is from a different angle, it even came with a delicious homemade muffin. This was a real taste sensation and massively enjoyable breakfast, lets take a closer look.

Creamy scrambled eggs, a lovely fried egg with runny yolk and a flavoursome tomato. 
The muffin was excellent and made a nice change to bread or toast. 

This side of the plate featured tomatoes on the vine, a juicy serving of beans and some lovely sauteed potatoes. The meats from the butchers next door (G.Morris) were fantastic, a Shrimpton's premium quality sausage, thick cut prime back bacon and black pudding. The bubble and squeak fritter with nutmeg was just spot on with a nice course texture, great taste and a crispy edge. I loved the baked stuffed mushroom with gran pedano, a perfect combination and something a bit different and special that worked nicely on a breakfast.

A birds eye view of this masterpiece!


 Served with the breakfast was a homemade mushroom ketchup, It was one of the nicest things I have ever tasted! We struggled to not eat it before the breakfast arrived and was delighted when Chris gave us some to take home with us, just amazing!

My wife chose the vegetarian option, this included marinaded haloumi and homemade sausage, both excellent. My wife really enjoyed this amazing combination and like me couldn't get enough of that mushroom ketchup. Certainly a really impressive final flourish breakfast menu and a real treat for the taste buds! Well done Chris and the Old Bakery Cafe team, you certainly made your last day one to remember with this stunning breakfast. 10/10 for sure, I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Friday 14 September 2012

Little Chef - Chicklade (A303)

***Now closed***

(near Hindon)

Breakfast served all day

From the outside it looked quite dated and not particularly inviting!

Inside was dated too looking like the last refurbishment may have taken place sometime in the 1990's.

The interior was quite plain and the view from the window looked out onto a petrol station forecourt.

The full breakfast menu can be seen here

The breakfast extra's option was a good idea so I added some mushrooms and black pudding to my early starter breakfast for just £1.49.

The mug of Lavazza coffee was great, cost just 99p when ordered with breakfast and was a much needed energy boost for the journey home.

Quality branded sauces in very clean bottles, nice!

When the food arrived it looked and tasted great!

Everything was piping hot and cooked really nicely.

Beans in a separate bowl, people either love it or hate it, I don't mind either way. Just pop them wherever you like on the plate and get stuck in! 

My lovely wife went for extra tomatoes on her breakfast and opted for toast. 

12 days after leaving Norwich we had been to 2 music festivals and visited Salisbury, Stonehendge, Bath, Bristol, Weston super Mare, Bridgwater and Glastonbury along the way. We were knackered and looking forward to getting home again but we still had a 320 mile drive ahead of us. As we drove along the A303 we decided to stop at the next services for some food, as I pulled into the services I spotted a Little Chef. I knew at once I was going to be eating one more fry up but to be honest wasn't expecting it to be anything special...

Upon entering - The Little Chef was located behind the petrol station with windows looking out onto the forecourt, it looked a bit shabby and quite dated as many Little Chef's often do. Inside was also looking very dated and felt a bit like walking through a time warp back to the 1990's. There was a counter to the left and a good choice of tables to sit at, a sign just past the door asked you to "wait to be seated." Each table had a menu on it and some salt and pepper. There was a full waitress service and everything, including sauces were brought to the table for you. It was not the most inspiring of places to sit and eat and although quite dated everything seemed nice and clean. 5/10

Service - We were shown to a table and given time to decide what we wanted, our order was then taken and special offers were pointed out to us. Drinks arrived first followed by cutlery, sauces and then the food. Somebody popped back to check everything was ok and we paid at the counter on our way out. The staff here seemed friendly, efficient and helpful. 7/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 bacon, slice of black pudding, 1 fried egg, 2 hash browns, fried bread, mushrooms and beans. 7/10

Presentation - As you can see in the photo, somebody enjoys their job and cared about how the food looked on the plate. When it arrived I was well impressed, everything looked great and I had a feeling it was going to be a pleasure to eat too! 8/10

The food - The pork sausage had a good texture, was cooked nicely and tasted great. The bacon was excellent as was the slice of black pudding. The crispy hash browns were lovely and the mushrooms fantastic. The fried egg was nicely formed but a tad runny on top of the yolk, not enough to cause a problem though. The fried bread was not crisp throughout but lightly fried and went well with the tasty beans on top. I didn't stop eating till everything was gone and thoroughly enjoyed it all. 8/10 

Value for money - I went for the early starter breakfast with 2 extra's, mushrooms and black pudding. With the coffee the total price came to £8.47. Services are always more expensive and considering how enjoyable this was I felt more than happy with the price. I like the savings that could me made from adding extra items and hot drinks too.  7/10

Veggie option - There was no set vegetarian breakfast on the menu but vegetarian sausages were available as extras so I guess something can be created.

