Restaurant review, Twyfords, Beccles: “Put The Big Beef Bun on your foodie bucket list”
PUBLISHED: 11:45 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 08 January 2018
Homemade cakes, single origin hot chocolate and some of the best sandwiches around greet our reviewer at Twyfords in Beccles.
From experience, I can tell you it’s almost impossible to walk past Twyfords without either drooling at the window, or inexplicably finding yourself lured inside.
The old-fashioned drug store style façade beckons with its displays of handmade chocolates, cakes and fresh roasted coffee.
I’ve had dreams about this place since I last visited a couple of years ago (yes I’m a saddo) when I had one of the most divine, arm-drippingly juicy sandwiches ever. So I was intrigued to find out over the Christmas break whether this place still cut the mustard.
My veggie friend Rach was more than happy with her plate of beetroot and mozzarella salad from the specials menu (aside from the fact it came on a ‘scratchy’ piece of slate which she found very annoying). The cheese had a fresh lactic tang and was plentiful, tumbled in a moreish dressing with a few different varieties of beets – the sweet purple gobstopper type, and slivers of lightly pickled yellow beetroot. Very nice.
Our meat feast loving hubbies dove in (caveman-like) to puffy, crunchy locally-made ciabatta, stuffed with tender ribbons of slow-cooked Suffolk pork, crispy bacon and homemade barbecue sauce – known as the Double Pig. Well, they certainly did look like a pair of pigs, stuffing themselves with the sticky, juicy concoction (a word of warning, you’ll need lots of napkins if you try this). The meat was succulent and juicy. The sauce delectable. And a refreshing homemade slaw on the side added a bit of extra tang and crunch.
Nothing can beat what I had between my hands though – The Big Beef Bun. Oh yes. A not-too-sweet brioche bun burst with hunky chunks of impossibly tender lightly smoked brisket, smothered in homemade chipotle barbecue sauce, and crowned with two gloriously golden bhaji-like patties of tumbleweed onions (not to mention a pile of fries on the side to dunk in the homemade ketchup at the table). To eat this bun is to worship at the altar of meat. Sweet lord it was good. The others looked on in envy. And no, I wouldn’t share.
We couldn’t squeeze in dessert but took some cakes home from the dizzying display at the counter. A white chocolate mousse dome looked impressive but was very very sucrose sweet and is definitely one for sharing. The Snickers slice of puffed rice, chunks of chocolate bar, peanut frosting and chocolate topping was divine. But they missed the mark on the coffee and walnut cake slice, which didn’t taste of either walnut or coffee and had an oddly sour-tasting frosting.
As with the food at Twyfords, they go the extra mile with drinks too. The coffee is their own (under the owners’ brand Harris and James, roasted and blended in Beccles). And they make their own single origin hot chocolates too. A mocha and Americano were both smooth, silky and aromatic, and served at the perfect temperature. We tried the Peruvian hot chocolate, and another variety with the works (cream and Maltesers) and it was interesting to note the differences between them – the former being dark, rich and smoky, and the latter having an almost caramel flavour.
We all thought the soda fountain section of the drinks menu was a fun idea. There’s a multitude of flavours to choose from, and two glass sizes.
The front of Twyfords is delightful, harking back to days gone by in its décor. It feels a little bit special, and there’s loads of window space to people watch from. We were sat in a room behind the counter which was a bit cramped and soulless. I’d definitely book ahead next time and request a spot at the front.
The staff were friendly and accommodating.
Smack bang in the centre of Beccles and close to several nice independent shops.
There are a few car parks in walking distance and the average price is round about £2 for two hours.
These are not greasy spoon prices. But, then again, this is no greasy spoon. You’ll pay more than average for drinks and food compared to other cafes, but when you consider this place is using locally-made bread, producing its own chocolate, coffee and cakes, making its own ketchup and sauces, and smoking and slow-cooking locally sourced meats, the price is reflective of the quality. A main meal, cake and drink per person averaged out at about £18 to £20.
Obviously the beef bun. A beast of a sandwich that I can’t wait to tuck into again.
Family-friendly and committed to bringing flavour to every plate that leaves the kitchen, there’s so much that Twyfords is doing right. If you’re in the area this is a must-visit.