Food Review: Comfort tucker and rustic charm at Country Kitchen, Eccleshall
On a chilly December Saturday, there is nothing finer than the thought of filling one’s belly with some hearty fuel before a day of festive magic.
With this in mind, I knew just the place that could tick the box, and so last weekend, my father, my bambino, a gang of pals and I headed to a wholesome delight of an eatery, the reputation of which is going from strength to strength.
Located on Eccleshall’s charming high street, Country Kitchen proudly offers a menu of family favourites designed to satisfy all comers looking for a nourishing treat.
Specialising in its breakfast offerings, this rural gem showcases a variety of mouthwatering all-day choices that cater to any size of appetite and any dietary requirements customers may have.
However, if breakfast is not what your taste buds are craving, Country Kitchen also offers a range of other comforting delights, from sumptuous salads to European and Asian-inspired burgers and old favourites including fish and chips, macaroni cheese and BBQ chicken.
Proudly run by a pair of local ladies who made their name on Eccleshall’s hospitality scene at a neighbouring pub restaurant, recent reports on Country Kitchen have been consistently great, and I had every confidence that a visit here would be just what the doctor ordered for me and my merry band.
Walking up its charming steps and into the cafe’s interior, I was reminded of how pleasantly rustic the proprietors had chosen to make the decor.
The Country Kitchen’s beamed ceiling oozes rural cosiness, and light furniture and wall adornments ensure that an airy feel that diners can relax in is retained.
The counter was stacked with a wealth of inviting baked goods, and as my party and I took our seats it was impossible not to smile at being in an eatery that evoked so much comfort.
Considering we were a relatively large party, we were easily accommodated, with a high chair also provided for my little ‘un.
Perusing the menu I was incredibly tempted by one of its main showpieces – ‘Linda’s Big Breakfast’. This promised a bountiful feast of two sausages, three rashers of bacon, two hash browns, two eggs, black pudding, beans, tomato, mushrooms, a cheesy Staffordshire oatcake, and two pieces of toast.
My eye however had been caught by the option of Eggs Benedict (a particular favourite of mine), and I was curious to see whether Country Kitchen’s version would cut the mustard.
I did, admittedly, find it impossible to forego the chance of indulging in an oatcake or two, so I also ordered a couple of these regional delicacies with sausage and bacon as an additional treat.
With his attention caught by a cheeky little winter warmer on the specials board, dad opted for liver and onions with assorted veg and chips, and the Morris family completed their order with a round of scrambled eggs on toast for the nipper.
One of my pals was indeed unable to resist Linda’s Big Breakfast, while another – also drawn to the specials board – went with a Scotch egg salad, served with chutney.
As we all enjoyed a warm beverage, it wasn’t long before our tucker was served and we were getting stuck in to a wholesome feast that was nothing less than perfection.
My Eggs Benedict was well presented, and served with an ample amount of the requisite Hollandaise sauce.
Muffins were lightly toasted to give a lovely crunch, and the accompanying bacon was salty deliciousness incarnate. The eggs themselves had been prepared perfectly, and every mouthful of this dish was a delight. Another accompanying pal who had ordered the same agreed with me completely; this one was an absolute winner.
Despite the fact that my daughter helped herself to the majority of the sausage from my oatcakes, I was able to enjoy enough of these to give them top marks.
Staffordshire oatcakes are a well-loved delicacy in my neck of the woods, and Country Kitchen’s were bang on.
More of the delicious salty bacon was complemented by an indulgent helping of rich cheddar, and this breakfast treat was simply melt-in-the-mouth gloriousness. Well done, chef.
The liver and onions represented a childhood treat to my dad, and his eyes positively lit up as he tucked into this hearty main.
This is what Country Kitchen does well – uncomplicated classics that just take you to a happy place.
I found myself particularly impressed, however, at the sight of my pal’s Scotch egg salad. As a lighter bite on a menu that boasts a lot of plates proud of their quantity, this dish was proof that as well as belly-busting brekkies, Country Kitchen can do delicate and do it very well.
A special mention must also go to my little ‘uns scrambled eggs on toast.
When you’ve got children in tow, it’s the little things that make all the difference, and staff had gone to a special effort to make sure her toast was served in bitesize bits that were a perfect for a one-year-old.
This kind of extra thought and care is what gives eateries like this their heart, and ensures that customers keep coming back.
Thank you, Country Kitchen team. It was a simple gesture, but it meant the world, and my daughter is now your number one fan.
With our hunger more than sated (and the pal that had ordered Linda’s stunning big breakfast particularly stuffed), we reflected on what had been a lovely no-nonsense meal that was perfect for a Saturday afternoon.
In a town that boasts a strong cosmopolitan dining scene, Country Kitchen holds a wonderful place in flying the flag for comfort cuisine done exceptionally well, and fulfils its remit triumphantly.
This eatery is nothing less than a home from home for its regulars, and it is easy to see why many of them visit several times a week.
Service is spot on (always conducted with a smile), and the indulgent tucker is both delicious and good for the soul.
Looking for a place to get warm and enjoy a cosy bite to eat with your nearest and dearest? Look no further. Top marks, well deserved.