Monday 26 February 2018

The Mulberry Tearoom - Sheringham

44c Station Road
NR26 8RG

Breakfast served all day
9.00am till 3.30pm
Closed Mondays

A spontaneous day out in Sheringham started with breakfast at The Mulberry.

Inside it was traditional and warm, a nice relief from the freezing cold temperatures outside.

Choosing which breakfast to have here was quite easy.

Drinks were reasonably priced.

I'll always welcome a chocolate with my coffee.

I'm not a huge fan of sachets but there was certainly a good choice here. 

The Full breakfast cost £6.95 and the beans were touching everything.

The sausages were ok.

A Lincolnshire sausage I believe.

I love crispy bacon rind.

The fried egg lay perfectly positioned across a slice of fried bread. 

Great fried bread it was too, golden and crispy just how I like it.

A runny yolk revealed.

The mushrooms were dark and quite slimy, they tasted ok though.

I've not seen a tomato presented like this since the 1970's.

I filled it with ketchup as tasteless tomato panic set in. There was really no need though as it was quite a flavoursome tomato.

My wife's vegan breakfast included toast and cost about £6. 

It was a cold Saturday morning and my wife and I had nothing planned for the day. Around 8.30am my wife suddenly suggested catching a train to the coast. The sun was shining and we'd been given a weekend warrior fitbit challenge so I was game, a great opportunity to get some steps in and an even better opportunity to review another breakfast. A quick look on trainline and we'd decided to catch the 9.45am train from Norwich to Sheringham. The Mulberry Tearoom seemed to offer vegan options for my wife and was close to the train station in Sheringham so that would be our first port of call...

Upon entering - Tucked away in a small alley off Station Road we spotted The Mulberry. The interior is fairly spacious with plenty of tables to choose from, there's also some tables outside in the alley. It was nice and warm inside which was sheer bliss as outside there was a harsh icy wind. We chose a table beside the window which was set for four people, it was quite a narrow table compared to the ones in the centre but was just big enough for the two of us when the breakfast later arrived. There's a menu on the table and additional options including a vegetarian menu and specials displayed on the wall. Sauces are in sachets and already on the table along with salt, pepper and sugar. It's full table service here so your order is taken at the table and you settle your bill at the end. Quite a pleasant place to enjoy a spot of breakfast and certainly warm and cosy which was much needed on a bitterly cold day. 7/10

Service - Attentive and efficient springs to mind when summing up the service we encountered here. Front of house staff were on standby the moment we walked in and somebody was over with pencil and pad ready to take our order before I'd even had time to find the breakfast section inside the menu. Initially I felt slightly rushed but the chap taking our order was so friendly and helpful the over enthusiasm was soon forgiven. My wife asked about a vegan breakfast and was told about the vegetarian breakfast which could be served without an egg. With our order placed the hot drinks arrived first, my coffee included a small chocolate which was a nice little touch. The food all arrived in good time and we settled our bill on the way out. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, fried bread and 2 slices of toast with butter. 7/10

Presentation - The beans were literally touching everything else on the plate which isn't an issue for me but it could well be for others based on the feedback I read on my facebook page. All the other items surrounded the bean lake in the centre of the plate, the fried egg lay across a fried bread raft dipping it's white into the beans below. The tomato looked like it was going to a 1970's fancy dress party sporting it's tomato flower lookThe toast was evenly browned and served on a side plate with the butter underneath to allow it to soften slightly. To be honest the breakfast didn't visually excite me very much but the presentation was fairly tidy. 7/10

The food - I'm pretty sure the sausages served on this breakfast were a Linconshire variety, they really reminded me of the sausages served in Wetherspoons. So not great sausages but reasonably nice and adequate enough on this breakfast. I was more impressed with the bacon though, the rind was browned and and it tasted great. I covered both rashers in ketchup and enjoyed them between some hot buttered toast. The highlight for me was the fried bread, golden and crispy throughout resulting in the perfect crunch but not saturated with oil. This was the best fried bread I've eaten in a long time and my wife didn't want hers so I wasted no time in adding a second slice to my plate. I covered one slice in beans and the other was already topped with a fried egg. The well basted egg contained a nice runny yolk that sunk into the fried bread when I cut into it, this combination was the most tastiest moment of the breakfast for sure, loved it! I had very little faith in a winter tomato having much flavour so I drowned it in ketchup. I really shouldn't have been so hasty though as underneath the ketchup lay a flavoursome roasted tomato. The mushrooms I gazed at wondering if they were the dreaded tinned variety as they looked dark and slightly slimy. Having tasted one though I felt sure they were fresh ones that had been steamed perhaps. All in all a pretty average breakfast really but that fried bread was superb! 7/10

Value for money - The full breakfast cost £6.95 and included toast, with a coffee costing £1.80 it brought my total spend to £8.75. 7/10

Veggie option - 2 vegetarian sausages, fried bread, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and 2 slices of toast served with butter.

Overall - A nice little tearooms with friendly and efficient staff serving a nice enough breakfast. Fans of black pudding may despair as it's not available here and neither are hash browns. It does offer a vegetarian option and has an impressive vegetarian menu too but the vegan option was fairly basic. If you love fried bread though then you may well want to check this place out as it was pretty impressive! 7/10

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Pye Baker - Norwich

132 Dereham Road

Breakfast served
Monday to Saturday
7am till 3pm

I'd already recommended Pye Baker back in April 2015 for their stunning pies, bread and pastries, you can read about that here. This time I was keen to try out their full English breakfast and check out their revamped cafe area.

