Sunday 19 February 2017

The Plasterers Arms - Norwich

43 Cowgate

Breakfast served
Saturday and Sunday
10am till 2pm

I walk past The Plasterers regularly but hardly ever go inside. As soon as I'd heard they were serving a Full English breakfast though I was there like a shot!

We arrived just after they had opened at 10am so it was nice and peaceful inside.

There's plenty of tables to choice from, we decided to sit by the window for the best light to take photos in.

The Plasterers serve a vast selection of beers, ales and ciders.

They also serve Voodoo Daddy's pizzas, I've tried the beast and the fat Elvis before and both were superb pizzas. 

Outline magazine is available to read whilst you're waiting for your food to arrive.

The breakfast menu is reasonably priced and offers a good selection of fry ups, breakfast rolls and bloody Marys.

My big boy fry included a hot drink, I chose a coffee. The milk for the coffee arrived in a small glass which served its purpose quite nicely!

If you like hot sauces then you'll love it here. I'm not personally a fan of hot sauces but my wife loves them and I really appreciated the bottles of Heinz and HP. 

When the food arrived first impressions were good, very tidy presentation!

This breakfast definitely deserved an aerial shot!

The jumbo sausages were huge and tasted good, they were from nearby Peter's butchers.

Very impressive eggs, I usually like the tops of the yolks cooked ever so slightly but these eggs were superb.

Beautifully fried mushrooms and very tasty tomatoes.

The hash browns could have been a tad crispier but not really an issue at all considering how good this breakfast was.

The breakfast also included toast, I enjoyed the eggs over one slice and the bacon between another slice.

There isn't currently a vegan option on the menu but the staff were happy to let my wife choose the items she wanted on her breakfast. They told us they're working on creating a vegan breakfast which they hope to add to the menu soon.

I'd seen The Plasterers breakfast ad in Outline Magazine sometime ago now but was under the impression that it consisted of just breakfast sandwiches, cereals and bloody Marys. Then somebody posted a photo on my facebook page of a full English they'd eaten at The Plasterers. Less than a week later and my wife and I were making our way there to try it out for ourselves...

Upon entering - The Plasterers Arms is traditional real ale pub that looks great and feels really relaxing as soon as you walk in. There are different rooms to sit in with a selection of different sized tables to choose from. We chose the really big table at the front by the window for maximum daylight and plenty of space to spread everything out. The breakfast menu is only available at weekends but is served until 4pm, perfect if you're nursing a hangover from a late one at Karma Cafe but need a fry up to make you feel sane again. The menu offers a selection of filled rolls, bloody Marys and cooked breakfasts, there's a veggie fry up available and a vegan fry up is being added to the menu soon. Choose what you want from the menu, place your order and pay at the bar, everything's brought over when it's ready. The sauce selection is impressive here with not just the usual Heinz and HP but also Sriracha and Kan Kun sauces for those that want to give their breakfast a hot kick. I'm not a fan of hot and spicy but my wife made a beeline straight for the Sriracha sauce. It was certainly a very pleasant place to enjoy a spot of breakfast and at 10.30am very peaceful and relaxing too. 8/10

Service - The staff here were helpful, relaxed and really friendly from the moment we arrived. We were already aware that a vegan breakfast wasn't currently available on the menu but the staff were more than happy for my wife to choose the items that she wanted on her breakfast. With our order placed and paid for at the bar we sat down to have a quick browse through Outline Magazine, for possibly the first time ever we didn't recognise anyone we knew in the caught out section, must be a first! The drinks were brought over to us, they couldn't find the tea spoons so bought us a table spoon instead, no worries it got the job done! The milk arrived in a very ornate sherry glass, again it done the job and looked really pretty. Next to arrive were the sauces stored neatly in a takeaway beer carrier (nice touch!) and cutlery wrapped in a serviette. Shortly after this the breakfasts arrived with a side plate of toast. Our plates were cleared away at the end and we were asked how everything was, this was a good opportunity for me to find out who supplies the meats and for my wife to ask about a Vegan fry up. We discovered that the ingredients used on the breakfasts are sourced as locally as possible which makes perfect sense and a vegan breakfast is being added to the menu soon. 8/10

