Tuesday 4 October 2016

Cafe Britannia at Guildhall - Norwich

Norwich Guildhall
Guildhall Hill

Breakfast served
8am till 11.30am daily

Cafe Britannia can be found inside Norwich's stunning Guildhall, a listed medieval building which was built in the 1400's.

The beautiful setting of the Guildhall makes for a pretty impressive dining area.

The counter displays a selection of delicious looking homemade cakes, behind the counter is the kitchen.

If you head up the stairs you'll find even more tables overlooking the main area.

I was surprised to find a limited breakfast menu here, the Kings breakfast  was nowhere to be seen. You have to visit Cafe Britannia on Britannia Road for their bigger range of breakfasts. 

The tables are already laid out with most the things you'll need, sauces are offered once the food arrives.

A small Americano cost £1.75 

Nicely browned toast and plenty of real butter comes with the breakfast.

The Queens breakfast was slightly disappointing and didn't fill me up for very long.

The best ketchup sachet I've come across yet, a generous 40g portion by Stokes.

I've been to Cafe Britannia on Britannia Road a few times for breakfast in the past, the breakfast has always been very good and the cafe is a clearly a popular choice as it's always really busy. When Cafe Britannia opened another cafe at Norwich's Guildhall in the City Centre earlier in the year it was only a matter of time before I went along to try their breakfast. I finally made it along there on a Saturday morning, my wife was busy working so I was on a rare solo breakfast inspection...

Upon entering - I love the Guildhall, a stunning building that catches my eye every time I pass it. In 29 years of living in Norwich though, this was the first time I'd ever been inside. The cafe is inside the former court room at the Guildhall and if you look around you'll see evidence of its former life. The ground floor dining area has plenty of nicely spaced out tables and even more tables can be found if you head upstairs. The decor compliments the Guildhall surroundings really well and the large windows ensure plenty of natural light floods in. Once you've taken a seat a menu is brought over and somebody will later return to take your order, everything you need is already on the table except for sauces which are offered when the food arrives. I was really impressed with the generous 40g Stokes ketchup sachets that are used here, a quality sauce! After you've eaten you can settle the bill at the counter or possibly wait and somebody will bring the bill over to you. I loved dining inside the Guildhall, there's never a dull moment with such a stunning building surrounding you and Cafe Britannia have made really good use of the space. 9/10

Service - All the staff here seemed really friendly and helpful. I was greeted when I entered, shown to a table and given the breakfast menu. I was a bit disappointed not to see the Kings breakfast (served at Britannia Road) on the menu, I briefly considered ordering the Queen's breakfast twice but didn't wasn't to appear greedy so thought better of it. Whilst ordering the Queen's breakfast I was given the option of fried or scrambled eggs and brown or white toast. The food took slightly longer than I was expecting to arrive considering there were only a few other customers, it may well have just felt longer though as I was on my own today. Whilst waiting for the food to arrive it gave me plenty of time to enjoy my coffee, admire the building and take some photos. I was offered sauces and asked if everything was ok during the meal. Certainly a friendly front of house team working here who looked after their customers. 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 bacon, 1 egg, 1 hash brown, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and a thick slice of toast served with real butter. 6/10

Presentation - Everything was neatly laid out on the plate, the beans were served in a bowl and the toast came on a side plate with butter sachets. Despite the tidy appearance the breakfast had very little visual impact and didn't really excite me very much at all. The fried egg looked rather nice but everything else looked a bit lifeless. 5/10 

The food - The locally sourced sausage and slice of bacon seemed slightly overcooked and quite tough, I didn't particularly enjoy either. The fried egg was really nice though, in good shape and complete with an intact runny yolk. The portion of beans was really generous, I poured them over the thick slices of nicely browned buttered toast and they flowed over the base of the plate almost completely covering it. The tomato had good flavour but more cooking would have improved it and the same can be said of the hash brown, it was hot enough but not crispy. The mushrooms were cut into small pieces, they were reasonably nice and there were plenty of them. 5/10

Value for money - The Queens breakfast included toast and cost £5.95, with a coffee costing £1.75 my total spend was £7.70. Cheaper than the average breakfast but smaller too so you will most likely be needing lunch a few hours later. The stunning surroundings of the Guildhall and excellent service do make it seem slightly better value for money though. 6/10

Veggie option 2 Quorn sausages, 1 egg, 1 hash brown, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and a slice of thick cut toast with real butter for £5.95.

Overall - Stunning surroundings, excellent service but a slightly disappointing breakfast. Perhaps the kitchen here isn't as well equipped as the one at Britannia Road, who knows. I much preferred the breakfast at Britannia Road and liked the choice of breakfast sizes on offer there too, double sausage, bacon and eggs is a must for me. That said though I really liked the Guildhall environment and the excellent service made the experience feel quite special. 6.5/10


  1. First impressions...what 'chef' would place a bowl of beans on top of the mushrooms..lack of care and attention. The rest looks ok, tomatoes seem to be seasoned (hallelujah), the egg is overcooked for me, but ok, £5.95...probably worth it.

  2. Please remember that you can also have a tour of the whole Guildhall with a knowledgeable Guildhall Guide every Monday at 2.0 p.m. The cost is £5, including a cuo of tea or coffee in CafĂ© Britannia. No need to book.