One of the options Judy suggested for Sunday breakfast was the café at the city farm down the street from her flat.
“It’s lovely,” she said. “Everything is delicious and fresh, and you get massive piles of food. And there’s a pig.”
Even if I hadn’t already been sold on breakfast — Judy had me at lovely — the mention of the pig is what did it for me, honestly. They’re incredibly intelligent, and even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t matter. What I like about them is their hairy little tails.
A brief walk later, the four of us stood in front what just might be the strangest-looking building I’ve ever seen. It looked like something out of Tolkien; if Bilbo or Frodo Baggins had poked his head out of the front door, I wouldn’t have been even the least been surprised. In fact, I was kind of expecting it and was a little disappointed when neither showed up, especially as the architecture of the café appears as though it was inspired by Bag End.
Truthfully though, St Werburghs City Farm Café is thoroughly charming, and by that I mean there are no right angles in the entire place and each window and beam within appears to be handcarved out of England’s knottiest wood. Inside, the ceiling slopes so dramatically that I don’t think either Keith or Dorian were able to stand up straight, except for in the exact center of the round room. If I were a kid visiting the café, I would have really loved it — which isn’t, of course, to say that I didn’t. It’s simply that the place has a fantastical quality to it that any child with an inquisitive mind and an active imagination would love — which is probably why the café was full of children.
In spite of the magical décor, what the four of us had come for was the food. The menu is posted on a blackboard above the counter, and the moment I saw black pudding listed I knew I would be ordering a dish that came with a serving of it. And so, I settled on the Big Farmer: bacon, breakfast sausage,a fried egg, beans, mushroom, spinach, toast and, finally, the black pudding (£6.95).
Judy wasn’t kidding when she said piles of food; once it arrived I had half a mind to weigh my plate. Still, I came close to shoveling it all down — it was incredibly tasty. I was the most surprised by the spinach, actually, which was probably the freshest I have had in a while, and the ketchupy beans were fantastic. Also noteworthy was the supersalty butter that brought a grin to my face, and the perfectly-cooked mushrooms which had the perfect amount of bite left to them. The sausage was pleasantly light, leaving me with plenty of room for the bacon — utterly unlike American bacon, I should say, as British bacon tends to come from the animal’s back. I saved the black pudding for last, and you know what? I think I kind of loved it. The exterior was nice and crunchy, while the inside had a fabulous meaty flavor that could only be described as intoxicating.
I don’t think anyone else was more pleased with breakfast than me, except for maybe Judy, who practically clapped her hands to see my clean plate and the minuscule remnants of pudding dotting its surface. If I had thought of it, I would have taken an after photo for you all to see. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Better yet: if you find yourself in the Bristol area, you’ll drop in to the café at St Werburghs for some breakfast.
St Werburghs City Farm Café
Bristol BS2 9YJ
+44 0117 942 8241