Breakfast of champions
17th May 2023
The NNL team share 10 of their favourite foodie places to start the day!
Words: Rachel Bowles, Sarah Hardy, Amanda Loose and Bridget Steele
THE WHITE HORSE, BRANCASTER STAITHE
Bang on the coast, The White Horse ticks all the breakfast boxes. Sit yourself in the welcoming bar, the stylish, newly refurbed front courtyard or on warmer days, on the rear terrace with its picture-perfect views of the harbour and Scolt Head Island (the restaurant is reserved for hotel residents at breakfast). We love Staithe Smokehouse’s salmon, smoked here onsite, with scrambled egg, and the veggie breakfast with eggs cooked your way. Portions are generous and we hear there are some ‘special’ breakfast specials in the offing – so it’s a good job you can walk it all off along the Norfolk Coast Path, which abuts the bottom of the garden!
THE PARLOUR, BINHAM
Housed in a 17th century Grade II listed barn, beautifully and sympathetically converted by owners William and Alex Wales, The Parlour opened last summer. Sitting adjacent to Binham Priory, it overlooks their working farm; the cows provide the milk which is used in the cafe, and you can also buy the milk in its raw state from the vending machine in the shop next door. The breakfast menu reflects their high standards, with local produce and dishes which are tasty and generously portioned. We absolutely loved the pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and eggs royale with a hot smoked salmon fillet from nearby Cley smokehouse.
thornham deli, thornham
There’s so much under one roof here; enjoy brunch with friends, pick up your locally sourced grocery or deli items and shop for beautiful gifts and homewares. The interiors are relaxed, with lots of cushions and mismatched chairs, artwork, hanging plants and lamps. The menu is seriously extensive; from the usual full English, to kedgeree, shakshuka, pancakes, eggs every way, and fruit salad. There are also plenty of vegan choices alongside child friendly plates such as boiled egg and soldiers. We loved the avocado on sourdough with poached eggs, slow roast tomatoes and just the right balance of chilli flakes. There is also a click and collect takeaway menu for breakfast on the go.
BANG IN WELLS, WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA
Small in size but packed full of character and with a delightful courtyard to enjoy on warmer days, Bang in Wells sits proudly at the top of the main shopping street in Wells-next-the-Sea. This is a locals’ favourite and has a lovely atmosphere. Expect the usual cooked breakfasts and eggs with various accompaniments here but our recommendation would be to try the buttermilk pancakes. Fluffy, light and stacked high with a wide choice of toppings, you can even ask for a half portion for children. We’ve also enjoyed the homemade maple and pecan granola bowl with yoghurt, with caramelised apple or blueberry compote.
THE QUARTER DECK, SHERINGHAM
A newish addition to Sheringham, The Quarter Deck is situated on Station Approach and has a bold exterior. The front part of the building houses a bottle shop with a wide range of wines, craft beers and spirits. You’ll also find trinkets and house plants to browse as you make your way through to the restaurant. There is a partly open view to the kitchen area which creates a buzz as you hear the cooking and chatting amongst staff. There is a true sense of ‘brunch’ here, where breakfast overlaps with lunch and is served until 2.30pm, perfect for that lazy weekend gathering with friends. We thoroughly recommend the doorstop sourdough with a choice of different toppings but were also tempted by the breakfast burrito.
Right in the centre of bustling Holt, Byfords is something of an institution. Owner Iain Wilson is very good at picking up the latest trends, and his menu reflects the current passion for breakfasts and brunch, with service starting at 8am every day. There’s a good selection of favourites, ranging from the full works to bacon sarnies, hot waffles, bowls of yoghurts, nuts and the like and various eggy options on toasted muffins. We like the skinny breakfast with poached or scrambled eggs, smashed avocado, wilted spinach, slow roasted tomato, mushrooms and beans. Expect serious pastries, too!
THE OLD STORE, SNETTISHAM
A micro bakery and coffee shop, as you’d expect, all of The Old Store’s bread, cakes and pastries are made in house. In fact, their sourdough was voted third best loaf in the UK at last year’s Tiptree World Bread Awards. It’s easy to find on a Saturday morning because of the queue outside and worth the wait with its relaxed and friendly vibe. My brother had the full English and I had eggs royale with Staithe Smokehouse smoked salmon – served with just the right amount of hollandaise, reasonably priced and accompanied by a perfect flat white; it was a breakfast to savour.
WITTLES, CASTLE ACRE
Positioned between the castle and the priory, this cafe is a great find. There’s a fresh, modern feel to it, despite its historical surroundings. Brunches are served until noon and include smashed avocado with a poached egg on sourdough and that old favourite, porridge, served with dates and cinnamon, granola, blueberries and maple syrup! If you’re there later in the day, lunches see sandwiches, boards and a daily soup while the afternoon tea is good value at just £12. Dogs are made welcome which is great as this is good walking territory, especially along the River Nar.
FIELDING COTTAGE, HONINGHAM
The Goat Shed at Fielding Cottage has been picking up awards since it was created during the pandemic. There’s a great farm shop and a very good cafe, The Kitchen, where head chef Dan Freear and his team are cooking up a storm. Breakfasts are particularly popular, with traditional and veggie versions plus American style pancakes with smoked bacon and maple syrup, and smoked salmon on sourdough with scrambled eggs. Our favourite is sauteed mushrooms with garlic and thyme on toasted sourdough. And there are a couple of very good smoothie options if you’re feeling super healthy! Be sure to say hello to the resident goats and enjoy the local produce on sale in the farm shop.
THE ARTISAN CAFÉ, ALBY
Based at Alby Crafts & Gardens between Aylsham and Cromer, they’re passionate about their coffee here, and food-wise, the accent is on the homemade, with more than generous helpings served by very friendly staff. The breakfast menu is varied with tasty choices; from a traditional full English, veggie or vegan breakfast to fruit pancakes (think fresh fruit, whipped cream and maple syrup) or perhaps eggs Florentine, or scrambled, with smoked salmon. There’s also a kid’s breakfast option, too.
You can dine inside or out and it’s a very dog friendly set up here – think copious treats! Make sure you leave enough time to explore the shops onsite and wander through the beautiful gardens.
Check opening times and booking requirements before visiting. Details correct at the time of going to press but may be subject to change.