The reports from Bempton Cliffs indicated there were 100s of Puffins at sea and hundreds more on the cliffs.
The weather forecast looked good.
We set off early, I had the reserve’s postcode in my pocket, the telescope in the back of the car and a song in my heart. A wife, the prospect of Puffins and plans for a large, cheap breakfast – what more could a man want?
We called at a Toby Carvery in Doncaster for breakfast.
£4.49 for a serve-yourself all you can eat breakfast isn’t bad, even though the tea is £2.09 extra.
The choice is –
- Bacon (varying from about right to leathery and burnt)
- British Pork Sausages (they were good, but sadly I could only fit four on the plate)
- Homemade Potato, Bacon, Cheese and Onion Hash (distinct absence of bacon and lack of cheese – pretty flavourless really)
- Plum Tomatoes (as in tinned tomatoes)
- Free Range Fried Eggs (looked rubbery but I didn’t have any)
- Baked Beans Breakfast (not particularly good flavour)
- Yorkies with onion and bacon (again, a distinct absence of bacon)
- Free Range Scrambled Egg (a big solid mass with water in the bottom of the pan – I suspect sous-vide, as we now call boil-in-the-bag)
- White or Brown Toast (unlike Harvester, which also provides muffins and crumpets)
- Roasted Button Mushrooms (bland)
- Tobys Breakfast Gravy (see my later comments)
There was also jam and marmalade available to spoon out of massive bowls and red and brown sauce, also to be spooned out of bowls. There was some pre-packed jam but, unlike harvester, no honey.
So, how was it?
The gravy was a mistake. It ran through a hole in the bottom of the Yorkshire Pudding, which I had filled with sausages. Sausages and gravy – yes. Bacon and gravy, hash and gravy – passable. Tinned tomatoes, beans, mushrooms – I’ve had them all with gravy. Scrambled eggs and gravy…
That memory is going to live with me for a long time.
There are no Harvesters on the way to Bempton, which is why I’d decided to try a Toby. The food was OK, but I think next time we go that way we’ll try Sainsbury’s, which is just 50 yards away.
Was this to be the worst bit of the day or merely the thin end of the wedge?