Breakfast · Cafe · Cakes and Desserts · Eating out · working mum

New Day Cafe (Central MK)

I like to occasionally mix-up the monotony and occasional loneliness of working from home (which I have been doing for 2 years now thanks to Covid-19), by sometimes treating myself to a more lively working location. The New Day Cafe is perfect for this for many reasons:

  1. It is centrally located (CMK)
  2. It has great (free) wifi
  3. It has plugs and booths to work at
  4. It has snazzy looking furnture
  5. They make an amazing hot-chocolate

Although one could work at any cafe in MK (in theory) this one has a work-vibe, perhaps because it is at the bottom of an office block. I often see other people on their laptops too, so I don’t feel self-conscious. It is definitely not a place to take the kids as it is not really aimed at them and would be distracting to those who are working, but I don’t mind, my kids have loads of cafes they can eat in.

Another perk for those who love light – this place has floor-to-ceiling windows, so it gets a tremendous amount of light.

The food menu here is limited in choice but they offer just enough breakfast and lunch options for its clientele. I love their breakfast baps (bacon and hash browns) and cookies. They do have a great drink selection and one of the best hot chocolates in town because it is Biscoff flavour, it is absolutely delicious. It can get pretty busy in the mornings so I recommend giving it a try later in the day.

So if you are looking for places to work or study, this is a great option.

Opening hours are 8am to 4pm mid-week.

Additional information

Address: Ashton House, Silbury Boulevard, MK9 2AH

Booking: Not required

Website: Facebook only

Parking: Right outside, purple zone costs 50p hour.

Breakfast · Cafe · Eating out

The Bean (Stony Stratford)

At the weekend I took my kids and my mum to Stony for a bit of light shopping and a nice breakfast. Stony has a lot of great eateries, and this is another that I have never tried before. For anyone who is confused, it used to be called “The Coffee Bean”.

How to describe the breakfast? The food tasted like diner-style, tasty, basic but delicious with a low price but, they have the benefit of being in a great location on Stony Stratford high street, and it does not look like a diner; in fact it looks and feels pretty special inside as it used to be a chemist and it looks like it dates back at least 100 years. It has beautiful original apothecary drawers that hold herbs and medicines; retaining most of its features/shelving makes it very warm and appealing. And for an extra bonus, we found a load of hand-written messages on napkins inside the drawers (yes my little one was being nosey). She found pictures and wishes and notes, it was so lovely.

It was busy (being Saturday morning) but we managed to find a seat inside; although they also have a large outdoor area, which is heated as an added benefit and they have blankets; so no need to worry if it’s too busy inside.

The price point was very good value, surprisingly so for Stony. Mum and I had the early bird breakfast special (which is served between 8am-11am) which is a 6 piece breakfast, although technically it was really a 7 piece if you count each hashbrown, but really 8 piece if you include the toast; and unlimited tea or coffee. So a “6” piece breakfast with tea and toast for £6.50, now you really cannot go wrong for that price; and my eggs were runny, as I requested. They also offer 4, 8 and 10 piece breakfasts – I love being able to choose, because I am fussy! They had a lot of options that you don’t get everywhere like black pudding, fried toast and the option of fresh or cooked tomatoes.

They have a great kids menu for lunch and mains; lots of good options. I would have liked an alternative for kids who don’t eat cooked breakfasts (like my fussy 5 year old), pancakes are a definite winner for kids – just for future reference (in case the Bean read this). My son had a kids cooked breakfast; and I ordered a toasted tea cake for my daughter; they were both very pleased.

Seating is a bit basic, but that doesn’t tend to bother other people like it does me, and it can be a bit of squish inside, particularly when full, but it felt warm and inviting and it seemed friendly and like they have a lot of regulars.

They also have a great selection of home-made pastries and cakes; the caramelised onion sausage roll was delicious. The cakes were nice, though a little on the sweet side for me.

Additional Information

Parking: Short and long stay car parks at O’dells yard and similar are nearby but a few minutes walk.

Booking: It appears they only take walk-ins.

Website: Facebook only, but appears to be kept up to date.

Note: They are closed on sundays

Afternoon Tea · Breakfast · Cafe · Cakes and Desserts · Dinner · Eating out · Street-Food · Take-aways

Milton Keynes Foodie 2021 Review

Now is my opportunity to recommend a whole bunch of great eateries that I have been enjoying all year (or for many years), many of which haven’t made it to a dedicated blog post. So if you want to know what and where you should be eating in 2022, look no further…

Take-Aways

Best Chinese take-away: Sam’s Chinese in Peartree Bridge, MK6 3BX (01908 695695)

Okay so the location has a lot to be desired, but Sam’s has been my go-to chinese take-away for the last couple of years. They are generous with their meat in their chow meins and I can recommend their curries, ribs and satay.