Overall - I walked away impressed, the service was good and the food were great! The dining areas and buildings themselves are a bit shabby but once inside you soon get used to it. I imagine Little Chefs vary from place to place and I certainly got lucky as Chicklade had a good chef. I will probably never pass here again but if I did I would happily stop by for another breakfast. 7/10

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Search on for Britain's best builders breakfast are currently searching for the best builders breakfast in Britain, you can nominate your favourite place and find out more information here

Saturday 8 September 2012

Grove Lodge B&B - Weston Super Mare

1 Bristol Road Lower
Weston super Mare
BS23 2PL

Grove Lodge B&B is a short walk from the seafront and situated next to a large open park.

The bed was comfy enough and perfect before another four night festival.

The biscuits were a nice surprise.

This was easy, tick all the boxes and hand it in at reception! I was tempted to tick all the egg options too but thought that would be a bit cheeky so opted for fried egg.

I got a quick glimpse of the breakfast room when we arrived so took some photos whilst nobody was about.

This table I photographed was actually where we sat the next morning.

The sauce situation was looking good and if I was the "cereal inspector" I would have been delighted!

Not a particularly large glass of orange juice but the ketchup bottle was a good size.

When I asked for a coffee a whole cafetiere arrived, excellent!

Brown or white toast was available and it arrived in a toast rack.

Plenty of different items on the plate and presentation was good.

The fried bread was a great and the fried egg cooked nicely.

The economy sausage was the low point but overall a great breakfast.

Having left Bristol we headed to Weston super Mare, we wanted a bed for the night before spending a further four nights in the van at the second musical festival (Beautiful Days) on our trip. We were looking for somewhere that was not too expensive, had wifi, good parking and was en-route to Exeter. Grove Lodge B&B in Weston super Mare ticked all the boxes so we decided a day by the sea would be perfect before heading to Beautiful Days festival...

Upon entering - The room we stayed in was well equipped with everything you needed and the tea/coffee making facilities were good with the added bonus of 2 packets of biscuits. There was a breakfast form that needed filling in and handing in at reception the evening before breakfast. I had not come across this before but it seemed like a fairly good idea as it meant you got exactly what you wanted and knew what to expect when the breakfast arrived. The breakfast room was nice enough with the tables made up with everything you needed. There was a dresser with cereals, orange juice and sauces which you could help yourself to. Breakfast was served at 9am but you could have it earlier if you needed to and arranged it in advance with the owner. 8/10

Service - The staff were friendly and helpful during our stay at the B&B and very efficient at breakfast time too. We arrived at 9am, found a table, helped ourselves to some orange juice and within minutes our breakfasts arrived just as we had ordered them. The system here seemed to work really well, some people may not be keen on choosing their breakfast the night before but for me it was not a problem as I always know exactly what I want for my breakfast. 8/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 bacon, 1 fried egg (boiled poached and scrambled were an option if you preferred), 1 hash brown, fried bread, beans, mushrooms, tomato, toast & butter, orange juice and tea or coffee. (Cereal was available too) 8/10

Presentation - Everything was neatly placed on the plate with the fried egg perched on top of the fried bread, exactly where I wanted it. 8/10

The food - The sausage was very basic reminding me of the kind of sausages they used to serve at school. It tasted ok but was far from special with a soft  and squashy texture. The bacon was great and went really well between the hot buttered toast. The hash brown was cooked nicely and had a great texture. The fried egg was delicious and cooked just right with a nice runny yolk, it went perfectly with the golden crispy slice of fried bread. The beans were nice and hot, the tomato had plenty of flavour and the mushrooms were delicious. 7/10

Value for money - The double room for 2 people cost £60 for the night and included breakfast. The facilities here were good, the breakfast was great and there was plenty of it so it seemed like a fair enough price to pay. 7/10

Veggie option - I didn't spot any veggie alternatives on the breakfast menu.

Overall - A nice place to stay, centrally located in Weston super Mare with friendly staff running it. Everything was clean and tidy, the breakfast was cooked and presented nicely with a good selection of items on offer ensuring you would not leave hungry. 7.5

Sunday 2 September 2012

St Werburghs City Farm Cafe - Bristol

Watercress Road
St Werburghs

Breakfast served Wednesday to Monday 
10.00am - 12.00pm

St Werburghs City Farm is about a 30 minute walk from Bristol City Centre.

The city farm is impressive and also much of the food served in the cafe comes directly from the farm.

Breakfast is available from 10am till midday everyday except Tuesday when they are closed.

The first thing I noticed was the cafe's impressive and unusual design.

It was raining when I visited so I decided to eat inside but as you can see the outside dining area is excellent.