Getting photos discreetly was no easy task as I was in full view of everyone. This is the best shot I could get of the cafe seating area, there's also more tables available outside.

Place your order at the counter whilst drooling over the wonderful selection of cakes on offer.

The bread here is excellent and there's a good selection available.

On my way home I was kicking myself for not buying a chorizo roll to eat later.

The breakfast menu offers something for everyone and is served from 7.00am till 3.00pm, so perfect for early birds or late risers.

When buying an English or veggie breakfast it's possible to add a Yorkshire tea or filter coffee for £1 extra. I really liked this offer as it keeps everything under £10.

These were the tiniest salt and pepper I'd ever seen, very cute indeed! Sauces are offered when the food arrives and are served in a ramekin.

The food arrived about 20 minutes after ordering it and everything was piping hot. I struggled to get a good photo in the low light, the colours were much more vibrant to the naked eye.

The toast could have done with a slightly longer in the toaster, it was cut from an excellent loaf though and was served with a chunk of real butter.

I wasted no time in pouring the beans over the toast and topping it with the fried eggs. 

The Swannington Farm sausages were an excellent choice.

This was a first for me, homemade hash potatoes. 

The outside was dark and crispy, I cut through it to reveal a delicious soft and coarse centre.

I always put ketchup on my tomatoes (much to my wife's despair) to give them more flavour. I really needn't have bothered here though, the slow roasted tomatoes had heaps of flavour.

The fried eggs were properly cooked all over which was a bonus. 

Nice runny yolks too.

Piping hot Heinz beans are served in a ramekin, this made pouring them over the toast easy work.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Pye Baker's delicious cakes and pastries in the past I was quite excited to discover that since my last visit they'd created a new cafe area and were now serving a full English breakfast. The sun was shining and I was tempted to jump on my bike to get to Dereham Road. Since buying a Fitbit though I've been a bit obsessed with steps so decided to walk there instead. Having added Pye Baker to my recommended section for their cakes and pastries in 2015 it suddenly occurred to me how awkward it could be if I wasn't impressed with their breakfast as they already display a recommended sticker. I was feeling pretty confident though that if anyone could create a great breakfast it was the team at Pye Baker...

Upon entering - The shop has a fairly large floor space with a counter towards the rear and a kitchen further back. There's a row of tables along the left hand wall and an impressive selection of artisan breads displayed on a shelf along the opposite wall. You can find a menu on each table so once you've decided what you'd like go and place your order and pay at the counter. Salt, pepper, sugar and serviettes are already on the table, cutlery arrives with the food and sauces are available. As I sipped my coffee and waited for the food to arrive I kept getting distracted by the wonderful looking sausage rolls and pizza slices displayed beside me. It's a nice environment to dine in and a real hive of activity, there was an endless stream of customers which shows just how popular this place is. The queueing customers are quite close to where you're sitting but as I was facing them it didn't make me feel too claustrophobic. 8/10

Service - The team here are all really friendly, knowledgeable about the products they're selling and incredibly efficient. My order was taken and a coffee was brought over almost straight away. As I waited for the food to arrive I noticed how the staff came out on to the shop floor to serve waiting customers when a queue had formed. The chef brought my food over when it was ready, offering me sauces and checking I had everything I needed. Halfway through my meal somebody came over to check everything was ok. The service here was certainly very impressive! 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, 2 fried eggs, hash potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and 2 slices of toast served with butter. 9/10

Presentation - Everything was neatly stacked on the plate with the beans served in a ramekin. The toast was served on a serviette inside a basket with real butter, it was looking slightly pale but was certainly crunchy enough. I was initially quite concerned about how dark in colour the hash potato was but everything made sense when I finally tasted it. 7/10

The food - A pair of delicious Swannington Farm sausages set the scene for this great full English breakfast. The sausages were an excellent choice with a firm meaty texture and great flavour. The bacon I enjoyed with ketchup between some buttered toast, the toast was cut from a very tasty white loaf made instore. The black pudding was a pretty small portion, size isn't everything though, it had a good texture and flavour. The thing that really grabbed my attention on this breakfast was the homemade hash potato. A very dark and crunchy exterior housed a soft and fluffy inside, the crunchy and soft textures complimented each other perfectly and the potato flavour was just superb. The fried eggs had been either basted or covered with a lid when cooking so not a trace of uncooked egg white to be found anywhere which delighted me. The yolks were runny and I enjoyed the eggs over the piping hot Heinz beans on top of some toast. The mushrooms and tomatoes were both roasted, the flavour of the tomatoes was remarkable, my faith in tomatoes was restored again after eating them here. As I took my last mouthful I reflected on what had been a thoroughly enjoyable breakfast. 9/10

Value for money - The English breakfast costs £8.95, if you like you can add a Yorkshire tea or filter coffee for an additional £1. The drink offer ensures you won't be spending over £10 on breakfast here and cosidering how great it tastes it seemed well worth the money to me. 8/10 

Veggie option - 2 Glamorgan sausages, halloumi, hash potatoes, roasted mushroom, slow roast tomato, Heinz beans, fried egg and toast. £7.95.

Overall - Pye Baker have certainly made their mark in Norwich with their great baking skills. I can remember trying my first Pye Baker eccles cake outside the forum a few years ago, I doubt i'll ever taste a better one again in my life. Their decision to launch a breakfast menu is great news, I thoroughly enjoyed every item on the plate. The service is excellent, the new cafe area fits nicely in with the shop and the homemade hash potatoes is a really nice touch giving the breakfast it's own personal touch. Go try it for yourself, I'll definitely be returning to try it again! 8.5/10