Best Pizza take-away: Oleevo Pizza (in Broughton)

Absolutely delicious and authentic italian pizza, this is my husband’s favourite, he loves thin bases. I love the tomato and garlic bread in particular, as it is difficult to find that anywhere. I also appreciate that they seem to understand young children and offer plain pasta, my 5 year old is still in her plain pasta phase! The only downside I have found is that even though we live within 3 miles of the take-away, they will not deliver, even though it says they deliver within 3 miles.

Best American: Percy’s BBQ (in Crownhill)

You may have noticed if you have read more then one of my posts that I love brisket and Percy’s BBQ do a great brisket burger; in addition their gravy is outstanding and don’t get me started on their malt milkshake (which arrive in a cute bottle), so delicious. If you like malt, like I do, you should also try their malt icecream cookie dessert.

Best Mexican takeaway: Taco Shack

Best Chicken: Kings Comfort Food

Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes

Best Breakfast:

Codebreakers Cafe

I have two breakfast favourites. Codebreakers has comfy seats, a delicious cooked breakfast and great service. Location is not as pretty as some.

Nonna’s

Nonna’s looks good inside and out and they have the slightly more elevated breakfast experience such as poached egss on sourdough; though be aware that service can be slow sometimes.

Best Afternoon Tea:

Teapots of Olney

Definitely my first choice for a cream tea (and lunch), and if you have a tighter budget, teapots is definitely more cost-effective and the scones are worth every penny. They also have amazing homemade cakes.

French Affaire

If you want a more extravagant full afternoon tea experience and have a bigger budget, this is a delightful and beautiful french patisserie experience.

Best Dinner:

I have had a lot of great dinners this year, the Swan at Salford probably comes in second place, but my best meals of the year have been at…

The Cross Keys

Breakfast · Cafe · Cakes and Desserts · Eating out

Game Changer Kitchen (Giffard Park)

We have been meaning to try this lovely little cafe for the longest time; and it’s only round the corner from us, so no more excuses (I said in my head to no one in particular).

Well, I was right, it is all three of those things, a cafe, lovely and little. Little being the downside because it was terribly busy when we visited on a Saturday morning; in fact, there was only a sofa available to us; so we took it and hoped a table would open up…and it did.

What beautiful decor – for me anyway, it is definitely on the girlier side of the spectrum. Like Madonna meets pinkie pie (from My Little Pony) meets boudoir. Sav and I loved it.

Even better is they made her a unicorn milkshake, which was not technically on the menu. Nate had an oreo milkshake, Colin had Biscoff and I had a Biscoff Hot Chocolate. Well, the milkshakes (and the Hot Choc) were special, they all tasted delicious and they really did look the part too; I shall definitely be coming back for more milkshakes.

For brunch (which they serve all day) I had Biscoff pancakes, Nate had Oreo and Sav had Nutella and strawberries. Once again they looked and tasted great, big fluffy, American-style pancakes and the portions were generous, in fact, I couldn’t finish all of mine.

Colin’s breakfast looked delicious too, however, he said that the flavours were not quite right for him, and it was a little under-seasoned. He had the Salmon, avocado, and poached eggs on sourdough toast. I almost wished I had ordered that, it looked so delicious, and I love me some sourdough.

We took some brownies on our way out of the door; Sav’s unicorn brownie looked good and she loved it. However, my Biscoff brownie was fine but nothing out of the ordinary, taste-wise. However, they had a lot on offer, so I definitely plan to try a few more…they look so good and they change the line-up pretty frequently.

Overall I would say it is a lovely little cafe, that I will try to visit again, but on a less busy day. The staff were very friendly and helpfully found us a seat when we arrived and made a special drink for our daughter. If it is not too cold, they also have some outdoor seating. Another bonus if you have kids, is that there is a park right around the corner, you know to burn off 1/8 of a milkshake. 😉

Another bonus is that they do a lot of special events; some that I noticed on their Facebook page included: Princess tea parties, Christmas afternoon tea, Christmas wreath making, dessert night, mummy meet-ups, The Greatest Showman bottomless brunch, and other movie-themed brunches/teas. So it is a must to keep checking their Facebook page because they seem to have a new dessert/new drink or new event almost every week…which is pretty exciting really. In fact, I just saw a Baileys hot chocolate on offer, which I haven’t had in years, so I might just have to pop over soon.

