Admittedly, my expectations for Byfords were rather low. Yes, it serves tea and cakes. What else is new?
We walked through the store’s entrance where we were met with cakes, pastries, sandwiches, pizzas, fine cheeses, olive, antipasti and gelato. A few twists and turns later we got to the seating area, which stretches into all kinds of nooks and crannies.
Byfords seats 180 to be exact and is open from 7 days a week from 7am in the morning to 11pm at night. To start the day with you can order traditional English cooked breakfast, toast, pastries and fishy things such as kippers, haddock and smoked salmon. Daily specials are available and what I especially liked was there were actually a bit more sophisticated food on offer than just sandwiches.
My cod fillet (£13.95) was moist and plump and for the first time I didn’t find samphire over salty. The grape and mint salsa lightened the dish and the potato rosti was lovely too. In London you would easily pay twice for this exact plate of food. A kids menu is available featuring all the favourites such as pizza, pasta and sausage, mash and beans. My daughters Sausage Sandwich was overly generous and she loved the chips that came along with it.
Afternoon tea is between 3pm and 5pm, costing £11.95 per person or £22.95 for two. Scones, biscuits, cookies, all kinds of sponge cakes amounting to almost 20 varieties are also on offer and everyone will find something to suit their taste. Byfords is very aware of customers with food intolerances and offers a gluten free menu. We had Chocolate Fudge Brownie (£2.75) and Rocky Road (£3.25).
It was very busy when we visited and it’s easy to understand why. Waiters are cheerful, informal and chatty and that makes everyone feel at home. Byfords’ menu is rather large but somehow they have managed to uphold the quality of grub it serves.
7/10: Plenty to choose from and get excited about.
9/10: No one would get up hungry.
8/10: Friendly attitude and attentive.
7/10: Busy but homely.
8/10: If you’re traveling in the area it’s definitely worth the visit.
1-3 Shirehall Plain
If you’re thinking of visiting north Norfolk, be sure to visit this website.
P.S. I was a guest of Byfords.