Monday, 25 August 2014

River Garden - Norwich

36 Yarmouth Road

Breakfast served weekends only from 10am till 12pm

The River Garden is just over a mile away from Norwich Train Station along Yarmouth Road. We walked there, this was a good plan as we built up an appetite on the way and needed some exercise on the way back!

 This breakfast is only available for 2 hours at weekends.

Inside the River Garden is really nice, this area tempted us to sit down but we would be needing a table.

 This looked like a good place to sit, the sun was shining though so we looked for the garden.

The garden here is really nice with plenty of places to sit.

We sat right beside the river, a beautiful setting to enjoy breakfast!

Don't worry, I didn't give the sausage to the swan! Just showing you how close the river actually was to where we were sitting.

 A decent breakfast menu with a good vegetarian option. I had built up an appetite so decided on the biggest breakfast on the menu. The menu did contain some errors though, you will get toast with all breakfasts and an egg with the veggie breakfast.

 The Stokes ketchup was amazing.

Cutlery arrived next wrapped in a serviette.

 A decent cappuccino and sugar lumps.

A selection of brown and white toast arrived on a chopping board served with real butter. A good idea as this allowed plenty of space to spread the butter on.

 The big breakfast looked impressive when it arrived.

A pair of delicious Norfolk sausages and four slices of bacon, good job I was hungry!  

Golden and crispy fried bread, nicely reduced beans and tomatoes that tasted amazing! Could things get any better?

Yes they could! The mushrooms were excellent and the hash brown was homemade.

 The homemade hash brown was the best I have ever tasted, it was cheesy too resulting in something very special that your taste buds will thank you for.

 A nice pair of eggs completed this stunning line up.

Egg yolk seeping into the fried bread, this is what breakfast is all about!

One of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten, loved it!

My wife's vegetarian breakfast, the homemade vegetarian sausage was delicious but sadly the egg yolk was solid. She was very jealous of my hash brown and wished her breakfast had one on it, I shared mine with her though :-)

With my trip to Japan getting closer I was going to be staying in Norwich to save up as much money as possible. Having covered so much of Norwich now I was really delighted when my wife told me about River Garden now serving breakfast, then Tom contacted me saying he had eaten a decent breakfast there. My wife and I decided to go and try it out for ourselves, we walked there as the sun was shining knowing we would most likely appreciate walking it off on the way home...

Upon entering - The pub has a beautiful exterior compete with hanging baskets and a boat filled with flowers by the entrance. Inside there are various areas with different sized tables to choose from. The name of this pub suggested where we should be sitting on this beautiful sunny day though, so we headed out to the garden. The garden is really spacious with a number of tables right beside the river giving you a stunning back drop to enjoy whilst munching on your sausage. We were given a breakfast menu when we arrived, once you have decided what you want place your order and pay at the bar remembering to tell them your table number. Cutlery, sauces, drinks and the food will all be brought over to the table when it is ready. The peaceful surroundings of the garden looking out onto the river beside me certainly made this one of the nicest locations I had eaten breakfast at. The only downside is that the temperature of the food will decrease much quicker being outside. We felt the lovely view made it well worth while though and rest assured that everything arrives piping hot. One slightly confusing factor was the menu didn't mention that the standard breakfasts also include toast and the vegetarian breakfast includes and egg, remember to bear this in mind when ordering.  8/10

Service - We were greeted with a smile and immediately made to feel really welcome. We were given a breakfast menu and told we could sit anywhere we wanted. My wife placed the order at the bar leaving me to take some photos of the pub, she said the staff were really friendly and helpful. First the sauces and cutlery arrived closely followed by the hot drinks, shortly after that all the food arrived. Somebody came over and asked if everything was ok, they returned again at the end to collect everything. I was really impressed at their ability to carry everything that was on the table back to the kitchen in one go. Great service with a smile by a professional and friendly staff team is what you will find here, you won't be disappointed! 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 4 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, homemade hash brown, fried bread, beans, 2 large field mushrooms, tomatoes and toast served with real butter. 9/10

Presentation - I was really impressed when the food arrived at the table. Everything was nicely placed on the plate with the beans in a separate pot in a well reduced sauce. The sausages had split slightly but this was no huge concern, the fried bread looked crispy and the hash brown was making me curious. The toast served with real butter on a chopping board looked great and was the perfect surface to butter the toast on. 8/10

The food - The Norfolk sausages were really tasty with a good firm texture, definitely a decent breakfast sausage. The bacon was just as nice with a good flavour and some crispiness around the rind, quite a rare treat having four slices too! The highlight of this breakfast had to be the homemade hash brown, this recipe using cheese resulted in the best hash brown I had ever had the pleasure of eating. It tasted amazing and had a lovely crisp outer edge which combined with the soft centre gave it an excellent texture. My wife loved it as much as I did, she did wonder why the vegetarian breakfast didn't include one though, this was a very good point! The fried eggs were excellent with a nice runny yolk and the mushrooms tasted great. The fried bread was the type I always dream of, crispy throughout but not holding too much oil and golden in colour. The tomatoes were cooked nicely and packed full of flavour, often these days I find myself covering tasteless tomatoes in ketchup, no need to do that here though with these flavoursome gems. The beans were served in a nicely reduced sauce and the toast came with plenty of real butter. A really enjoyable breakfast, the hash brown was just out of this world but everything on the plate was excellent! I can't think of how anything could have been improved or cooked better so.. 10/10

Value for money - The River Garden big breakfast cost £9.95 and includes toast and butter. It certainly fills you up and tastes amazing so well worth the money. 8/10

Veggie option - Homemade vegetarian sausage, 1 egg, 1 mushroom, tomato, beans, fried bread and toast served with real butter £7.95

Overall - Stunning location, friendly staff and an excellent breakfast makes River Garden well worth a visit. Remember that breakfast is served only at weekends here though and be sure to try the hash brown. 9/10


  1. Looks far from a proper norfolk pork sausage more like a cheap frozen or richmonds kind. Apart from the sausage all looked great and it is a great place.

    1. Looks are of course important but ultimately it's down to the taste and texture, both were excellent in my opinion. Thanks for your visual opinion though ;-)

  2. Looks a good all rounder lovely eggs. They look nothing like a cheap sausage or even a RichMuck Mr Just Grub

    1. Cheers Mr Just Grub, I know you appreciate a good thing when you see it! :-)

  3. Wow what a brekko, 4 slices of bacon..for £9.95! Ok the sausages don't look great but as you say its the taste that matters, and I presume they split because they're natural casings. Lovely fried bread and like the cheese in the hash, nice change from the norm. River Garden has to go in the little black book of places to visit soon.

  4. Tried the River Gardens this morning and it was just the job, friendly, efficient service and good food. I am pretty sure that I had Lincolnshire sausages rather than Norfolk ones, lots of sage going on, but lovely regardless of county. I am going to work on them to see if I can get the dogs inside for winter.