Additional Information

Address: Unit 3, Knebworth Gate, Giffard Park, MK14 5QD

Website: https://www.thegamechangerkitchen.com/

Parking: On site parking, but it gets full at weekends. There is further parking just across the road at the local centre.

Breakfast · Cakes and Desserts

Olney Pancake Parlour (Review)

Living in Newport Pagnell, popping over to Olney is not far and since Olney is kind of a foodie paradise, we do pop there quite often. One of our favourite places to go for breakfast or brunch is the Olney Pancake Parlour. It’s a cafe in the main square of Olney’s town centre. Inside it is like a rabbit warren, it is deceptively big. They have booths, and tables and sofa’s and you can also sit outside.

Olney is famous for its pancakes and the annual pancake race; and the parlour is probably the best place in Olney to buy pancakes. They do sweet and savoury as well as thick American-style pancakes and thin crepe-like pancakes. They also do amazing milkshakes, sometimes I come here just for a shake, and delicious cakes. Their brownie is my personal favourite.

This week I brought the family to have brunch. A kids portion of american pancakes is just one pancake each; therefore I ordered an adult size; as it would give them 3 pancakes. It was however too much, one pancake actually would have been enough. They had nutella, banana’s and cream.

I ordered the american breakfast; which is pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage. I also had toast because they have lovely thick bread. I know that americans like bacon with their pancakes, but I still can’t get my head around it. So I ate the eggs, bacon and sausage first; and then ate the pancakes, like a dessert. It was all lovely; the american-style pancakes in particular were authentic and delicious – super thick and fluffy. Hubby had a savoury pancake which he enjoyed too.

The next best thing to the pancakes are the milkshakes! They do beautiful milkshakes in a variety of flavours in both kids sizes and adult sizes. The kids both chose oreo milkshakes and I stuck with my traditional and favourite strawberry flavour. It was super thick and creamy with a generous portion of whipped cream on top.

Olney is a picturesque old coach town. They have a few boutique shops, in fact a few shops down from the pancake parlour is a unique mini shop, ‘The Book Snug,‘ that sells only children’s books, it is so cute. Opposite the co-op is a fantastic charity book shop and there are many charity shops dotted along the high street. The Olney library is one of the loveliest libraries in the county. It’s better than any of the libraries we have in Milton Keynes. Though not a big library in general, the children’s library is big and has toys for the kids to play with. Last time I visited they had a play tent and lego among other things. Therefore, Olney has a lot to offer and there is enough to spend half a day here. On your way home you could stop by Emberton Country Park for another few hours of fun.

Additional Information

Booking: 01234 713152

Website: https://www.olneypancakeparlour.co.uk/

Parking: If the farmers market is not on, there is parking right opposite. If not, there is parking at the co-op and at the rugby club (as well as along the high street if you get lucky).

Breakfast · Eating out

Codebreakers Cafe – Bletchley (Review)

What a lovely cafe in an incongruous location. The centre of Bletchley is not the prettiest of locations, compared to most of Milton Keynes (and I used to live there, so I feel I have the right to say this). However, it is charity shop heaven and still has a good local butchers.

That being said Bletchley does have a couple of gems and the Codebreakers cafe is one of them. The owners opened during lockdown 3.0 (in February 2021); and they are already starting to make a name for themselves in foodie circles. I was curious, so this week I checked them out for breakfast (which they serve all day), though they have an extensive menu.

They have some outdoor seating, but well the view….I won’t say any more. Inside it is beautifully and minimally decorated based on the Enigma/Bletchley Park theme, with old-fashioned lamp-shades and the best seating I think I have ever come across in a cafe. They have beautiful brown leather seats, which not only look the part but they are so comfortable. I have issues with my back and tailbone so I often feel pain after sitting for a long time, but I would have been happy to sit here for hours. The lack of windows on three-sides means on a dull day it could be quite dark; but they do have lights strewn about all over; which really helps.

I chose the full english breakfast and was pleasantly surprised that they allowed me to switch a few items (have I said before that I am fussy?!). I ordered a pot of tea which arrived in a large cup with the saucer and tea bag on top, allowing you to place your own tea bag – that’s a nice touch.

