My mission to try out the wide selection of cafes that Penarth has to offer is continuing – slowly! The most recent one to get the Love to Dine treatment was the Blue Pelican Cafe, which is upstairs in Hamptons, a home and design shop in the town centre, set back from the main high street. Mr W and I called in there for a weekend breakfast, having come across the cafe previously whilst browsing in Hamptons at the range of unusual gifts, homewares, cards and accessories they have on offer.
Every time I’ve been into Hamptons, the cafe has been bustling with people, and this time was no exception, although we did manage to get a table straight away (shortly after we arrived, people were queuing – although I don’t think the two things were related!) The Blue Pelican cafe serves food all day, and breakfast is available from 9 a.m. right through to an impressive 11.30. As far as I am concerned, a weekend morning should be a leisurely affair, and having to rush to get somewhere for breakfast before 10.30 (as is all too often the finishing time) is never an attractive prospect, so anywhere that serves until late is a winner in my book!
I love the decor of the Blue Pelican. The upper floor of Hamptons has a beautiful high ceiling and gorgeous architecture – amazingly, as we discovered whilst chatting with one of the shop’s owners downstairs later on, the ceiling was previously covered with a false ceiling, and they only discovered it after they’d taken on the building. This must have been a fantastic discovery!
I chose one of my favourite breakfast dishes, Eggs Benedict, which was £5.60. The eggs were served atop a crisply toasted muffin, with tasty ham and plenty of creamy Hollandaise. The eggs themselves were a tiny bit too well cooked for my liking, with only a small amount of runniness in the yolk, but they were still rich and tasty, and with the Hollandaise on top it didn’t really matter too much! The whole dish seemed to be extremely freshly prepared and I really enjoyed it.
Mr W opted for the full Welsh breakfast at £6.99, which comprised a choice of egg (he went for fried), a sausage, a couple of rashers of bacon, some mushrooms, beans and a grilled tomato. It was served with two rounds of ‘chunky toast’ – and chunky it certainly was! In fact, we overheard a discussion at a nearby table where a gentleman felt that the toast was too chunky for him and asked to have it sliced more thinly – which apparently was no problem, as the bread is cut by hand from the loaf just before toasting. As it was, we loved the toast (I stole a piece!) which came with plentiful butter and a selection of jams and marmalades. I quizzed Mr W about his meal afterwards (he loves it when I do that!) and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Some cooked breakfasts can be swimming in grease, but there was no greasiness evident on this plate! His highlight was the sausage, which was meaty, nicely seasoned and tasty, and he also enjoyed the egg, which was a little bit crispy around the edges but with a perfect runny yolk. Again, everything was incredibly fresh.
We shared a pot of tea (in a very funky teapot!) which produced four good cups and came with a ginger biscuit each, and I had a glass of apple juice too – the fruit juices were very good value at just 99p a glass. Other breakfast options on offer included granola, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and buttermilk pancakes or waffles with a variety of toppings for those with a sweet tooth in the morning, plus a vegetarian take on the full Welsh.
As well as breakfast, the Blue Pelican also serves a variety of lunch options including soup, sandwiches and light bites, a traditional afternoon tea, plus a Sunday roast every week and a very tempting selection of cakes – albeit with slightly eye watering prices (£2.99 for an albeit generous and tasty-looking wedge of cake) and what looked like some very nice coffees and a selection of smoothies.
Even more interestingly, every couple of weeks on a Friday or Saturday night, they open in the evening for dinner and entertainment, and have an impressive list of tribute acts performing over the coming months, including Elvis, Abba and Michael Buble. At £34 a head for entertainment and a five course meal, this seems like a tempting prospect, and we’re very interested in going along to one of these soirees.
My only very slight issue with the Blue Pelican is a bit of a lack of space. We felt a bit crammed in between other tables and I had no room at all to move my chair back because someone else was sitting right behind me. I did wonder how this would work during the evenings when entertainment is taking place, as I couldn’t imagine a singer being able to work their way easily between tables, but apparently they set up a separate performance area for the acts, so I think it would be fine. The service in the cafe was excellent and we felt like nothing would be too much trouble. Similarly, I made a purchase in the shop afterwards, and everyone was very helpful and friendly, and we had a nice chat with Andy, one of the owners, who explained to us about the tribute nights and about the background to Hamptons, including the aforementioned ceiling discovery! I’d highly recommend the Blue Pelican for breakfast in Penarth, and Hamptons for a browse if you are passing!
Food: **** Service: **** Ambience: ****
The Blue Pelican, Hamptons, 10 Ludlow Lane, Penarth CF64 1EW
Thank you to Hamptons for providing me with some images to use in this blog post after I let them know I was going to review them – but at the time I visited, I was an anonymous paying diner.