On one of our recent stays in the New Forest, our bed & breakfast did not offer proper breakfast, just muesli and yogurt, so we ventured into nearby Brockenhurst to the Buttery, a cheap and cheerful English café in the very centre of town, and one of the few places around that serve breakfast from 9am on weekends.
After short deliberation we decided to order 2x Full English for me (£6.85 each, all those recent outdoor activities stirred my appetite enormously), scrambled eggs with fried mushrooms for Ms B (£4.95), two large cappuccinos (£3.00 each), orange juice (£2.60 each) and two sparkling waters (£2.50 each). The waiter arrived quickly to pick up the order, but told us that the waiting time might be significant. We asked what significant meant and he said roughly 15 to 20 minutes. We agreed to stay.
After 25 minutes our dishes finally arrived (the coffee and cold drinks took 15 minutes). Service was not overly friendly but equally not too rude either, your proper English all-day breakfast café type of service, completely in line with our expectations.
We both enjoyed our meals. Nothing out of the ordinary, but solid, basic craftsmanship. I felt glad that I had ordered two breakfasts, because one would not have been enough on any day, with just one not two eggs, one not two bacon rashers, tiny portions of baked beans and mushrooms, one small Cumberland and a hash brown.
The owners of The Buttery used to operate two more cafés until fairly recently in next door Lymington and in Chichester, 70km away. Chichester had been serving deserving customers for a whole 70 years, Lymington for 50 years. Both cafés held Tripadvisor Certificates of Excellence and had good reviews until they closed down. All three cafés have been under the same management for more than 20 years and are family-owned, which is always a plus, especially these days when nearly everything is owned by faceless, often very large companies. Can’t really go to most pubs anymore, because you’d be supporting a multinational that owns 10,000+ further pubs.
When you check the Brockenhurst outlet’s reviews available on the internet, you quickly get the impression that up until two years ago the place seems to have been a true nightmare with mainly scathing (to the extent of being hugely amusing) reviews. So well done to them on having turned the ship around and having brought it back into safe culinary waters.
Quite how the Buttery got themselves a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor remains a mystery to us, but we might visit again in times of need. Apparently their cakes and cream tea have a good reputation, even though we found the cakes on display limited in variety and lacking in terms of luscious looks. 3 out of 5 in our book.
Looking for more posts about the New Forest, check out the ones about our weekend trip last year which we combined with Poole, the time we went horseback riding, and our visit to The Pig, just outside Brockenhurst.
For further food-related features feel free to check out our posts about England’s oldest inn, London’s quirkiest pub, fine dining near the North Pole, and our visit to two-starred Lafleur in Frankfurt.
Inspiration for adventure and travel might be included in our articles about our two-day desert trip to the Sahara, our ride in a helicopter over London and a hot air balloon over Winchester, the Sydney coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee, or our 24 hours in Dubai.