The breakfast was cooked perfectly and the eggs were runny (big tick). The best part was the toast, it was thick and delicious. I love good quality bread.

The ambience was very nice and it was suprisingly not empty as you would expect on a random thursday morning. There were 5 other tables of people, which I guess means that word is getting around.

There were two ladies serving us and they were very friendly and helpful.

They have food and drinks for take-away and they also deliver in the area. They serve lunch and dinner and I’ve heard the coffee is very good (though I don’t personally drink coffee).

I look forward to coming back again, with my kids.

My highlight from Codebreakers is the seating. The seating is sublime.

Useful Information

Parking: Mini carpark opposite the cafe, additional parking behind the cafe.

Booking: Phone – 01908969550

Website: https://www.thecodebreakerscafe.co.uk/

Address: 176 Queensway, Bletchley, MK2 2SW

Breakfast · Cakes and Desserts · Eating out

Nonnas Restaurant – Woburn Sands

It’s my husband’s birthday so as a treat we decided to try brunch at Nonnas; in their new outdoor area which includes a garden bar. It looked beautiful and so inviting; like an English country garden in full bloom. The outdoor alfresco dining area has now tripled in size (however, they no longer have any on-site parking) and they have a mix of booth-type seating, and tables in the sun and under a canopy; so an array of choices.

We were seated and then asked to order at the garden bar. They have quite a large breakfast menu but to the disappointment of my husband and children, they only serve sourdough bread/toast across all their dishes. I love sourdough, but it is an acquired taste. I think they should include regular bread on their menu, at least for children.

That being said, what arrived for us all looked magnificent, a real work of art. I ordered the poached eggs, bacon and brie on sourdough toast. I’ve never though of that combination, but it tasted delicious. The only downside was that the poached eggs were not runny (even though I asked for it). Hubby ordered green eggs and ham, the kids had yoghurt and cheese on toast.

I really enjoyed my breakfast; and the atmosphere was so relaxing, I felt like I was on holiday. The kids found a way to entertain themselves, playing with their ice-cubes. My 4 year old said look mummy I have made a ka-bob (out of her ice cubes).

On display at the garden bar were the most sumptuous-looking doughnuts. Now, I am not a big fan of doughnuts, but they had four different flavours on display and none of us were able to resist. Between the four of us we tried all four flavours: jam, chocolate, passion-fruit and cream and lotus biscoff. They were utterly devine; so good we took some home for later. In fact I think we spent half of the bill on doughnuts!

Nonnas has always been a favourite for dinner, but now with their new outdoor area and quicker serving times, it has now become one of my favourite breakfast/brunch places. The kids loved it too, and they can be moany about going out for meals. So win-win. I cannot wait to go back.

You can book a table using their online booking system. Post code: MK17 8SY. They have no on-site parking, so I have always found a space on Hardwick Road, there are no double yellow lines so it is okay to park there, if you can find a spot. There is also the square by the town council and the library on the high street as alternatives.

Breakfast · Eating out

Super Sausage Cafe – Review

I am a big foodie; I love food, though I am fussy too, so fussy in fact that I am well known for my fussiness amongst my friends and family. I have eaten out at Michelin star restaurants and the local cafe and I do like all types. I particularly love going out for breakfast; it feels like such a treat. However; I am somewhat disconcerted by the new trendy “boutique” cafes – you know the type that do things like avocado and chia seeds on sourdough toast and sencha tea. I actually love sourdough toast, but I could definitely leave all the rest.

So it is refreshing to eat at a cafe that keeps it simple. I love a simple traditional english breakfast; and that is what they do best at the Super Sausage, in every variation and every size with chips or hash browns, simple tea (no leaves or pots) and it was cooked perfectly and delicious. Plus they serve breakfast all day – bonus!

Inside it is decorated as one would expect from an english cafe, but it has the addition of a couple of booths and outside seating (picnic tables). Though the view of the A5 has much to be desired. One does not come here for the view.

super sausage cafe menu

It is not the best place to go if you are keen on social distancing as the tables (inside) are tightly compacted together; you have to brush past people to get in/out to use the facilities.

Even with these minor drawbacks, it is well worth the drive (just outside of Milton Keynes) is the perfect low-cost greasy spoon cafe; perfect after a hangover; or for me, the perfect stopover on the way to Whittlebury Hall (where I was having a spa day).

The Super Sausage cafe is on the A5 in Potterspury towards Towcester, postcode: NN12 7QD. They have on site parking and toilets.