Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Hoste Arms – Burnham Market (Norfolk)

The Hoste Arms – Burnham Market (Norfolk)

Having complained that the only decent fry reviews come from the Fry-up inspector, who reviews in the Norfolk area, this week’s review comes from North Norfolk!

A weekend out of the city to the picturesque Burnham Market led to a Sunday morning in the Hoste Arms.  This is a pub come country hotel, which does the full hotel breakfast.

Be warned, it is not cheap if you aren't staying at the hotel.  The advertised price was £17, although when the bill came, it ended up being slightly less than this.  For that, you get a continental breakfast including croissants, pain au chocolat, a selection of cereals, fruit and some very nice, freshly squeezed orange juice.

But that isn’t why I was there.  The full English breakfast is made to order, rather than a buffet style, which can be the case at some hotels.  That is a big positive, because no one wants an egg or a sausage which has been sat under a heater for 3 hours.

I requested a poached egg, which was served with a sausage, a couple of slices of back bacon, grilled tomato, a couple of small field mushrooms and a piece of black pudding , served with a round of toast.

Two items stood out for me; the black pudding was fresh, soft and crumbly with a subtle favour.  The other was the sausage, which I believe was flavoured with apple, giving it a slightly sweet taste.  It was a good quality sausage, but I’m not sure it was quite right for the breakfast table.  Better off in a hotdog roll!

The rest was unspectacular and the whole thing was not the biggest, for the money you are paying. The lack of beans meant the whole thing was a bit dry, especially when you consider it was only served with one egg, meaning only one yolk to provide any kind of moisture in the plate.

The verdict

An expensive hotel fry-up which fails to provide anything out of the ordinary.  Adequate if you are staying in, what I have to say is a very nice hotel, in a lovely little town, but not worth a de-tour if you’re not.



  1. My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your latest review and it has prompted debate in our household - where do we stand on the issue of a "dry fry"? I myself feel that a lack of beans is no deal breaker and I, somewhat controversially perhaps, actually prefer a drier breakfast where the natural flavours of the ingredients can be allowed to shine through. My better half has declared that his preference is for a small portion of baked beans served in a ceramic ramekin so that the beans can be added to a breakfast "at your discretion". I guess we'll agree to disagree!

  2. Hi Katherine, thanks for your comment and I am glad you are enjoying the blog! Beans or no beans - it is the perennial debate. I will tend to mark a breakfast down, if beans aren't included. However, I hope my reviews are detailed enough that you get a real feel for what the whole plate was like. As for beans served in a ramekin or a pot - I am yet to review a fry-up like this, but when I do, I will let you know my thoughts! Keep reading, another review will be coming soon.