Breakfast at The Bubble Room, Alderley Edge Cheshire

The Bubble Room is a bar-cafe on the high street in Alderley Edge, a little village in the Cheshire countryside, about 20 miles from Manchester. I’ve never been to the Bubble Room in the evening (when it morphs into an up-market bar), but for breakfast on a weekend, it’s worth a visit and when I am in the area (visiting relatives), I always drop by.

The breakfast/brunch menu is short, but to the point, with firm favourites that won’t disappoint. Choose between a full English (including a veggie version), eggs benedict, bagel with smoked salmon and eggs (cooked to your liking), croque monsiuer or croque madame. You can also customise your breakfast with a selection of sides for £1 extra.

On our visit we had the eggs benedict and the bagel with smoked salmon and two perfectly poached eggs, together with a side of field mushrooms. Presentation was good and I can’t fault the cooking of the eggs. The only criticism we had was that the hollandaise sauce was rather on the thin side. That aside, the food ticked all the boxes and hit the spot.

Overall, the Bubble Room is an excellent local choice for breakfast/brunch – there is a good selection of the day’s papers, friendly service (without being over-bearing) and comfy armchairs to sink into and no-one hassles you out. Prices are relatively good too – breakfast for two with coffees came in at £19.

Breakfast/brunch is served 10am till 2pm on weekends.

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The Gamekeeper Inn, Old Buckenham Norfolk

We visted The Gamekeeper Inn during our new years’ break in the wilds of the Norfolk countryside. The pub is located in the picture-postcard village of Old Buckenham which is about 20 miles from Norwich and a few miles outside of the local market town of Attleborough. It makes a perfect winter’s afternoon pit-stop as not only does it do a yummy roast, but it also has wood burning stove to warm you up after a bracing walk in the surrounds.

On our vist, the place was packed out and we were lucky to get a table. Roasts were the order of the day, all priced at a reasonable £10.95 with a choice of beef, lamb and pork shoulder on offer, all served with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, gravy and traditional accompanying sauces. I went to the Gamekeeper Inn with no particular expectations and came out very pleasantly surprised indeed – the roasts were spot on! Freshly cooked, melt in the mouth meat, crispy potatoes and crunchy veg with a rich gravy. Portions were generous but not overfacing.

For dessert we opted to share a sticky toffee pudding and an apple and walnut crumble with custard. Again, both were delicious – particularly the sticky toffee!

A special mention should also go to the fact that the staff were incredibly welcoming to children – whilst there is a children’s menu, they are also happy to cook up something off menu/smaller portions of meals on the main menu and wrap up any leftovers to take home.

All in all this pub is a gem, should you happen to be in the local area. Note that on a sunday food is served 12-3pm only.

*Picture to follow shortly*

Afternoon tea at the Five Sailed Windmill

This weekend I went up to the  Lincolnshire Wolds to visit my sister.  The countryside in Lincolnshire is beautiful, acres and acres of farmland, as far as the eye can see, with a never-ending horizon.  After a leisurely lunch on the Sunday, we made our way to the Five Sailed Windmill in the little village of Alford for afternoon tea.

The mill is a working flour mill, built in 1837 by Sam Oxley, the local millwright, whose business still trades today under the name R Thompson and Sons, and is the only remaining traditional millwrights in the country.

The tearoom  (named “Millstones“) is housed in the former sail-shed, and their signature cake  is the Victoria Sponge, made with wholewheat flour milled on site.  Whilst we are mostly unfamiliar with baking with wholewheat flour, the results are surprisingly satisfying – The wholewheat flour gives the cake a beautiful dark golden colour (very different to the creamy colour produced when using white flour), and the texture of the sponge is much richer.  The Millstones’ sponge was sandwiched together with generous layers of raspberry jam and feather-light buttercream.  It was so rich and the portion so generous however, that I was sadly unable to finish it and had to take the remainder home in a doggy bag to be enjoyed later!

If you are ever in the area, sitting out in the tearoom’s garden under the shadow of the mill’s sails, nibbling on cakes freshly made with the mill’s very own flour makes for an idyllic afternoon.

It’s also worth mentioning that there is an on-site shop selling a range of different locally milled flours (including gluten-free mixes) and oat cereals at very reasonable prices.

Epicurean Wrap-Up

Afternoon tea (pot of tea and cake): £7.50 for two

Value Barometer: 9/10

Ambiance: Relaxed/casual

Food: home-baked cakes, soups, salads

Go if: You are in need of a sweet-pick-me-up

Don’t go: on a Monday – the Mill and tearoom are closed

Also in the area: Only a 15 minute drive from the Lincolnshire coastline at Mablethorpe