Sunday 28 January 2018

Bloomers & Danish - Norwich

2 Distillery Square

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday
8.00am till 2.30pm

Bloomers & Danish has been in Distillery Square in Norwich for as long as I can remember.

They sell a range of breads, cakes and savouries, all reasonably priced.

This isn't your standard bakery though as there's a seating area inside and outside.

They also serve hot food including breakfasts which are available until they close.

Sauces are basic and tea costs 75p a mug.

It may not have been the tidiest looking breakfast but considering the price tag of just £4.90 it offered a few pleasant surprises making it excellent value for money.

The sausages are superb and from P.B George butchers.

P.B George also supply the bacon.

And the black pudding.

The fried bread and toast is cut from a decent loaf made on the premises.

Eggs with crispy edges but intact yolks.

You get the option of beans or tinned tomatoes, I requested both. I love tinned tomatoes but if you prefer fresh tomatoes then they're available too.

My wife opted for beans, mushrooms and tomatoes on toast. She enjoyed it and it cost approximately £2 which was a bit of a bargain.

I can remember passing Bloomers & Danish back in 2010 and thinking how it had been there for as long as I can remember. I also noticed back then that they served a full English breakfast so added it to my list of places to visit. That visit never seemed to happen though as I feared a breakfast costing so little money would have cheap economy meats served on it. I put that idea to bed though as I passed it again late last year and noticed the meats used on the breakfast were from the legendary P.B George butchers on the opposite side of the square. It was definitely time to check out this breakfast so on a drizzly Saturday lunchtime my wife and I headed to Distillery Square for a spot of lunch...

Upon entering - Bloomers & Danish is a bakery with a seating area to one side and a counter to the other side, there's also further seating to be found outside. As well as a selection of bread and cakes they offer a breakfast menu which is available until they close. The interior felt quite dark and old school greasy spoon with chequered table cloths and cheap sauces in squeezy bottles. A menu behind the counter offers a selection of breakfast options, all at incredibly reasonable prices. Place your order and pay at the counter and everything is brought over to you when it's ready. It seemed like a reasonable enough place to sit inside but a tad tired looking, I imagine it's far nicer to sit outside in the warmer weather. 5/10

Service - We only encountered one person working here who I assume was the owner. A very friendly and likable chap who was happy for us to order whatever we liked. I ordered the large breakfast with beans as an extra and my wife ordered beans on toast with mushrooms and tinned tomatoes. We were given the option of tinned or fresh tomatoes and the food arrived in good time. We were asked if everything was ok and bid goodbye as we left. As service goes it was excellent here! 9/10

Contents - The extra large full English consisted of 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, 2 fried eggs, 1 hash brown, fried bread, mushrooms, a slice of toast and tomatoes or beans. I would have liked to have seen tomatoes and beans served with this breakfast with it being called extra large. You can just ask for both though and pay extra as I did. 8/10

Presentation - Everything arrived served on a large white plate with the toast and fried bread on the edge. Presentation was average at best, on a positive note the egg yolks and tinned tomatoes were intact and the toast was clearly cut from a quality loaf. The bottom of the eggs were quite crispy though and there was a lot of bean juice spreading out over the plate. 5/10

The food - I love P.B George sausages and the black pudding was excellent too. The bacon had great flavour but was a tad tough as it had been cooked slightly longer than I'd liked. The eggs were crispy on the bottom but did have intact yolks and tasted great. The fried bread was surprisingly good, a bit overdone in places but an excellent base for the fried eggs. The toast here was really nice and cut from a fresh loaf made on the premises. The hash brown could have been crispier and the beans served in far less juice, the fried mushrooms were rather nice though and it was a real pleasure to eat the tinned tomatoes. Everything was piping hot when it arrived and I certainly enjoyed eating this breakfast, butchers meats certainly make a big difference. 7/10

Value for money - What really impressed me about this place was the prices! I ordered an extra large full English breakfast with beans added and a mug of tea, my wife ordered beans, tomatoes and mushrooms on toast. The total price for everything was just £7.85, quite remarkable considering butchers meats are used on this breakfast. 9/10

Veggie option - There wasn't a veggie full English option but there is a veggie menu or you could as my wife did just order the items you want with some toast.

Overall - We weren't overly keen on the seating area inside but it was perfectly adequate and the outside seating area looked far more appealing during the warmer weather. The service and value for money here was excellent though and the food tasted good. You nearly always find economy meats on breakfasts costing less than £5. Thankfully though Bloomers and Danish insist on serving quality meats from the butchers opposite which is a great thing. 7/10

Sunday 14 January 2018

Denmark Cafe - Norwich

162 Sprowston Road

Opening hours
Tuesday - 8.30am till 1.45pm
Wednesday to Friday - 7.00am till 1.45pm
Saturday - 7.00am till 1.00pm

Parking available behind the cafe

I can remember eating breakfast here like it was a few months ago. Time flies by though and it was actually seven and a half years ago, so it was definitely time to revisit and write a new review.

The original sign with the steaming breakfast illustration still hangs outside.

Since my 2010 visit there had been a change in the colour scheme and there's also different tables and chairs.

 They're open from early morning till early afternoon so if you're looking for breakfast or lunch then you've certainly come to the right place.

