Monday, 22 May 2017

Barn Cafe - Norwich

Whitlingham Lane

Barn Cafe can be found inside the huge flint barn next to Whitlingham Broad.

It's also home to the Broads Authority visitor information centre. 

Place your order and pay here.

There's plenty of tables inside and sofas if you want to get really comfy.

It was a beautiful day though so we decided to sit outside.

The tables outside offered views down to the broad below.

The breakfasts didn't indicate what you'd actually get, I decided to order one to find out.

The cakes displayed on the counter all looked really nice, I do love a slab of bread pudding.

There's wifi available although I couldn't pick it up outside. Help yourself to cutlery, nearby you can find sauce sachets too so grab some if you want them.

I really don't like sauce sachets, fiddly to open, never enough sauce inside and a waste of packaging. 

A 600ml bottle of Pepsi cost £1.85.

The large breakfast cost £6 and wasn't particularly big.

The highlight was the toast served with real butter.

I've no idea where the local sausages came from.

They reminded me of the sausages served in Wetherspoons.

The bacon was dry and overcooked.

The eggs were in pretty good shape.

Both eggs had runny yolks.

A sea of beans.

The only breakfast option for my wife was beans on toast costing £3.30.

I'd gone out cycling with my wife along Whitlingham Lane, we'd gone to take a look at the Vegan Fun Day which was taking place on the campsite. It didn't look much fun though so we decided instead to stop at Barn Cafe opposite for a drink and bite to eat. I wasn't expecting to see a breakfast on the menu though so suddenly it turned into an unexpected fry up inspection...

Upon entering - The flint barn is a stunning building both inside and out, a wonderful home for a cafe. The exposed walls and high ceilings inside certainly give it heaps of character, large roof beams are illuminated and images of the broads hang from the walls. The seating area inside looked really nice, but as the sun was shining we decided to sit outside where there were plenty of tables looking out towards Whitlingham Broad. There's a large menu outside and more by the counter so you can decide what you want before you've sat down. Place your order and pay at the counter, you'll be given an order number. Remember to collect cutlery and condiments before sitting down, sauces are served in sachets here which I'm not really a fan of. Once the food is ready it's brought to your table, just remember to display your order number though so they know where you are. The Barn Cafe is without a doubt a beautiful spot to spend time in whether you choose to sit inside or outside. 8/10

Service - The staff seemed helpful and efficient and everything arrived far quicker than we were expecting it to. I was given the option of white or brown toast when ordering, I usually choose white but on this rare occasion I went for brown. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 eggs, beans and 2 slices of toast served with butter. 4/10

Presentation - Lots of beans, over cooked bacon and nice enough looking sausages and eggs were on the main plate. The toast was served on a side plate looking evenly browned  with real butter in sachets.  5/10

The food - Local sausages were mentioned on the menu, they were far from special though reminding me of the ones served in Wetherspoons. Slightly herby with a fairly firm texture and pleasant enough taste but nothing to write home about really. The bacon was really dried out from overcooking, tough as old boots. The fried eggs were nicely cooked with runny yolks, they tasted great over the hot buttered toast. There were plenty of beans covering the plate, these required plenty of brown sauce, a winning combination! As a breakfast goes it was let down by the meats but the eggs on toast resulted in some enjoyment. I did wonder what method was used for cooking the meats here,  already pre-cooked  sprung to mind although I couldn't be certain. 5/10

Value for money - For £6 it wasn't much of a breakfast really and could have been cooked much better than this. 4/10

Veggie option - No, there's always beans on toast though.

Overall - A beautiful location and fairly disappointing breakfast were my findings at Barn Cafe. The cakes looked really nice though so perhaps an ideal place to stop for coffee and a chocolate brownie before taking a brisk walk around Whitlingham Broad. 5.5/10