Thursday 31 December 2015

Deepdale Cafe - Burnham Deepdale

Dalegate Market
Main Road 
Burnham Deepdale
PE31 8FB

Breakfast served daily
Summer - 7.30am till 11.45pm
Winter - 8.00am till 11.45pm

Plenty of parking spaces outside

Dog Friendly

Having heard about it on many occasions we decided to finally visit Deepdale Cafe on the North Norfolk Coast.

This was a good deal for local businesses, for others it gets more expensive though.

You will see the counter as you enter, pay here on the way out.

It was really busy when we arrived but we managed to get a table.

The website says they serve breakfast all day, prepare for disappointment if you arrive later than 11.45am though. 

 Plenty of hot drinks at a reasonable price.

The tables are already set with cutlery and serviettes.

Menus and the crucial breakfast sauces are on each table.

Inside the tin bucket you can find more sauces in sachets.

 The cappuccino was really nice.

A selection of sugar and sweeteners arrived with the hot drinks.

The local Parish News kept me occupied whilst I waited for my food to arrive.

The big breakfast cost £9.95, it looked great and was served on a nice hot plate.

The sausages here were really small, they tasted superb though as did the smokey bacon.

Excellent taste and texture!

Beside the Heinz beans sat a perfect looking fried free range egg.

It couldn't have been cooked any better, perfect!

The toast was cut nice and thick from a decent loaf and served with real butter. I thought the butter packets served on top of the toast slightly cheapened the overall appearance of this breakfast though.

A pair of nice crispy hash browns.

Really tasty mushrooms.

Excellent black pudding but quite bland tomatoes.

The veggie breakfast cost £7.95, my wife thoroughly enjoyed it. As I'm writing this I noticed that there's only one vegetarian sausage on the plate, the menu says it includes two though.

I'd lost count how many times I'd been told about Deepdale Cafe in Burnham Deepdale but I knew i'd make it out there someday to try their breakfast. This day finally came on 29th December, my wife and I fancied a walk along the North Norfolk coast and Deepdale Cafe seemed like the perfect choice...

Upon entering - The first thing I noticed was how popular this place was, it was really busy inside but luckily we spotted an empty table in the corner. The cafe is really big with a long counter as you walk in and a kitchen just behind that, the seating area inside offers different sized tables to suit couples and familys. I spotted more seating outside which looked perfect for the warmer months, dogs are also welcome wherever you choose to sit. The tables are already laid with cutlery, serviette, menus and sauces so take a seat and somebody comes over to take your order. On your way out stop by the counter to settle your bill. With it being so busy it was quite noisy so I was glad that we were able to sit by a window, I would have struggled to relax on a table in the centre. 7/10

Service - The staff here were really efficient but it certainly wasn't service with a smile. I wondered if it was due to it being the week between Christmas and New Year, nobody ever seems particularly happy about working during this time. We waited at the counter and told somebody we were here for breakfast, they looked up at the clock and told us to take a seat somewhere. The look at the clock made sense as soon as I saw the menu, despite the "all day breakfast" claim on the website the menu clearly stated that it was served only until 11.45am, we had only just made it with minutes to spare! Somebody came and took our order giving us the option of white or brown toast. Shortly after that our cappuccinos arrived, one had spilt and flooded the saucer. Later the food arrived and after the meal we went over to the counter and paid, we were asked if everything was ok and left. Nobody had smiled when serving us, we hadn't been made to feel particularly welcome but the service was efficient. 5/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 1 fried egg, 1 slice of black pudding, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, one slice of toast and butter. 8/10

Presentation - The breakfast looked great when it arrived and everything looked nicely cooked. A couple of things did occur to me though, the sausages were really small and I thought the butter packets served on top of the toast cheapened the appearance slightly. 7/10

