Last weekend I, at the behest of my new friend I, took a stroll down to the Jam Factory for breakfast. My friend was quite excited to go, but after reading the menu, I was less than: it read like your typical (English) breakfast place, nothing interesting. There was the usual full English, the full English vegetarian, and some other egg dishes. Booorinng. However, I fully intended to go and get as much out of the experience as possible; the Jam Factory is a lovely setting, at the very least.
So, down I went Saturday morning, armed with my camera and an appetite. We met around 11, and the place was empty other than one or two other patrons. I got a few great shots of the room, the antique marmalade tins they have on the table, and my perfect coffee. They even warmed and frothed the milk to go with my coffee! This was exciting. Attention to detail…I like!
Finally my friend showed up. We ordered. I had the full English (see previous re: appetite). And it was a-ma-zing.
First of all, the plate was gorgeous. See below.
Everything was delicious! The sausages actually tasted like sausages (which is a rare thing in this country, I’ve come to find), and it was clear that there was actual meat in them, and not 80% filler. The eggs had a lovely orange yolk, and yes we need an egg close-up:
That wasn’t even all! I decided it would be a good idea to end the meal on a sweet note (even though I was technically full already), so we asked what they had for dessert. The server told us that they have the desserts on the menu, but that also they have a cake stand, where the chef’s (or owner’s? unclear) mother bakes cakes. Home-baked cakes by someone’s mother! Awesome. It just kept getting better and better. My friend and I tried a variety of the cakes, plus their signature shortbread millionaire.
The lemon drizzle was delicious, light and lemony; the picnic bar (gluten-free) had a nice chocolate crust and coconut bits; the date square was surprisingly good, considering I don’t like dates; and the shortbread millionaire was delicious, we could barely stop ourselves from finishing it. In fact, my friend was not able to stop himself and finished long after he said he was done. Great crust. The only one I have to say I didn’t really enjoy was the apple spice; I think there was too much clove in it? I’m not sure; it seemed a bit heavy on one of the spices; which is too bad, because I love apple cake!
After our gluttony at the table, we finally got our cheque and made our way out the door; this is the only part of the meal that was less than stellar. Service throughout the meal had been great, very friendly and attentive, but we were left waiting for a little while until we had to ask for the cheque, and then waited more before he brought it, and then waited again while he brought the card machine. It was definitely getting busier at that point so that’s likely why, but I would think that they would have more people working on a busy Saturday lunch service. Especially if the lunch was as good as the breakfast!
On our way out we noticed that there is currently an art exhibition by a local artist; the original art, plus prints, are available for sale. There is also a large collection of books and games available to use while you are there; I thought that was such a great idea! I definitely picked out a few books I wouldn’t mind reading with a cup of coffee (…and some cake).
All in all, I have to say I absolutely enjoyed the Jam Factory. Prices are perhaps a bit higher than breakfast at the pub or a café, but they are definitely worth it. The quality of the ingredients, the atmosphere and the service all combine to make for a delicious, relaxing, basically FABULOUS weekend brunch. I will definitely be going back. Tomorrow. Get my table ready, boys!
Verdict: Food: 5/5 Service: 4/5 Atmosphere: 4/5 Details: 5/5 (the chef’s mom bakes the cakes? the milk is frothed? basically awesome) Value: 4/5 (you’d think I was getting a kickback or something…)
Stay delicious, folks ;)