Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Lifebuoy - Fowey by Sgt Sausage

Sergeant Sausage's West Country investigation

I've just been on a road trip to Cornwall, and while I was there I thought I'd give the Cornish Fry a try.  But before my partner and I left Norwich we thought we would just get set up for the long trip with the dish that keeps Britain on the roads, It would be rude not to!

  The middleweight at KO's diner on Hall road (£4.99 including tea and toast) is always a good choice, although I do like my eggs so I got an extra egg. Owner, chef and Norwich boxer Sam Sexton wasn't in that day but the breakfast still stayed the distance, for me the quality sausages are knockout on this plate 8/10

We were heading far west and decided to break the journey just outside Glastonbury and stayed at Beltane B&B, I'd chosen it because they offered a decent bed and good breakfast, the eggs were layed by these ladies.....

It was a very relaxing place to stay, although the owners were a bit fussy about electronic devices in the nicely laid out dining room. I managed to get a snap in though.....
Again the sausage was the star of the show, a good size and locally produced, as were all the ingredients, but I do like a bit more on my plate.  8/10

After a restorative visit to the Chalice Well and White Spring in Glasto, where we met some druids, we headed to Cornwall.  We glamped in a hobbit hut just near the Eden project in the Luxulyan valley, it was pretty neat, and all we had to bring were sleeping bags and clothes.
Willow the Hut

The view from the front door

It was a charming and really good site in an area of outstanding natural beauty and great vfm at only £40/night for our hut.

Naturally I was curious about the local fry-up and whilst looking for places to get one I came across the Lifebuoy in Fowey. It was only about five miles from the hobbit hut so we set off on a damp and misty day looking for breakfast. This is what we found in the steep and winding streets of Fowey (pronounced Foy)....
Ahoy my hearties! The Lifebuoy Café

Find a table and rest your weary sea legs, its waitress service

Mixed cutlery in a glass, traditional sauces in a traditional bread tin, all on the table when you arrive.

Welcome to Breakfast Club, there are only two rules…..

Which is when we fathomed out that our complete failure to get out of bed, (well we were on holiday) meant there was no Breakfast Club, it had stopped serving at half twelve…..
Luckily I spotted something rather special on one of the boards, and it seemed a splendid suggestion.

An excellent filter coffee, with sugar in a dinky little flip top bowl type affair.

  Plenty for the little ones to do…

  So I decided to tie up my knots knowledge, whilst I waited for…. 

The Hogs Pudding Bagel, four chunky slices of delicious local delicacy served in a toasted bagel of your choice.

The sweetness of the cranberry jam went really well with the herby flavour of the hogs pudding, and the richly buttered bagel was just right.

A fine selection of cakes too

We vowed to return the following day to sample the fry-up, after all, it was the whole point of the holiday!  

*************** The Second Wave ***************

Alarm clock firmly set, we managed to sleep in again, but this time got to the café just after eleven, plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
We sat at a different table this time where we found this old sea dog.

  This time I went for a lovely cup of tea, in a proper mug, all included in the price.

We were in no hurry, and it was the perfect place to do just that.

  Hello Sailor! The Fat Buoy of Fowey, well worth waiting for.

The locally sourced meats from Kittows butchers tasted fantastic.

The eggs were huge, rich and cooked just how I like them.

Full to the gunwales? Aye Aye!!

After that stunning breakfast we visited Kittows butchers which was a gastronomic treasure chest, next time I think will have to try the New York Cornwall experience!

Okay so it took two attempts, and that’s probably due to my inability to get out of bed, well I was having a good time! But I had been looking forward to this trip for ages and the opportunity to review a fry up for my favourite fry up inspector was not going to be missed.  Cornwall is very much geared towards tourism, and the local food is a huge part of that experience.  We had a fantastic holiday and the inspection in Fowey was just one of the things that made it really special.

Upon entering – They’ve really gone for the nautical theme in this small but perfectly formed café, its all very much in keeping with the place and not too overboard.  There are some lovely touches such as the old ice cream sign by the counter, and the ‘feel good’ signs on the walls, and its all very bespoke, not just like something out of a packet. It feels like a comforting and unique place to be eating breakfast and the décor just adds to the experience. Its an open kitchen so you get all the delightful breakfast cooking smells. Nice to see they have the same table cloths as Harty’s too! 9/10

Service – We missed breakfast club on the first attempt and the waitress was really apologetic that she couldn’t serve us breakfast, but it did mean we got to visit twice!  The whole experience was very laid back, life seems to just move at a slower pace down here. One of our fellow diners asked for the bill when they were ready, the chef remarked tongue in cheek ‘in about an hour’. We didn’t feel like we were being hurried along at all, but the service was efficient and we weren’t kept waiting. When we returned we were made to feel very welcome. It was all good. 9/10

Contents – 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg (I ordered an extra egg, because I love them!) , mushrooms, beans, hogs pudding, 2 slices of toast (not pictured) 8/10

Presentation – Big plate, big breakfast. It looked like a fry up, it was a fry up. Presented by a professional. 9/10

The food – You can’t go wrong with locally sourced products, especially when they are of such an outstanding quality.  The sausage was incredibly meaty, in fact I don’t think I have tasted such good quality before, it wasn’t at all spiced, purely porky (I’m very pleased that Kittows do mail order!) The bacon was thick and tasty, cooked so it just melted in your mouth, full of flavour and again top quality. The Rosedown Farm free range eggs were huge and tasted incredibly fresh, the yolks were so rich and went perfectly with the buttered toast.  Mushrooms, again perfect, juicy and flavoursome, beans at exactly the right temperature.  The Hogs pudding, which is a kind of spicy white pudding, had more kick this time round without the sweetness of the cranberry to temper it, herby and spicy this local delicacy is yummy. 10/10

Value for money – Great vfm at £6.95 including tea and toast, the extra egg was only 80p and worth every penny. 9/10

Veggie option – Yes, although we didn’t try it, I’ve no doubt it would be great.

Overall – Perfection is something we all yearn for, and I’m not sure we will ever find it, but the Lifebuoy comes damn close.  It really pushes the boat out and the quality of the ingredients, the service, and the cooking are all aboard. Norwich has got some great breakfasts, House being one of my particular favourites, but Cornwall is no light ship when it comes to fry-ups.  If you’re ever in Fowey, set course for the Lifebuoy. 9/10

Sgt. Sausage

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