Due to a boring list of Lyme Regis / Musbury based errands this morning, we broke the habit of a lifetime and did something we very rarely do – went out for breakfast.
Handily close to Lyme Regis, just a couple of miles along the Sidmouth Road, is one of the best breakfasts you can find for miles around. Based in what is still very recognisably an old petrol station is the Rousdon Village Bakery, where you will find a help-yourself feast of fantastic breads to be toasted, croissants, pastries and a pot bubbling away waiting for you to boil an egg. The atmosphere is very laid back, with toasters on the side, and massive vats of jam and butter on the table for you to do things just the way you like them. The pastries are amazing – we had a pain au chocolate, which was just as flaky as a pain au chocolate should be, and I had a pain au raisin, which was perfect. The sizes are pretty generous too – the pain au raisin ranged from normal shop sized, to a small dustbin lid – I went as big as I thought I could get away with! There is something very satisfying about (seemingly) simple things done well, and the quality of the pastries gives the impression that nothing is skimped at any stage of the process.
There were also big bowls of yoghurt, strawberries and lovely-looking granola on offer, and a menu including most possible combinations of eggs, bacon and bread you could wish for for breakfast. One man had a BLT, which was a work of art, with sourdough bread, local bacon, home-grown looking salad and roasted tomatoes, and a bacon & egg stack also looked like the sort of breakfast which would seriously set you up for the day.
The Rousdon Village Bakery is part of the Town Mill Bakery group. We first started going to the Town Mill when the children were small, as they also do the help-yourself toast for £2, which is a great thing to do with kids (especially ones which eat as much as mine do), and as far as I can make out, the Town Mill Bakery have now rolled out their model to bakeries in Lyme, Rousdon, Plymouth, Poundbury and Exeter. The Jurassic Coast seems to be a hotspot for innovative restaurant successes, as The Stable in Bridport now have their pizza & cider outlets in 14 towns and cities, and River Cottage have 4 canteens around the country. All these success stories share the same vision of a simple range of seasonal, locally sourced produce, with an emphasis on getting a few things perfect rather than a wide range of mediocrity, and it seems to have really struck a chord with the general public.
Rousdon Village Bakery have certainly stuck to quality rather than quantity, which makes the whole thing feel quite honest somehow. It is not the most glamorous surroundings – the garage may have been stripped out so that the inside retains a distinctly workaday feel, but this seems to go well with the stripped back menu and emphasis on the food itself rather than window-dressing.
We will definitely return, maybe even tomorrow for a Father’s Day BLT, and knowing they do seasonal lunches and afternoon tea, it is not just a breakfast destination, but could easily be fitted in after a walk at Trinity Hill, a blast on the beach in Lyme Regis or Axmouth or a trip to Seaton Wetlands.
Last but not least, they do a stonking cup of coffee.