Review: Nicola Warren samples cake and more from The Stables, Brightwell Barns
It was with slightly sore heads that my friend Amy and I headed to The Stables Coffee Shop and Sandwich Bar at Brightwell Barns on Saturday lunchtime.
After a night out after work on Friday, we were in need of some sustenance at the coffee shop, which is just a short drive from Ipswich.
We were pleasantly surprised by its location – set behind a pretty duck pond and with views of the picturesque countryside beyond.
As we entered the coffee shop, our nostrils were hit by the smell of bacon, so there was just one choice for Amy!
We cursed ourselves that we’d booked for lunch rather than breakfast, which was served until 11am that day.
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But there’s plenty of choice at lunchtime too and Amy soon spotted bacon on the menu.
She opted for a bacon, sausage and cheese toasted sandwich while I chose a jacket potato with cheese and beans and we both had a cold, caffeinated drink to wake us up a bit!
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Sandwiches with a choice of fillings were also available on the day as well as soup and a roll and chilli, or vegetarian chilli, with a tortilla, but daily specials will be introduced soon.
The coffee shop was a hive of activity while we waited for our food to arrive, with families arriving to sit at the tables they’d booked.
It really is worth booking a table so that you don’t miss out on the homemade cakes, but more on those later.
Another good reason to visit is that Eve Hughes, who runs the coffee shop with her partner Graeme Cheshire, makes everything and sources about 80% of the ingredients locally.
“We started by using local bread and meat,” she explained. “Everybody likes that we used local produce, so now pretty much everything I can get locally I do.”
Soon, Amy was enjoying the locally sourced bacon and sausage in her toasted sandwich. She said it was delicious and really hit the spot.
My jacket potato was a nice size with a crispy skin and soft, fluffy centre, topped with a generous helping of beans and cheese. Just what I needed on the day after a night out.
We were both pretty full after lunch, but my eyes were drawn to the array of cakes on the counter – chocolate, cappucino, Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle and more…
I asked Eve if we could be cheeky and each take a slice of chocolate cake home to try with a cup of tea later on and she was happy to oblige.
We had to sneak a peek into the cartons before leaving and the smell was divine.
Amy and I thanked Eve for a lovely lunch and then we headed off, admiring the duckhouse at the edge of the pond as we pulled away.
Later on Saturday afternoon, I tucked into the huge slice of Eve’s chocolate cake – a chocoholic’s dream.
The chocolate sponge came complete with dark chocolate chunks and was filled with rich chocolate icing and topped with the icing as well as white chocolate stars.
I’ll certainly be back at the coffee shop, perhaps for the afternoon tea which costs just £9.95 and includes a sandwich of your choice, a piece of homemade cake, a scone with jam and cream and a pot of tea.
And Amy will soon be back for breakfast, which she was pleased to hear will soon be served all day – there’s always time for bacon!