Breakfast · Eating out · Gluten-Free · Pub

The Carrington Arms (Moulsoe near Newport)

I have to be completely honest and say that during Covid we had a bad experience here, but we decided to give this lovely-looking pub another chance and boy am I glad that we did.

The Carrington Arms (Review)

In fact, I have now been here twice for brunch in the same month, that is how much I enjoyed it. At first sight it looks very impressive, a large pub, with a large, modern conservatory, with ample parking and next to a play park and fields. Inside it is respectfully decorated using the original features of the very old building.

We came here for Mothers’ Day brunch, and though it was busy, they were not overrun, making mistakes and running out of stock like most places do on special days. I was very pleased by the wide variety of gluten-free options; which included a GF full-english breakfast (including toast). Not only that, but it tasted good, even the toasted bap tasted good and I think we all know (those of us with an intolerance or Coeliac disease) how rubbish most gluten-free food tastes. The bread was delicious and did not fall to pieces.

My whole family had a lovely “normal” muggles brunch too (i.e. not gluten free). My kids both had the Biscoff pancakes (I was not jealous!), they provide a kids portion (2 pancakes) which my 6 year old had, and an adults portion (4 pancakes), which my 11 year old enjoyed. In fact, my son said that they were the best pancakes that he has ever had! I was surprised that he thought they were better than The Pancake Parlour, as they would have been my choice for best pancakes in the area, however, I am not able to try these as I am currently on a gluten-free diet, so I will defer to his 11-year old-biscoff-loving-pancake-eating expertise on this one.

My husband had salmon and scrambled eggs, he said that our brunch felt like an experience and as though we were being taken care of. When I returned a few weeks later with a dear friend we had eggs and bacon on toast and a full-English breakfast. Everyone said that they thoroughly enjoyed their meals. My friend said that she was surprised to see Woburn bacon on the menu, as it is quite special; which it indeed was. In fact, the bacon was particularly memorable, absolutely delicious and so perfectly cooked. We also commented on the price, it was a good price for such a delicious breakfast at such a beautiful pub; it was also generous, and I did not feel hungry. The Anchor (for example), an equally beautiful village pub is quite stingy with its portion sizes.

The kids enjoyed playing in the park afterwards (a great way to burn off one of the pancakes), surprisingly the minuscule zip-line was way more fun than either of my kids imagined when they looked upon it. Never judge a book by its cover.

My only small gripe is that during Covid they instituted a booking policy which means that you have to enter your card details before you are able to make a booking, not only that but if you fail to show-up they will charge you £30 per person. I am not the kind of person who would simply not show up (though what if you needed to cancel for an emergency at the last minute?) I always call to cancel if I need to, however, £30 per person is excessive, especially as 2 of the party were children and we did not even spend £30 on them when we went out for dinner, let alone brunch. In fact when I went with my friend our entire bill was £30 total, so the fact that I would be charged £60 for not cancelling is extreme and disproportionate, especially for brunch. This rule came at a time when everyone was excited to go out for meals again once we emerged from the lockdowns during Covid. It is now 2023, it has been a few years, I honestly think they need to remove that card booking from their system now. They should definitely not charge a cancellation fee for brunch/breakfast or reduce the charge per person.

That little moan aside, I loved it and will definitely be returning again. I think the outside will be very nice in the summer, as they have a lovely conservatory and garden (including a giant chess set).

Additional Information

Address: Cranfield Road, Moulsoe, Newport Pagnell, MK16 0HB

Booking: Online (you will need to enter your card details)

Parking: Plenty on site

Breakfast · Pub

The Anchor (Aspley Guise)

The Anchor (Review)

This pub might just be the most tastefully decorated pub I have ever seen. It was so beautiful that when I sat down, I had to almost immediately get up again and nosey around, I walked from end to end and was bowled away. I loved the different options available too. In addition to about three different eating and drinking areas inside, they had a fully covered back garden and a fully covered front garden with heaters.

They have exciting menus, we tried breakfast on this occasion. The food was delicious, but it was a little on the small side for me; however it was my own fault for being smaller because I do not eat beans, tomatoes and mushrooms.

I loved the little touch of the toast being shaped like a whale – so cute. However, I think they could have given me two, it was basically half a slice of toast. The meat though was well-cooked and flavourful and the eggs were poached perfectly soft, as I requested.

The only downside for us was that they didn’t have any breakfast options for children, and so I had to order an adults breakfast for my son and toast for my daughter. We still had a lovely time, and I simply cannot wait to try their roast dinners, which look astounding.

For anyone who lives in Milton Keynes, it is on the outer limits of our fair city, but is completely worth the journey. It took about 20 minutes (maybe 25 minutes) from Newport Pagnell.

Additional Information

Parking: On-site

Website: The Anchor

Address: The Square, Aspley Guise, MK17 8DF

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


Address: 176 Queensway, Bletchley, MK2 2SW