Brilliant brunches and breakfasts
Bag brunch or breakfast out – pancake stacks, avo on toast, flat whites, maybe a Bloody Mary – at one of these Somerset & Dorset gems.
Who doesn’t love a good brunch? And with tables booked up across the counties, brunch or breakfast out is a good shout if you can’t nab that sought-after lunch booking.
Town Mill Bakery, Lyme Regis
Nosh on courgette, sweetcorn and halloumi fritters, rancheros tachos, Turkish eggs, Green brunch (and all sorts of other delicious things), before choosing which freshly baked sourdough breads, pastries and cakes to take home with you from this excellent cafe and bakery in the heart of Lyme Regis. Open Thursday to Monday, 9am–2pm.
The Hive Beach Cafe, Burton Bradstock, near Bridport
Breakfast on the beach anyone? Crab bubble and squeak, smoked salmon Benedict, Chesil Smokeries kippers as well as Hive Beach Breakfasts, smashed avo on toast, Belgian waffles and assorted hot baps, all served daily from 9.30-11.15am. First-come, first served at the cafe; stone skimming, paddling and bracing walks nearby.
The Green Bird Cafe, Bath
Renowned for breakfasts and brunches like homemade granola with berry compote, tomatoes on Bertinet sourdough with roasted nuts, US style pancakes with maple syrup and bacon and create your own bespoke plates, the Green Bird Cafe in Margaret’s Buildings sits alongside a clutch of interesting indie shops, away from the high street hubbub and close to the Circus and Royal Crescent. All in all, an excellent place to start off a day in Bath. Open daily 9am–4pm. No need to book.
Truly’s of Westbourne, Bournemouth
The cut above but chill boutique restaurant in super cool Westbourne has a delicious May menu which includes Small Plates of sage, apple and pork sausage rolls, freshly baked flapjacks, and brownies with ice cream. But we’re heading straight for the Big Plates: omelettilla wrap (Spanish tortilla with sun blushed tomatoes, caramelised red onion and chives); potato and celeriac rosti (avocado, soft poached egg, gremolata dressing); posh bacon sarnie (with rocket and truffle oil ciabatta); watermelon and feta salad; ricotta and lemon pancakes with spiced pears, and more. Their bottomless Pimms/Mimosa/Fizz (£15 for an hour and a half) will keep you going. From Weds 19 May.
Cafe & Terrace at Jordans Courtyard, near Ilminster
Old faves and modern classics on the menu at this cafe in converted barn at Jordans Courtyard, just off the A303 near Ilminster. The full English is a corker: Bonner’s pork sausage and back bacon, black pudding, homemade baked beans, potato rosti, eggs and sourdough; the veggie version comes with cherry vine tomatoes and wilted spinach. The Belgian waffles with fresh berries, creme fraiche and praline crunch (also available with streaky bacon & maple syrup) look yummy. Exquisite cruffins, choux buns, macarons and more from BAKED by the Pastry Bench from 22 May. Excellent coffee. Food served Thurs to Sunday 9am-2pm. Have a browse round the interiors and kitchen shop, take a yoga class or have your nails done while you’re there.
LOAF. bakehouse, Wells
Avo? Check. Poached eggs? Check. Crispy bacon? Check. You can loaf around this cool cafe-bakery in the centre of Wells and eat your way through their brunch and breakfast menu every day of the week from 9am until 2pm. Wood-fired pizzas coming soon.
The River House at Black Swan Arts, Frome
We loved River House (Somerset’s Best Cafe in the Muddy Awards 2017), when it was on the bridge but we like it even more in its new home at the community arts venue Black Swan Arts. Take a seat in the pretty courtyard and nosh on one of their all day breakfasts, brunches and daily specials. This multi-coloured beauty will set you up for the day: beetroot and sweetcorn fritters, stacked with super greens, carrot humous, smashed avocado and garlic sour cream, seeds, chives and streaky bacon.
The Salt Cellar, Shaftesbury
Munch on your brunch whilst admiring one of the most iconic views in Dorset – this cafe is perched right at the top of Gold Hill, location of the Hovis ad (for anyone old enough to remember). The food? Trad fry ups, salads, sarnies, paninis and homemade pies.
The Paddle Cafe, Highcliffe, Christchurch
This laid back cafe-bar near the sea serves up a tempting brunch menu from 8am–2pm Weds to Sat and from 9am on Sun. Assorted Paddle breakfasts, wild garlic mushrooms on toast, Harry’s one-pan breakfasts, sweet pancakes, ciabattas, porridge, banana and salted caramel French toast (yum, yum) and a dedicated kids’ menu with stuff like dippy eggs and soldiers. Throw in a smoothie or a Bloody Mary while you’re at it.
At the Chapel, Bruton
Nab a green velvet tub chair, baggsie seats for you and your mates at a shared refectory table or outside on the terrace at this super laid back cafe/restaurant in a Grade II listed former chapel, from Mon 17 May. Settle in for a relaxing brekkie – blue spirulina juice, smoothie or excellent coffee, free range Somerset egg and soldiers or Sandridge Farm bacon sarnie – from 8–11am every day. Then you can start on the lunch menu.
The Holy Cow Cafe, Chilcompton
This is an award-winning little café tucked away in the grounds of a 17th century manor house overlooking Chilcompton village church, with gorgeous walks all around. Muddy’s breakfast/brunch favourites include pancake stacks with banana, maple syrup, smokey bacon; avocado smash; eggs every which way; gluten-free, veggie and full English; smoked salmon – and a breakfast burger. Served until 11.30, Mon to Sat.
The Three Wishes, Sherborne
Breakfast in the courtyard Madam? Your classic full English (and veggie option), smoked salmon and scrambled, poached eggs and avo on toast, etc are all served until midday, every day, at this trad Sherborne coffee shop. The rest of the day mooching around Sherborne?
Taste Brasserie, Dorchester
The suppliers list at this buzzy brasserie reads like a who’s who of the best of Dorset/West country produce. Come for breakfast classics any day of the week but Saturday is brunch day with a menu that includes steak, eggs with watercress butter, Camilla’s spicy egg shakshuka and poached eggs on Portland crab potato hash on Saturdays (you don’t have to have eggs though). There’s a sister branch on Chesil beach between Weymouth and Portland.
Silver’s Pantry, Procters Farm, West Monkton, near Taunton
Kiwi head chef Myles worked at New Zealand’s prestigious Bayswater restaurant before moving to the UK. Now he cooks up excellent breakfasts and brunches – people rave about the eggs Benedict, eggs Royale and buttermilk pancakes – in the open plan cafe Silver’s Pantry, on a farm just outside Taunton. Eat in the heated marquee/cabin, or from next week, inside, from Tues to Sat. Very handily, the brilliant womenswear shop Allotment is right opposite.
Spotlight image: Melissa Walker Horn, Unsplash