In a time where it’s become socially acceptable to pay £3 for a fancy coffee, I was pleased to find a roadside cafe where I didn’t feel like I was paying over the odds.
Driving through part of Sherwood Forest, one of our county’s most picturesque spots, and through the trees I found a wooden shack with tables out front tucked away back from the road.
Without too much persuasion I found myself gravitating towards the cafe and pulled into the layby outside, catching a whiff of some of the sumptuous smells seeping from the kitchen.
Walking up the garden path to the main doors, I couldn’t help but think Robin Hood and his Merry Men were about to leap out and welcome me in. Approaching the counter, I was treated to some small talk with a smile while making up my mind from an extensive breakfast menu ranging from sausage and egg sandwiches to The Mega, which looked like it offered three of everything you’d come to expect in a fry-up and chips - the full works.
Opting for a lighter option on this occasion, I decided to go for a sausage sandwich and a cup of coffee. And for a ‘greasy spoon’ the spoons were far from greasy. Within minutes my order arrived and it felt like Christmas morning around the tree - I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and silence the stomach rumblings.
But one question remained - what sauce, if any? Red or brown, red or brown... red or brown?!
It was something I’d done countless times before myself, but when asked neither seemed like it would satisfy. I became self aware a couple of seconds had passed without a response and I could feel time was running out.
But, with the burning marks in my back from the hungry customers behind and the weight of the world on my shoulders, I came to a conclusion.
It had to be brown.
Breaking into a fiver, I was pleasantly surprised to be given £2 change. Taking a look around I noticed a couple of dining areas, but I was never going to remain indoors on one of the hottest days of the year to date. Instead, it seemed like an ideal chance to sit outside on the wooden benches, breathe some country air and take in some of the surroundings - a great way to break up the morning rush.
My breakfast was just what the doctor ordered, but was brown sauce the right choice? Had I destroyed what I came here to enjoy?
With the answer in my fingertips there was nothing left to do but dig in.
Biting into the white bloomer bap, the combination of flavours exceeded my expectations. I’m told the corner cafe has been serving the community for more than 80 years, and with hot breakfasts, tasty light-bites and freshly served tea and coffee, you can see why it’s lasted the test of time.
By Matt Brooks
Star rating HHHH