Today I had breakfast at Fairway’s Diner. Breakfast out is not something I normally do at weekend but it was also my sister’s ** birthday and along with my wife and son we decided to treat her to breakfast. While it was in Hullbridge, just opposite Rayleigh golf course, I felt it warranted a mention in my growing repertoire of breakfast places locals in my town (Southend) might care to try out. To cut a long story short, my family gave Fairway’s Diner a thumbs up, and it is a place that my sister has returned to over the years.
As is my custom, I like to critically appraise new eating places and, even for those which I regard as excellent, I like to point areas where they don’t get my 100% approval and could improve on if they had a will. Like my family, I did enjoy my breakfast. The diner had a warm and homely feel, and when we arrived not long after 9am it was pretty full with many, from what I could see, regulars, showing its popularity. The service was cheerful and prompt and we were able to chat in a cheerfully ambient setting. Some will think some of my criticisms amount to nit picking but that is what I have to do as an aspiring restaurant critic. I write as I find, suspecting regulars will adjust to anything lacking. While the price was a bit more than I am used to, I would not quibble if these points are addressed:
So the breakfast was better than average and we all enjoyed what was served to us. My family all had the standard all day breakfast offering, plus a (nice) bowl of chips, and I went one better and it was more than enough for my appetite. They allowed one substitution (I chose tomatoes – double what I am used to instead of beans). I also wanted mushrooms, which was fine excepted £1.80 extra for an average amount was a bit steep. I thought the bacon was really nice and the egg was cooked to perfection. It came hot. The sausage might have wowed me if it hadn’t been overcooked (My sister thoughtfully brought a jar of Waitrose mustard, knowing my preference). I had no complaints on tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns. Unusually, the breakfast included a burger, which was nice. While the toast and bread was nice, I felt bringing toast before the breakfast might have been avoided for those of us who like to eat hot toast with the breakfast (finicky I know but like Craig in Strictly one reason why I can’t give a ten and because there were other draw backs it will have to be an eight, which is still a good mark). I have come to expect tea to arrive before breakfast, but because two of us chose a cold drink, which we had to pay extra for, we agreed two more cups of tea after breakfast was served – and that only came after reminding them. Talking about tea, our tea was very nice and the two cups each me and my missus had was much appreciated.
Despite my misgivings, Fairways is a place I will be happy to visit again and would recommend to those looking for somewhere a bit different to eat. It should be noted they do lunches as well and while the menu is not too extensive, it had some tempting offerings. Fairways had something I don’t see enough of in breakfast establishments – character, and I could well imagine if I lived in the vicinity I might be added to its large base of regulars. It seems to me it caters well for the rough and ready types as well as the posh and genteel such that both will be made to feel comfortable eating there. It was good honest grub, pleasantly served in an inviting setting.