The menu is fairly straightforward and one item change is permitted. The menu on the wall also informs you that hash browns and black pudding are available as extras at 80p each. Although not mentioned on the menu anywhere I'm reliably informed that fried bread is available too. A real shame it, wasn't listed anywhere though as I would definitely have ordered some.

Tea costs just 90p, sauces are basic and come in squeezy bottles.
I loved the sugar pourers, I have one in my kitchen at home.

The big breakfast was certainly a good size, filling a large oval plate and costing just £6.60 with black pudding added as an extra.

I couldn't resist an aerial shot.

At first glance I was curious about the quality of the sausages.

Once I cut through them though I was delighted to find a firm meaty texture. I later discovered they were from Hazel's butchers of Norwich.

The bacon was thick and delicious, the black pudding was pretty average.

I do love tinned tomatoes.

The potato slices were golden and crispy, the beans could have been hotter though.

They fry the eggs nicely here, the one on the right was perfect.


Nice runny yolks on both eggs.

Denmark Cafe was the 12th place to be reviewed on my blog back in June 2010, you can read that review here. Since then over 7 years had passed and the cafe had changed hands so I decided to revisit Denmark Cafe and write an up to date review. Thankfully it's nearby to where I live in NR3 so five minutes on my bike and I was there...

Upon entering - Outside the cafe looked exactly the same as it did in 2010, inside though things were looking slightly different. The layout remains the same with the kitchen and a seating area at the rear and a larger seating area at the front. The colour scheme has changed from green/cream to red/cream and the new tables and chairs make it feel much more lighter. It's definitely an old school style cafe which attracts many builders, that's good though as these places are getting harder to find. The menu can be found on the walls and beside the counter, it offers a big and small breakfast and also a vegetarian breakfast. A single item swap is permitted here so no need to tolerate an item you don't want on the plate. Drinks are reasonably priced and if you want to add black pudding or hash browns to your breakfast you have the option to at an additional cost of 80p for either item. I was surprised to not find fried bread anywhere on the menu, after my visit I was informed it was available if you ask though. This I found a bit frustrating as such a crucial item really needs to be made clear if it's an option, the menu is after all there to inform us what's available. Anyway, when you're ready to order head to the counter, tell them what you'd like and pay. The cutlery is on the counter so grab some and find somewhere to sit. A sugar pourer and condiments are already on each table, they include squeezy red and brown sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Food and drink is brought over to you when it's ready and as you've already paid you can simply leave when you've finished. So a simple ordering process that is unlikely to confuse anyone but the fried bread situation was quite frustrating, now you're reading this you'll know about the fried bread though so enjoy! 7/10

Service - The chap serving me was a man of few words but certainly friendly and efficient. I placed my order and he brought my tea over to me moments later. I then had a few precious minutes of the cafe being empty to take some photos, these moments are like gold dust so I seized the opportunity. Next the food was brought over, I didn't need to wait for anything as everything else I needed was right there in front of me. The chap returned to clear my plates after I'd finished eating, thanking me as he did so. 7/10

Contents - I choose the large breakfast and added black pudding as an extra which consisted of 2 slices. The other items on the plate were: 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, fried potato slices, 1 slice of buttered toast, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and beans. 8/10

Presentation - When a breakfast is placed in front of me I generally have an initial feeling of either my heart sinking or a feeling of joy, thankfully here it was the latter. The large oval plate proudly displayed the items all neatly served and looking nicely cooked. The eggs were quite impressive with intact runny yolks, served over ready buttered toast at either end of the plate meaning I could get stuck in straight away. 9/10

The food - I looked on curiously at the sausages wondering what to expect as I cut through them. Last time I was here the sausages were disappointing but the new management have acted on this and are now serving sausages from Hazel's Butchers in Norwich. The texture is firm and the flavour is good, it worked well on this breakfast. I was more impressed with the bacon though, nice thick rashers that were lightly browned all over, possibly from Hazel's butchers too but I couldn't be certain. The black pudding was ok, a tad mushy though, I prefer a slightly crispier edge. The toast was standard white sliced and a good base to eat the fried eggs from, fried bread would have been the perfect base though! The eggs were in good shape with no trace of uncooked egg white which is what I like to see. The yolks were a beautiful sight as I cut through them, both releasing a steady flow of runny yolk which seeped onto the toast. Saute potatoes usually divide opinions when served on breakfasts, I love them though as here they are beautifully cooked with a nice crispy edge. It's not often that I get served tinned tomatoes but when I do I savour every moment, I love them! The mushrooms were sliced and fried and the beans could have been slightly hotter. As a whole though a thoroughly enjoyable breakfast. 8/10

Value for money - The large breakfast with black pudding added as an extra and a mug of tea cost £7.50. Considering the size of the breakfast and the fact that butchers sausages are included it was excellent value for money. 9/10

Veggie option - 2 veggie sausages, 2 eggs, saute potatoes, mushrooms, beans or tomatoes and toast for £5.

Overall - A thoroughly enjoyable breakfast at a really reasonable price can be found here. For me it doesn't feel quite as special as some of the other NR3 breakfasts on offer but if your looking for a down to earth traditional breakfast in an old school cafe then Denmark Cafe is certainly worthy of your attention. I'm still a bit gutted about the hidden fried bread option but it's a good reason for me to return again and hopefully I won't wait over 7 years till my next visit. 8/10