Contents - (Big Boy Fry) 2 jumbo sausages, 3 slices of bacon, 2 slices of black pudding, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, beans, tomato, 2 slices of toast and a hot drink. 9/10

Presentation - Very tidy indeed, beautifully presented and the plate was just the right size for the amount of food on it. The eggs were looking perfect and I loved the way one of them was draped over the sausage with the yolk clinging on for dear life. The hash browns and tomatoes were looking like they could have been cooked for slightly longer but there was no doubt in my mind that this breakfast looked impressive. It was a very photogenic breakfast and it seemed a shame to cut into it, I had a job to do though so I freed the cutlery from the grip of the serviette and got on with it. 9/10

The food - It's not often that I come across jumbo sausages on a breakfast and having two meant there was certainly plenty of meat on the plate. The sausages from the nearby butchers (Peters) were a great choice, a nice thick meaty sausage with a good firm texture and great taste. The bacon was really nice too, browned in places and delicious between a slice of toast covered in ketchup. The black pudding was fairly standard and cut quite thin and the hash browns could have been crispier, both still enjoyable though. I'm always slightly concerned when eggs are served sunny side up in case a raw egg white flood occurs. Thankfully the chef here knows his stuff though, the fried eggs were spot on and a real pleasure to cut into. The tomato was full of flavour, the mushrooms were perfectly cooked and the beans were as you'd expect. The toast was standard white sliced, an ideal base to pop the yolks onto from those great fried eggs. 8/10

Value for money - For just £7 the Big Boy Fry is excellent value for money. There's a lot of meat on the plate and it comes with toast and a hot drink too, bargain! 9/10

Veggie option - 2 veggie sausages, halloumi, hash browns, grilled tomatoes and all of the trimmings £5.

Overall - Just when I thought NR3 couldn't get any better for breakfasts The Plasterers add to the excellence! If you fancy a pint of real ale with your breakfast or just prefer a pub atmosphere then The Plasterers is well worth visiting. The friendly service and relaxing atmosphere of the pub make it a good place to enjoy the great breakfasts being served here. Remember they only serve breakfast at weekends but with them being served till 4pm there's still time to enjoy the best hangover cure even after the latest of nights out. 8.5/10 

 Update - January 2018

The big boy now costs £9 and no longer includes a hot drink, still a lot of fry up for your money though. There's now a vegan breakfast on the menu too which delighted my wife.

It was lunchtime so instead of a coffee I enjoyed a Juicy 4pm ale with the big boy breakfast, A great combination!

The vegan breakfast, they'd run out of Tofurei sausages but the jumbo replacement was superb.

Monday 6 February 2017

Scooters Cafe - Acle

The Street
NR13 3QJ

Breakfast served all day

Opening times 
Monday to Friday - 8.00am til 4.00pm 
Saturday - 8.30am till 4.00pm

Free parking available at Recreation Centre  


Scooters Cafe can be found on The Street in Acle, it was very easy to find.

As soon as I arrived in Acle there were signs directing me to the nearby car park on Bridewell Lane. You can park there for free for up to 2 hours.

The scooter theme is apparent as soon as you enter with Lambretta and Vespa posters hanging from the walls. 

More scooter memorabilia can be seen in this display case, there's also an impressive selection of cakes and sausage rolls on offer.

The breakfasts are reasonably priced and available all day. I liked the option to add an additional item but deciding which one to choose wasn't easy!

I usually have a cappuccino with breakfast but fancied tea instead today.

A nice mug of tea with the teabag left in cost just £1.25 and arrived with a biscuit. I was really liking this place already!

A neatly presented selection of good quality sauces and condiments can be found on each table. 

When the food arrived it was certainly a beautiful sight! Toast is included in the price, you can choose between brown or white and it comes with real butter and marmalade.

This breakfast definitely deserved a birds eye shot.

I was quite surprised to discover these were Archers sausages, I would never have guessed at the time as they looked different when deep fried.

