Breakfast At The Crew Yard Cafe And Bistro, Budby
The Man Bird and I were in the mood for exploring off-park (we were staying at Centerparcs), and with the weather playing nicely we got in the jalopy and headed for Budby Antiques Centre. Budby is a gorgeous, little chocolate-box hamlet, full of rose pink - yes, really – houses and picture perfect gardens so it was no hardship to drive through it before turning into the Antiques Centre on the corner.
I shall forgive you for thinking “how on earth does she think she’s going to get anything to eat at an Antiques centre?” , let me clarify: there is a café tucked away at this location. You have to go through the fantastically quirky Antiques centre to get to the Crew Yard Cafe and Bistro and when we visited, the troughs in the courtyard were full of Busy Lizzys (still in bloom) that scattered their candy colours around the space. Inside, the Crew Yard eaterie is just as beautiful as its build-up with a striking, high-beamed apex ceiling and original artwork, which is available to buy, should you wish, strewn over all the walls. Chalky white walls provided a calming, blank canvass to the café, allowing all the other elements to shine.
Having been so eager to explore the locale, we had left our villa without and gee-up juice (that’s caffeine, to you) so the first task was to order a Cafetiere of coffee for two (£5) whilst we decided what to break our fast with. Now, I want you to gird your loins, dear readers, because my choice will shock you to the core; I went for the Vegan Breakfast! Yes, you read that right, the VEGAN breakfast (£7.50): me, a fully paid up member of the carnivore club, going for not just meat-free, but dairy and egg- free, too. It just sounded so. Damn. Good: Vegan Patty (which I rightly assumed would be Lentil/Pulse based), Mushrooms and Spinach with home-made Pesto, Herbed Tomatoes, Beans (which actually came topped with a divine garlic crumb!!), Roast Potatoes, and Garlic-infused grilled crusty bread. The Man Bird chose the Large Breakfast (£7.50) which is made up of 2 rashers of Bacon, 2 Sausages,, Beans, Herbed Tomatoes, Fried Egg, Mushrooms, and 2 slices of white or brown, toasted artisan Bread and Butter.
The lovely lady came and took our order and we soon heard the pop and sizzle, as well as the delicious aroma (!) of food being freshly cooked coming from the kitchen. Other folks soon began to arrive for their breakfasts; some regulars, some newbies/tourists like ourselves, and a quiet hum of conversation filled the room.
Soon, our dishes were being placed before us and we eagerly tucked in. Grins spread across our mushes as we chomped our way through mouthful after mouthful of tasty, flavoursome ingredients. His Nibs said the bacon was superb; properly meaty and deeply flavoured, matched by the rich creaminess of his eggs’ yolk. I was equally impressed by the firm, dense texture of the vegan patty which was nicely seasoned and held its shape brilliantly as I dunked it into my beans. Both of us raved about the quality of the partnership between the sweet, softened baby Plum Tomatoes and the clean notes of the herbs that adorned them.
My luck was firmly in, as always, as The Man passed me his Mushrooms over. Chef had cooked them perfectly to soften them and enhance their sweet earthiness without drowning them in grease which just kills their taste. I was also swooning as I tucked into the wilted Spinach and Mushroom combo on my breakfast, revelling in its Pesto-pimped bounce – this was amazeballs!!
Cheekily (and so smooth it was almost imperceptible) The Man had ordered a side of Roast Potatoes (an extra £1.50) to go with his Large Breakfast – the same ones I had already included in my Vegan Brekkie (just saying!) – and we were both huge, instant fans of their lightly smashed up, super-crisp outers. Inside, they were gloriously soft with a gently nutty edge to their flavour that lingered on the tongue beautifully. His Nibs’ breakfast had a pair of big bangers (easy, tigers) whose herbed, seasoned flesh may have been a bit too much for my personal taste, but he loved them and soon polished them both off.
The Garlic infused bread on my Vegan plate was superb; it was crunchy and tasty and the Garlic came through clearly on my palate. Not quite as exciting was the toasted bread on His Nibs’ plate; however, it may not have the herby zhuzh of my offering, but the bread was lovely and springy under its toasted outer, with a clear malty taste to it.
From start to finish, we had enjoyed each and every mouthful; you couldn’t wish for a better start to the day! Hot Wings given to this fabulous team located in Budby – we shall certainly be back.