The food -  The pork sausages may have been rather small but they had a nice firm, meaty texture and great taste. The smoked bacon was excellent and the black pudding had a nice coarse texture. The free range fried egg was really tasty and perfectly cooked with a deep orange yolk that seeped out when I cut through it. I popped the fried egg on top of the buttered toast, nice evenly toasted and thick cut slices. The hash browns were crispy, the mushrooms were full of flavour and the beans were Heinz. The tomatoes were quite pale and had very little flavour but everything else was delicious and arrived piping hot on a heated plate. 9/10

Value for money - A great breakfast but at £9.95 it seemed a bit overpriced considering it only came with one egg, the sausages were so small and it didn't include a drink. The £9 offer on the board outside which included a drink seemed like a much fairer price but that was for local businesses only. 5/10

Veggie option - 2 vegetarian sausages (my wife was only served one) 1 fried egg, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and a slice of toast served with real butter. £7.95 

Overall - Deepdale Cafe is clearly very popular and I love the fact they're dog friendly too. The breakfast is expensive but is really delicious and the quality of the ingredients really shone through. I do find service with a smile and a friendly welcome goes a long way though and for me this is what was missing here, it really does make all the difference! 7/10


Sunday 27 December 2015

Highlights of 2015


The year started off well when I decided to revisit Olives in Norwich, I loved what I discovered there! A breakfast that dared to be different and tasted so good my taste buds didn't know what had hit them. With a breakfast this good Olives were sent straight to the recommended section of the blog.

Later in the month The Fry Up Inspector breakfast served by Pandora's Kitchen in Norwich made it into Esquire Magazine's top 25 breakfasts in Britain, it reached no 10 in their list. A great achievement for an amazing local independent cafe serving this stunning breakfast!

More publicity followed with an article about my blog written by Stacia Briggs in local newspaper the EDP. Pandora's Kitchen kindly provided a breakfast and their upper floor for the photo shoot and I dared to partially expose myself in silhouette form for the article.

I ended January with a radio interview for Future Radio, you can listen to it here.


February's highlight was discovering Joe's Cafe in Brighton. I'd tried a number of places for breakfast in Brighton over the years but Joe's Cafe was the best by far, into the recommended section they went.


I'd been contacted by Goodies Farm Shop in Pulham Market, they told me they were proud of their breakfast and suggested I come along and try it. In March I drove out there for a late breakfast and was glad I did, it was really nice and everything on the plate was available in the adjoining farm shop. I contacted them regarding my visit but never heard back, strange considering they they were so keen for me to visit in the first place!


In April I visited Ipswich and was really impressed with the breakfast at The Woolpack, certainly the best breakfast I'd had so far in Ipswich. I'd hoped to return to The Woolpack again in November to try their Sunday lunch but I wasn't able to make it, hopefully I will sometime in 2016 though.

The French Food Adventure also happened in April, I was spending a couple of nights in Paris and then heading off to a music festival on the outskirts. From frogs legs to croque monsieur I was determined to try local classics and things I'd never tried before.


I forget how the Full English breakfast pie conversation started but I remember Chris Avey from The Old Bakery Catering rising to the challenge. The pie was delivered to my house and Chris had even kindly made a vegetarian version for my wife. Both pies were stunning, you can read about them here, thanks Chris!!

I love a good music festival and Bearded Theory in South Derbyshire was an excellent weekend! The weather was amazing for May, we saw lots of great bands and sleep hardly ever got a look in, the highlight was definitely discovering Jaya The Cat though.

It was also in May when BHS launched their "all you can eat for £3.99" breakfast.  I end up having a coffee in BHS once a week and always enjoy watching people ordering this breakfast. Most people ask for either one or two of each item but I watched a chap who asked for five of everything, he walked away at the end leaving an empty plate so fair play to him! The breakfast itself isn't particularly special but if you have just £4 in your pocket and are feeing really hungry then this is certainly the best budget option there is out there.


The Warwick Guest House in Margate was amazing, my wife had booked a weekend in Margate for my birthday and staying here was a real treat, especially at breakfast time!

The main reason for going to Margate was to visit Dreamland that had just reopened again following a huge restoration project. Forget Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, Dreamland was something much different to all the others out there, it took my right back to my childhood and had heaps of character.

