Hobbs House Bakery, North Street: Review

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I love going out for dinner. But I love going out for breakfast, brunch or lunch more…is it just me, or does it somehow feel more decadent when you eat out earlier in the day?

The in-laws were visiting last weekend, and suggested Sunday brunch somewhere nearby – somewhere that had a variety of bigger and smaller options, of healthier and not-so-healthy choices – and obviously, we needed somewhere that would accommodate the little person too.

Hobbs House Bakery on North Street fitted the bill perfectly.

Perched on the corner at the junction with Truro Road, the south-of-the-river branch of the bakery has been there since late 2017, and clearly does a roaring trade. We were, in all honesty, pretty lucky with our timing: a table freed up just as we walked in, and we grabbed it before it had even had a chance to be cleaned.

There’s not a massive amount of seating, but the building is deceptively spacious inside. Low hanging lights, a wood-clad counter, wooden tables, golden syrup cans repurposed as cutlery tins on the tables and beautiful wooden flooring give the place a cosy, rustic feel, and the floor to ceiling windows on two sides of the building let in plenty of natural light.

It’s a great place for people watching too – both those walking past along North Street, and those coming in to choose a loaf of bread from the shelves at the front of the shop, or a cake or a pastry from the selection (irritatingly uncovered – one of my pet hates) from the counter laden with sweet and savoury treats.

 

Hobbs House Bakery North Street - Interior

 

Coffees first – good and strong Extract-roasted blends, and served in nice chunky cups and mugs with a homely, comforting feel. Price-wise, pretty good too – £2.95 for a regular latte (or £2.35 to take away) – lower than some of their nearby competitors, and better brewed too.

But it was the brunch we were really excited about. Why? Because as well as the regular menu options (toast, bacon sandwiches, overnight oats and things like burgers for those wanting something more substantial), the build-your-own brunch option’s there to really make your choice your own.

It’s something that I reckon more places should do: you start with two slices of toast (you choose the bread, obviously made by Hobbs House) and two eggs (you choose the way they’re cooked), and add whichever other elements you want from a choice of 11.

I can’t be the only one thinking it’s a great concept! Possibly not for the poor serving staff – especially if they’ve got a big table all ordering DIY brunches to serve – but it means you can have something different every time you go, which definitely appeals!

The only thing that I wasn’t convinced by was the price. The two eggs and two slices of toast are priced at £5.85 alone. If you want to add extra eggs, they’re priced at £1 each, which basically means you’re paying almost two quid per slice of toast…which, to me, seems a little steep…

It meant my brunch – the eggs and toast, plus bacon (£1), avocado (£1.50) and halloumi (75p) – cost a total of £9.10. You’ll definitely find more competitive options out there. But how did it taste…?

 

Hobbs House Bakery North Street - Brunch

 

Don’t get me wrong – it was DELICIOUS. The Hobbs House sourdough is amazing, nice and chewy and fantastic when toasted, the eggs still had a nice runny yolk for dipping, the bacon could have been crispier (I know it’s subjective…) but it was clearly the good stuff and had plenty of flavour. They’d cooked the halloumi nicely (being part-Cypriot it’s a bugbear of mine when places f**k it up), and the avocado…well, it was avocado. And I didn’t actually get that much of it as the baby insisted on sharing.

 

Hobbs House Bakery North Street - Baby

 

Speaking of the baby, it’s a great place if you’re looking for somewhere family-friendly too – plenty of highchairs, plastic cups and spoons (albeit fairly well-chewed) for tiny ones, babbaccinos on the menu and a kids’ version of the build-your-own brunch (starting at £2.95 for a slice of toast and an egg). There were plenty of families with young children in there when we were there – which is good, as it meant no complaints when Oscar decided that banging the plastic cup against the table with as much force as possible, to make as much noise as possible, was the most fun he could have between mouthfuls…

All in all, we enjoyed it – service was pleasant, the atmosphere was nice and buzzy, the food was tasty and great quality. The one niggle would be the price – for a brunch for four with one coffee each we paid around £50. A great place for a treat (or to buy their amazing fig and walnut loaf), but probably not somewhere that I’d see as a go-to regular haunt…

 

One Response to Hobbs House Bakery, North Street: Review

  1. Pingback: TooGoodToGo: A tasty way to reduce local food waste! - Bristol Bites | Bristol Bites

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