Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Byford's Benedict

I fell for Byfords charms due the magic words "Eggs Benedict", which is one of my desert island dishes. Last August D, MC and I had been exploring the little shops in the courtyards of Holt and had found a handy table outside a buzzing Byfords and plonked down to partake in a cup of tea and possibly something more substantial. I think MC was especially delighted that D and I wouldn't be shopping for a while though we hadn't remotely relived our shopping orgy from our first visit to Holt but there's always a chance!
Whilst D and MC share a meat platter I realize that Byfords make a damn fine Eggs Benedict, the best I'd had for a really long time so mental note to self, must come back and maybe next time check out their bedrooms and see if they're as good as the Benedict!
A year later I'm back and the room is very nice indeed so how are the eggs? I'm feeling more like a brunch today but as this is a popular spot for taking a tasty respite (and it's rather rainy) so the place is chocked full. I didn't realize initially that there is a designated area for the residents but one of the friendly waitresses shows me to a table next to the groaning buffet table in a light room with more if the Steven Brooks photographs of the North Norfolk coast that I'd so admired in my room when my mistake is noticed. And as the queues of hungry potential diners grow I'm glad of my corner and could notice tad proliferation of families and especially pushchairs. At one point I was flanked with pushchairs (or strollers if you prefer) on every side - clearly 'the' accessory in Holt or today - Nappy Valley. And for much the time one of the babies were grizzling and occasionally screaming. Not quite the peaceful brunch I'd envisaged. But all that aside the Byfords Eggs Benedict were still as delicious as I'd recalled. There was an initial mix-up with tickets and my first portion was left standing on the pass which made it a tad cold and the hollandaise didn't look so glossy and unctuous. But that was whisked away immediately and hot on its heels came a second much hotter portion which looked much more appetizing and was indeed worth the wait.

So why am I waxing lyrical about a simple typical brunch dish. Well first it's the quality, their own glazed ham was thickly cut and flavorsome, the freshly laid happy eggs were poached well and just had enough oozy yolk when you forked it, the muffin topped which some green crunch was a great vehicle for the egg and ham and everything was draped in a perfect, velvety herby hollandaise. Which I adore and rarely can be bothered to whip up myself. Top brunch with or without the babies!

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