There were plenty of other things to see and do in Margate on this hot June weekend which I wrote about in The Margate Adventure.


Just a week after returning from Margate and my case was packed once again, my destination this time was Spain. We visited the Psychobilly Meeting in Pineda De Mar and then moved on to Barcelona, we ended the trip with a couple of days in Valencia. Read all about it in the 2015 Spanish Food Adventure.

There was sad news at the end of July as we discovered that Jamie and Jacqui had sold House Cafe, it had been my favourite breakfast spot in Norwich for sometime now. They put on a special farewell breakfast during their last week which I knew I had to experience. Jamie and Jacqui's farewell breakfast at House Cafe was incredible, homemade corned beef hash, bubble and squeak, white pudding, black pudding and fried bread were added to this to this already stunning breakfast! Thankfully the new owners have kept everything the same at House Cafe so be sure to give it a look still for an amazing breakfast.


In August I headed off with a group of family and friends to Corfu, I hadn't been there since 1987 so and couldn't wait to see the place again. From the beaches of Dassia and Ipsos to the stunning sight of Mouse Island in Kanoni, I shared my experience in the Greek Food Adventure.

Later in the month on a wet August bank holiday I headed out to the Aylsham Show where I was highly commended in the Individual Food and Drink Awards


As the summer was drawing to a close I visited London for the day with my wife. We started the day with breakfast at Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park, this was clearly a good choice as the breakfast here was delicious!


During October I headed to Hethersett in Norfolk to visit Janey's Village Cafe. I really liked the breakfast being served there and they entered the recommended section of the blog.

I'd heard that The Muddy Cup in Norwich had been taken over so headed there for breakfast and wasn't disappointed. They remained in the recommended section of the blog and I finally got to try the delicious P.B George Guinness sausage.

Also in October was The Magdalen Street Celebration in Norwich. I found it to be a bit disappointing so to salvage the day my wife suggested calling into The Street Cafe for a late breakfast on the way home. The Street Cafe saved the day serving me the most amazing breakfast I can remember eating there!

I ended October by going for breakfast at Pandora's Kitchen in Norwich, the Fry Up Inspector breakfast was as always top notch. If you've tried it you'll know what I mean but if you haven't been yet then be sure to give them a look, a stunning breakfast!


Having revisited so many favourite places in October I decided to continue doing so in November by revisiting Bond Street Cafe in Norwich. They were still serving the same great bumper breakfast at just £6.

I also spent much of November adding to my other blog The Roast Inspector. I discovered some great Sunday lunches in Nowrich but my favourite was at The White Lion. A traditional pub serving incredible home cooked food, the 12 hour slow cooked brisket was to die for!


In December I revisited Harty's Diner in Norwich, I've loved this place for many years now and it was still serving that same great builders breakfast. This place has heaps of character and owner Jim ensures there's always plenty of banter to go around too, a classic gem that has stood the test of time!

The final highlight of year happened in London at Polo Bar, I stopped by here to try their delicious Santa's big breakfast. The traditional full English breakfast had been slightly tweaked with pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce and festive beans. The combination worked really well and Polo Bar were the only place I could find serving a Christmas breakfast.

Thanks to everyone that reads the blog and supports what I do! I'm looking forward to searching out more great breakfasts in 2016 and can't wait to visit Japan once again, Happy New Year!! 

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Harty's Diner - Norwich

61 Heigham Street

Opening hours
Monday to Friday - 7am till 1.30pm
Saturday - 7am till 12.15pm

I discovered the amazing breakfast at Harty's Diner back in September 2010, it still remains one of my favourite places so I decided to write a more up to date review.

 The big breakfast costs £5.70, the small breakfast £4.20 and extras are 90p each.

They were recently awarded the five year certificate for consistently achieving a five star rating of food hygiene. 

This is the main seating area, through the archway by the door is another more secluded area. The interior is well lit and nicely laid out, a great place to sit and enjoy a spot of breakfast.

