Restaurant review, The Boarding House Dining Rooms, Halesworth: “The pancakes were incredible - so light and fluffy”
- Credit: Archant
Emily Cotton enjoys Sunday brunch at The Boarding House Dining Rooms in Halesworth.
With around 15 dishes to choose between, the brunch menu had most breakfast options covered – from granola and porridge, to bacon sandwiches and a full 'Suffolk'. As it was closer to midday than 'breakfast time', my boyfriend and I both chose to opt for a savoury dish, with the intention of perhaps choosing something sweeter afterwards as a 'dessert'. I chose 'catch of the day with poached egg and hollandaise', which I was told by the waitress would be cod. I often choose a dish with hollandaise sauce when I'm out for breakfast as is not something I'd make for myself at home, and thought this dish would be a pleasant change to my usual eggs Benedict. The fish was perfectly cooked, and was served with seasoned potatoes and green beans, the egg was beautifully soft boiled - with the bright orange yolk pouring out onto my plate when cut – and the hollandaise sauce on top was rich and creamy, with a slight lemony taste.
Also tried was the 'daily frittata', which we were told before ordering would be blue cheese and mushroom. The frittata had a healthy amount of chopped mushrooms, which were preferable over large mushroom in middle, and the blue cheese was a good strength for a late morning meal. The dish was also served with salad and seasoned potatoes, which had a slight spice and nicely balanced the umami taste of the mushroom-heavy frittata.
To satisfy my sweet tooth, we also added the Canadian pancakes with Chantilly cream to our order. To my surprise the waitress didn't look too shocked when we ordered a third dish, asking if we'd like the pancakes before, after or at the same time as our other meals. The menu states the pancakes come with English strawberries, but we were told (before ordering) that there was a slight change to the menu and these would be instead be blueberries. I presume this was a seasonal change and it didn't bother us at all. If anything, I think I preferred it this way. The pancakes were incredibly light and fluffy, and the blueberries were both on top of the stack and within the pancake mixture. The dish could have done with a bit more cream for the amount of pancakes there were however, as the portion size was very generous.
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Along with food menus, we were given a wine list and cocktail and soft drinks menus when we were seated. There were also a small handful of cocktails on the brunch menu including buck's fizz and Bloody Mary. We were also brought a jug of water to the table soon after. To quote my boyfriend: 'I rate any restaurant that brings a jug of water to the table without having to ask.'
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The waitress was very attentive as soon as we arrived and had a good knowledge of the menu, informing us of the daily specials and a change to how the pancakes were stated on the menu. She also came back to check on us early into our meals, and again once we had started on the pancakes. While she did forget to bring the orange juice to the table with our other drinks, she was apologetic when we reminded her and soon returned with it. I was also pleasantly surprised when the chef popped out of the kitchen, coming into the dining room to check on diners too. I understand many places are too busy for this, but it was a personal touch that was really appreciated.
When dining we felt like part of the community. As visitors to the town, we were made to feel welcome by both the staff and other diners, who kindly greeted us when they arrived at the restaurant. The restaurant was very quiet - this may have been due to the fact it was a Sunday and the whole town was pretty quiet – but it made the atmosphere peaceful and relaxing. As an added bonus, it didn't make me feel as though we would be rushed out to accommodate other diners either, which was perfect for a Sunday morning.
For three dishes and three drinks (which fed two very hungry diners, but would have been plenty for a table of three), the total was £37. I was more than happy to pay this for what I received. The pancakes were £7.50 – I've paid similar prices previously for pancakes in chain restaurants and they've been nowhere near as good, or as big in portion size!
Location and parking
The restaurant is located in the centre of the market town, which easily found using a Sat Nav. There was also parking directly outside the restaurant which on a Sunday was free and had no time limit.
My highlight of dining at The Boarding House Dining Rooms food-wise has to be the pancakes – I'd go back again for just those!
Overall, our experience was great and I'd definitely recommend it to others for brunch. The food was presented well and the portions were generous, meaning it was great value for money. I only wish I lived a little closer.