Once cut into the sausages revealed a nice meaty texture and superb flavour.

I couldn't resist ordering some black pudding too.

The sauteed potatoes here are really nice.

Some excellent bacon and the beans were cooked until the sauce thickens.

I chose bubble and squeak as my extra item, a very wise decision indeed!

Seasoned tomatoes and a great pair of fried eggs.

Just look at that yolk, these free range eggs had so much flavour! 

I'd heard about Scooters Cafe in Acle sometime ago now and had planned on visiting if I ever happened to be passing. This plan changed though on 8th January when Ashton Skene posted a photo of his breakfast at Scooters Cafe onto my facebook page, it looked so good! I definitely needed to make a trip out to Acle to check it out myself. I eventually decided to visit on a Friday after I'd finished work at lunchtime, ideal as they were serving the breakfast all day. From leaving work I was in Acle about 20 minutes later, the free car park was well signposted and just around the corner I could see the cafe in the distance...

Upon entering - The cafe is quite small but once inside I spotted more seating up the steps in the counter area, I also overhead somebody mention seating in the rear. If the weather is warm enough there's always the option of sitting outside too, I'm sure this is a popular spot in the summer. The red, white and black interior looks superb, the aluminium stripe along the wall and chrome furniture give it a really clean and modern look. The scooter theme has been done really well with a selection of large Vespa posters on the wall, memorabilia in the display case and Lambretta mugs. The tables have a decent selection of quality sauces, salt, pepper and sugar neatly huddled together in a chrome rack so no waiting around for sauces to arrive here! It's full table service so just find a seat and relax, somebody will soon be over to take your order. This place had a really nice feel to it, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the world go by as I sat with my mug of tea waiting for the food to arrive. 9/10

Service - The service here was excellent and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I placed my order and was given the choice of white or brown toast. I ordered an additional item (black pudding) and only realised when writing this that I didn't get charged for it so thanks for that! The tea arrived with the tea bag left in so I could choose my desired strength and a biscuit perched on the edge of the saucer, both nice touches. I was offered the wifi password which was really handy as my phone signal in Acle wasn't very strong at all. There was just enough time for a quick look on facebook and twitter before my food arrived. The plates were claered away after I'd finished eating and I paid at the counter on my way out. 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, bubble and squeak, sauteed potatoes, 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and toast. 9/10

Presentation - The breakfast was served on a large white plate and the food covered it entirely. One of the sausages had split (possibly been deep fried) and the black pudding was crumbling slightly but everything else was looking in good shape. 8/10

The food - I was curious about the sausages and couldn't identify them at the time, I later discovered they were from my favourite butchers in Norwich, Archers. They tasted superb but seemed a tad drier than usual, possibly due to being deep fried. The bacon was excellent with plenty of flavour, perfect between some buttered toast with a squirt of Heinz ketchup. Bubble and squeak is a rare treat so I was delighted to see it on the menu, a decent sized slab is served up here and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Something else I don't come across very often is sauteed potatoes, they were delicious with a golden crisp outside and fluffy centre. The tomato was seasoned and flavoursome, the beans were served in a nice thick sauce and the mushrooms appeared deep fried. One thing that really stood out on this breakfast was how much flavour the free range eggs had, the runny yolks were a nice deep yellow and on top of some buttered toast they were a real joy to eat. 8/10

Value for money - The large all day breakfast which includes toast costs £8.75, add a mug of tea at £1.25 and you've definitely spent £10 wisely. The portions are generous and the food is delicious. 8/10

Veggie option - 2 vegetarian sausages, 2 eggs, mushrooms, sauteed potatoes, tomato, beans and toast (with either) hash browns, extra sauteed potatoes or bubble and squeak. £7.25.

Overall - If you live in Acle then you're lucky to have such a decent local cafe serving a great breakfast. If you don't live in Acle then I suggest making a trip out there, it was just a 20 minute drive from Norwich and a similar distance from Yarmouth. The cafe has heaps of character, the staff are friendly, the food is very good and the portions are generous. I'm glad I finally made a trip out to Scooters Cafe and would definitely return again. 8.5/10