The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


The Balcombe Tea Rooms, Balcombe

Balcombe Tea Rooms
Hope Cottage
Bramble Hill
West Sussex
RH17 6HR
Tel: 01444 811777

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm and Sunday's 10am to 4pm

Last Visited: May 2013

After a glowing recommendation by a friend of the site, we decided to visit a Tea Room which seemed to be the quintessential embodiment of a traditional village cafe.  But would this idyllic cafe be as good as it looks?

Balcombe has been in the news quite a bit recently due to the local interest gained from the prospect of "fracking" in what has been found to be an oil-rich community.  But we turned up hoping to find a slice of fried gold, rather than the black gooey version.  We walked into the tea rooms just minutes after their 10am opening time.  With seating inside for around twenty and outside seating for when we have warmer weather, there is ample space for a family or large group to visit.  Free parking in the village is also a benefit of visiting an 'out-of-the-way' cafe.

Although the cafe was empty at this early hour the staff were buzzing around preparing scone and cake orders on what was to be a very busy Jubilee weekend.  We resisted the temptation to grab a bag of scones and a gorgeous looking coffee and walnut cake to eat while on the move, instead we sat down at a table by the window and perused their breakfast menu.

As the tea rooms really aimed to cater for the mid-morning and lunchtime crowd, the breakfast options are limited, but very much to the point.  An all-day breakfast (no time limit so a lay-in does not need to be rushed), toasted teacake, the classic ‘hot buttered crumpets’ and scones (cheese and fruit) are all there to help you start your day.  Outside of normal breakfast hours, the fish cakes come highly recommended to us.  On ordering two all-day brekkies, one of course with no egg, our anticipation was raised for what was ahead.

On delivery of our breakfasts Mrs NoEggs interest immediately piqued.  The warm plates on which the breakfast was served were like catnip to her.  Her excitement aside, the breakfast was as high quality as their warming of plates.  From the breakfast it was very hard to pick out a weak point.  The two lovely butchers quality sausages and bacon rashers were the hightlight for me.  But the crisp hash browns and good quality toast also warrant a special mention.  Mrs NoEggs was also pleased with her egg, as the yolk was perfect for dipping into with her toast.

For £5.95 this was a very good breakfast.  The high quality of the ingredients and perfect cooking made this a great example of a traditional breakfast and reflected the idyllic surroundings.  The fact that the thought of lunch did not cross my mind that day without me feeling bloated, meant that the portion size was perfectly judged.  My cappuccino, though not the strongest of blends, was very smooth and the coffee was ground on site.  The very warm and friendly staff allowed me to substitute my egg for beans, which incidentally were not advertised on the menu.  A local who came in and sat near was also offered the option of additional fried bread with his breakfast.  Me thinks there may be a secret menu.

As well as offering mouth watering cakes, scones and breakfasts, a visit to the tea room also allows you the opportunity to take in one of the county’s final unspoilt locations.  Numerous walks can be taken from just round from the cafe, with the viaduct and fishing lake popular attractions to visit.  So why not pop along and take in a great traditional fry-up and burn it off with a walk after.  Then of course there will be room for cake!

Mr NoEggs