Squeezy sauce bottles, condiments and a classic sugar dispenser can be found on each table.

A coffee here costs just £1.50.

I ordered the big breakfast with black pudding and mushrooms as extras, it comes with bread and butter too. This is a real working man's breakfast that tastes superb and always looks great when it arrives, I love this breakfast!

The bacon ended up between these fluffy white slices of bread, delicious!

I do love tinned tomatoes and they go perfectly with this breakfast, great mushrooms too.

Nice plump sausages and juicy bacon.

A nice slice of black pudding and beans. You can choose between beans or tomatoes but they are always happy to serve half and half, an option I always go for.

The eggs and fried bread are always presented this way here, the tell tale sign of a Harty's breakfast!

Crispy golden fried bread and nice runny yolks.

I first discovered Harty's Diner in September 2010 (read that review here) and it was the first breakfast I got really excited about since starting my blog. The diner had a nice atmosphere and the workers that frequented it seemed to all know it was the place to go for a delicious and affordable breakfast. Over five years on I decided to return and write a new review for one of my favourite Norwich cafes, the perfect excuse to try that amazing Harty's breakfast once more! As they open nice and early I was able to call in before going to work, I parked up outside and headed inside once more...

Upon entering - The diner is clean and bright with nicely spaced out tables, off to one side through an archway is one more secluded table. The menu can be found above the counter where you place your order and pay, cutlery can be found here too so be sure to take some before sitting down. Each table has a small tray with a neatly clustered selection of condiments, sauces and a classic sugar pourer. Harty's diner is a firm favourite for many of Norwich's workers who frequently stop by here for breakfast. It's really nice to hear the banter between the customers and the owner Jim as he delivers breakfasts and clears tables. The ordering process here is nice and straightfoward, the diner is a nice environment to spend time in and it certainly has heaps of character. 9/10

Service - Jim and his wife seem to have created a system at Harty's Diner that works beautifully, they never appear flustered, the place always looks spotless and you never have to wait very long before the food arrives. I placed my order and was given options on fried bread or toast and beans or tomatoes, Jim is happy to offer half and half on the beans and tomatoes so definitely a good option and you receive a generous amount of both. I paid and sat down with a nice white coffee, next the food arrived looking superb as always. The service here is friendly, efficient and you're made to feel welcome. 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 1 slice of black pudding, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices of fried bread, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beans and a slice of buttered bread. 9/10

Presentation - There's a distinct way the items are presented at Harty's Diner. The eggs sit with the fried bread laying gently above them, the bacon and sausages are together and beside them the beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. It always looks nicely cooked and I've never spotted an overcooked or split yolk here. 9/10

The food - The pork sausages served here are plump and juicy with a nice firm texture, the bacon is great too, nice big slices cooked on the griddle. The black pudding was a standard slice cooked just right and the mushrooms were deep fried and tasty. The fried bread is always perfect here, golden and crispy but not holding excess oil. I laid the nicely cooked fried eggs on top of the fried bread, as I cut through the eggs a nice runny yolk seeped out. The tinned tomatoes go perfectly with this breakfast and always arrive in good shape without flooding the plate. The beans were nice and hot and the sliced white bread was really fresh and fluffy. A classic builders breakfast that would set you up for the day and should you be suffering from a hangover I'm convinced this would be the best cure. 10/10

Value for money - The large breakfast cost £5.70, extras were 90p each and a coffee cost £1.50. The bill came to £9, the breakfast tasted great and I didn't eat again until the evening, well worth the money! 9/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - Harty's Diner remains one of my favourite breakfast establishments in Norwich. The workmen and locals flock here for good reason, the breakfast is consistently excellent, the service is efficient and friendly and the diner has a great atmosphere. Because of this Harty's Diner continues to successfully exist as it has for many years now and it certainly offers something far more special than you will ever find in Costa or Wetherspoons. If you haven't been to Harty's Diner yet then be sure to give it a look, I can't wait to return again! 9/10