I first visited Lower Barn Cafe at the end of last year for a late brunch and after heading there again this weekend I was surprised to realise I hadn’t blogged about it the first time. Just off the A127 and situated at the front of a garden centre and showrooms this unassuming cafe was packed to the rafters both Sunday mornings and I was lucky to get a table. Serving hot and cold food throughout the day, as well as offering a delivery and takeaway service, the menu is made up of traditional favourites yet overflowing with choice.
I should probably make a start with the traditional Big Barn breakfast which comes complete with all the trimmings including bubble and squeak. The sausage and hogs pudding are without a shadow of a doubt the star of the show on this plate of food. A lot of the produce at the cafe is locally sourced which shines through in the quality and flavour. Jimmy’s Farm bacon is also a hit but unfortunately it doesn’t come as standard on all of the dishes so make sure your check.
Another traditional and favourite are The Regals – a soft warm muffin, 2 poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Choose between Benedict, Royale or Blackstone for your meat or fish accompaniment. The poached eggs have always been cooked perfectly and with a bright orange yolk they must’ve been very happy eggs!
For the vegetarians amongst you there is a vast range of breakfast options on offer from traditional English to Mexican to cheese on toast (kind of!). I really enjoyed The Mexican Stand Off with corn fritters, smashed avocado and 2 poached eggs. With a choice of Maple Syrup or Tabasco I opted for the punchier spicy accompaniment which mixed well with the guacamole type sauce and fried flavour coming off the fritters. I’m not sure if this is quite an early morning breakfast choice as it is quite heavy but for brunch it’s perfect.
Finally the Tom Jones, the first time I went here I was instantly drawn to my Welsh favourite of Rarebit. Delivered on a doorstep slice of bread and 2 poached eggs on the side they even got the sauce they serve with it right (brown). The Rarebit was creamy and rich with the ale, Worcester sauce and cheddar coming through. I would’ve liked a little mustard kick but this is down to personal taste as I always put a teaspoon of wholegrain into my Rarebit when I make it at home.
Whilst there are still an abundance of breakfast dishes I want to try I think we need to head there for lunch next and try out The Desperate Dan pie or Proper Chilli. They even offer a Roast dinner in Sundays!
Lower Barn Farm, London Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9ET
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