There is also a playground, perfect to keep the kids occupied.

I was impressed with how the cafe looked outside but once inside I was blown away with its incredible design, the most unique interior I had ever seen in a cafe!

It felt like I had walked into a hobbits house, the attention to detail was incredible!

The quality and finish was stunning.

A random silver shoe sat on the ledge beside us.

The counter is where you need to place your order and collect your drinks.

I was torn but wanted black pudding so went for the "Big Farmer"

The staff here are easy going and friendly.

David Bellamy had visited at some point too!

A friendly dog was roaming around the cafe and enjoyed being stroked by Matt. We were in Bristol to visit our friend Matt, he gave us an excellent tour of Bristol the previous day and recommended the cafe to us, thanks Matt!

The coffee was great and full of flavour.

Organic and soya milk were both available, you could add as much as you needed yourself.

This was the place to collect your cutlery and sauces.

The sauces sat in place on the table waiting for the breakfast to arrive.

The breakfast looked incredible when it arrived.

Beautifully seasoned and flavoursome tomatoes.

Both the sausage and black pudding tasted amazing.

The free range fried egg looked and tasted excellent.

After leaving Salisbury we stopped by Stonehenge to take a look and couldn't resist a few hours in the beautiful city of Bath. Our next place to spend the night though was Bristol and we were meeting up with a friend Matt who used to live in Norwich. Once in Bristol Matt showed us around some great places and we stopped at a few pubs for some cider. He told us about City Farm cafe, saying it served a nice breakfast and we agreed to meet there the next morning...

Upon entering - As I walked through the door I was gobsmacked by the amazing interior, I had never visited anywhere on my search for perfection as incredible and pleasing to the eye as this before! It was liking walking into a hobbits house high up in the trees with its beautifully hand carved tree like structure and randomly shaped windows looking out onto the real world outside. I was finding it hard to focus on anything accept how beautifully designed and incredible this place was, truly stunning! Ok.. so down to business, there are a number of blackboards displaying the food on offer and the counter is on your left as you enter. Place your order and pay for your food at the counter and it will be bought over when it is ready. There is an area to the right of the counter where drinks are placed allowing you to add your own milk, you need to collect your cutlery and any sauces you need from here along with salt and pepper. There are plenty of tables inside, most of them by the windows with a few in the middle. Outside is a large decked area with plenty more places to sit, this looks out onto an adventure playground so perfect if you want to keep an eye on the kids whilst chatting over a coffee with friends. 9/10

Service - The staff here were really friendly and didn't seem to be rushing about which gave the place a nice relaxed feel. I ordered the "Big farmer" breakfast and was told there was no spinach available as the heavy rain had prevented it from being picked from the local allotment. I was happy enough with the situation and it made me realise just how local and fresh the produce used in the cafe was. As there was no spinach I was offered extra tomatoes instead which sounded good to me. It took a fair while for the food to arrive but no problem as it gave me longer to take in the awesome cafe interior and when it did arrive it was well worth the wait!! 9/10

Contents - 2 sausage slices, 2 black pudding slices, 1 fried egg, roasted tomatoes, beans and buttered toast. 7/10

Presentation - The sausage and black pudding slices sat neatly along one side of the plate closely followed by a row of delicious looking seasoned tomatoes. A perfect looking fried egg sat on top of a generous pool of beans. A chunky slice of hot buttered toast perched on the edge looking great as everything else did. It all looked amazing, was placed beautifully and I was keen to tuck in! 9/10 

The food - The generous slices of free range sausage were delicious with a fantastic taste and texture, it made a nice change from standard sausages. The black pudding was great and the free range fried egg tasted fantastic and was cooked to perfection. The juicy tomatoes were beautifully seasoned and were the best I had eaten in a long time, i'm not a huge fan of tomatoes but these were something really special. The beans went perfectly with the thick buttered slice of toast that had been cut from a quality loaf. This was a hugely enjoyable breakfast to eat and it couldn't have been cooked any nicer than it had been! 10/10

Value for money - The "Big Farmer" breakfast cost £6.95, was cooked beautifully using local, free range and organic ingredients and tasted incredible. I also had the pleasure of spending an hour inside the most incredible looking cafe I had ever seen. Worth every penny! 9/10

Veggie option - Yes, City Grower for £5.75 which consisted of: Oat pudding, roasted tomatoes, egg, beans, local spinach and buttered toast.

Overall - Everything about City Farm Cafe was incredible, from the unique and visually stunning building it is housed in to the delicious food being served there. The staff are friendly, the food is locally sourced with much of it coming from the local allotment and farm itself and it is a great environment to sit and spend some time in. If you ever get the chance then be sure to pop in as you are in for a real treat! 9/10